woensdag 11 november 2015

Being healthy

This title may get different reactions from different people. Some are really interested in a healthy lifestyle and can't get enough; others would like to throw up if they heard the word 'healthy' (I know some who do). Besides the fact that I'm pretty interested, I'm not particularly talking about working out and food.

I've had times in my life when I was not very happy. I also didn't have a good relationship with the person who I was and my body, for quite a long time. There was always something wrong: my skin, my nose, my hair, my legs, my belly - blah blah blah.
Last year, a lot changed. With the help of some people that I'm eternally grateful for, I gained confidence and started to really like the person who I am. It's not like I loved myself completely and turned into some 'perfect girl' - no, I started to accept things that might be less pretty, my worse sides, bad behaviour and decisions. The focus was more on my good qualities and, for example, my eyes, that I'm happy with. There was so much more positivity in my life, and it was a damn good experience.
Working during my gap year and the Málaga-journey definitely contributed, as well. People actually liked me for who I was and I didn't have to put a lot of effort in that. The whole ambience, the people... I can't really describe it. It makes you feel so much more relaxed! And considering the confidence part, it's not bad to be blonde and blue-eyed, when you live in Spain, haha.

Well, this is more about body insecurities and self-confidence. What I actually wanted to discuss, is that we forget a really important thing, all the time. There are so many fitness accounts on Instagram, blogs, websites, YouTube channels, and so on. The Internet is filled with information about losing weight, getting abs and low-carb-no-gluten-no-lactose-vegan food. It's all okay, as long as we keep in mind that we need to live, as well.
Living in the gym and weighing every gram of peanut butter, when you never go out to relax with some friends (or Netflix and your cat), doesn't really sound like a 'healthy lifestyle' to me. Don't get me wrong, I respect you if you genuinely enjoy working out and cooking yourself some nutritious dishes. But I want people to remember that being healthy is not just that.
With this, I'm referring to 'healthy' as in 'not sick'. As some of you may know, I lost my dear mother because of cancer. At times, I realise how important it is to appreciate the fact that you don't have a disease like that. Or that you're able to walk and do whatever you want.
There are several people I know, who suffer from some kind of chronic disease. You just have to live with that. I'm a person who's got some health-related stuff going on, quite often. Nothing severe, just annoying. And compared to cancer, it's nothing. It can drive you crazy, sometimes, and it makes me think about how good it is to not feel sick, not have problems with your body; just being able to live your life. It decreases the importance of having a 'perfect body', for me. It makes me feel like I need to take care of my body, instead of getting the feeling that I have to work that 10 pounds off.
And to me, that's a very big difference.

Yes, I do sports. Yes, I try to eat healthy. I try not to consume as much alcohol as in Málaga (which is not very hard, let's not do that too often), I try to sleep more, get my