A few years ago, the last thing I wanted to be called was healthy. To me, it was the furthest thing from a compliment. Why? Because I didn’t want to be healthy. I believed that to look ‘well’ was a bad thing. It was a metaphor for having put on weight and I did not want to gain weight. I wanted to remain as thin as possible and thought to be the fastest runner I could, I needed to look ‘unhealthy’. Deluded I know. However, fast forward a few years, and healthy is an incredibly positive thing to be called, and something I don’t even second guess. It is a compliment, because our health is the most precious thing we can have, so we should embrace it.
I wanted to write this blog as someone called me healthy the other day and I remembered how the word didn’t always have positive connotations to it for me. However, this time, it made me smile, because to present day me, to be healthy is to be exactly where I want to be; in a strong place. I didn’t always think like this, so I want to explain to you why being ‘healthy’ is 100% a compliment, and to help others who maybe don’t view the word in the amazing light they should.
What does health signify?
Health signifies a lot of things, but to start with it is a sign of strength. In order to be the strongest we can be, we need to be the healthiest we can be. This is because to get stronger and build muscle, we need to fuel ourselves properly to allow muscle to build. Without sufficient fuel, we would be unable to recover properly, and therefore not repair and build muscle maximally.
To me, I see health as a green light for training. I know, every month, when my period comes around, it is a sort of green tick that everything is on track. My period tells me that my body is working as it should, and I am fuelling myself plentifully to sustain my body and the training I ask of it. It is a sort of comfort and reassurance, that may body is functioning well.
Being healthy is one of the main things that can help reduce injury risk! If our bodies and bones are in a healthy state, they are likely to be more robust, and therefore withstand the demands of training a lot better. As an athlete, injury is something a lot of us fear and do not wish even upon anyone, therefore, why not one of the simple things we can to prevent it? If we can help prevent it simply by having a healthy body, why not?!
Finally, the word healthy indicates having high energy levels. Health is wealth, because with health on our side we can perform to the best of our abilities. By fuelling ourselves with plenty of wholesome food, we can provide ourselves with the energy levels we need to train at our hardest. Not only can we have enough energy to train, but also to meet the demands of daily life on top of this. There is nothing worse than feeling energy dead before you have even started a run, and not because you are tired from training, but simply because you haven’t fuelled properly, so we can avoid this, by eating well.
If anything, I hope this has allowed you to see that being healthy is an incredible thing to be, and it is the most precious thing we can all individually have. Some people have their health taken away out of no reason that is their own, so why would we take it away ourselves?
Some days don’t go to plan and others are a struggle for no reason. There is no rhyme or reason why, but it can throw you off course. It can cause you to over-evaluate the meaning of your thoughts and consequently turn on yourself. Whether it is a session that didn’t go as you hoped, a slip up at work, a comment that didn’t come out as you expected, or just a down day, we tend to take such experiences deeper than we should. As a result, we question our worth, value, and self belief. Somehow, this tiny mishap/moment of feeling down, has become all encompassing, and caused us to devalue ourselves. It happens to all of us, but many of us feel isolated and anxious as a result. I speak from experience.
When I have a day like this, I feel like I’m the only one in the world who lets the smallest of things get to them. I feel like a failure when the most insignificant thing goes wrong or not as I hoped. However, many of us react in the same way. We are our own biggest critics, but, there is one way we can make ourselves and others feel better, and that is through sharing.
You are not alone.
I say this time and time again. You are not alone. We forget it as soon as we realise it, but it never changes. If we all open up and share the experiences and battles we have with ourselves, no matter how big or small they are, we will see that we aren’t alone. For some reason, as soon as we realise that we aren’t the only person in the world to think in the way we do, we feel a million times better. So, if this is the case, why do we not open up more often? As soon as we share our thoughts, we feel less confused by ourselves, so think about how this makes somebody else feel. By opening up, not only are we therefore helping ourselves, but we are undeniably helping so many others out there too.
Mishaps make us human.
If we can all help others whilst also helping ourselves, think how much warmer the world would feel. It doesn’t help solve a problem, but it helps us recognise that we are only normal. Overthinking, worrying, overanalysing and scrutinising ourselves for the mishaps we make is what makes us human. We all do it. If we say we don’t, we’re lying. Not only to others, but to ourselves. It is all part of the human process. Taking the step and having the strength to share, is a very precious trait to capitalise on. A lot of people don’t have the strength to be honest to others about their struggles, so be proud of yourself for opening up. It isn’t an easy thing to do, and not everyone can, so if you have the power to share your thoughts and experiences, do it. You never know whose life you may be helping.
This is a blog to say, open up about how you’re feeling and share it, and share it again and again, because you will feel so much better when you find out you’re not alone. Not only will you feel lighter, but you will help someone else recognise this too and feel better within themselves. Life can be hard, and we can be so hard on ourselves, so open up, and recognise that you are not alone and you are not crazy. You are just human.
Growing up at school, the last thing anyone wanted was to be different. The majority of us wanted to blend into the trends and do our upmost to be considered normal. We wore the same things as our peers, had the same interests, and did whatever necessary to be seen as ‘cool’. As a consequence, this meant hiding aspects of our true self in order to come across as more ‘normal’.
For the majority of my time at school, I can confidently say I was myself. I followed the passions I had and I felt comfortable with my weirdness, whatever that was. Sadly, I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and as I got older I noticed more differences between myself and others. I didn’t enjoy going out and I didn’t drink, but I found enjoyment out of other things. I think, more and more we are all recognising the importance of being ourselves and accepting others for who they are. This is the best person we can be, and the best person they can be, so why not just be kind to one another.
Accept the differences.
Being different is precious, and accepting our differences is the biggest step towards happiness we can take. If we were all the same there would be no interest in the world and sometimes it’s the differences we worry most about that are the most valuable. You never know where that hobby you were embarrassed about or style you tried to conceal will take you. If we can learn to accept our differences, that’s when we can truly become comfortable in our skin. Essentially, it is the insecurities that we dwell upon that hold us back from finding daily happiness.
Find your people.
If someone makes you feel bad for being who you are, you don’t need them in your life. Find the people in the world who accept you for who you are and love your differences. There is this wonderful saying that goes, ‘let your weird light shine bright so all the other weirdos know where to find you’. I think this is so powerful, because if you conceal your true self and hide those unique traits, you will never find your true people in the world, as they will never see the side that they need to find. It’s only when you become confident and let your true self shine that your people will gravitate towards you.
This blog may seem like it doesn’t have much point, but it has more than you realise, because I’m trying to show you that being you is the greatest person you can be, so don’t try and hide or change them.
I am a firm believer that you will be most successful in life if you pursue your passions and do what you love. Life is meant for living not just existing, so we want to be able to pursue paths that make us most feel alive, whatever that may be. We don’t all have to follow the same path, life would be very dull anyway if we did.
Different shapes and sizes.
Success comes in many different shapes and forms. It doesn’t have to look the same for everyone, nor should it. It depends on how you look at success as to how it manifests itself. One shape/size of success is happiness. Success doesn’t have to just be about earning as much money as we can, despite what societal pressures may make us feel. One of the most important things in life is to be happy, and in my eyes, if you are doing something with your life that makes you very happy, you are a pretty successful person. Down days are inevitable, but if you can live most days in a happy state, you’re doing pretty well for yourself, and for others. Being surrounded by happy people also helps others to feel the same way, it’s an infectious emotion.
More to life than money.
Yes it is important to earn enough money to live life comfortably, but earning more and more is not a necessity, despite how societal pressures make us feel. If we constantly follow the path in life that is purely motivated by money, we are unlikely to ever feel fulfilled, or truly enjoy what we are doing. If we only see life and work as a process to make money, and the time outside of that as time to enjoy, think how much of our lives aren’t being enjoyed. There is absolutely no shame in following the path that makes you happy, instead it’s actually admirable. Not everybody has the bravery to do so, so be proud of yourselves for taking that step.
Ultimately, if you are doing what makes you happy, be proud of the path you have chosen. It isn’t one size fits all, life would be boring if it was. Stepping towards happiness is progress in life, which is a step towards success. Do you and be proud of your decisions.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!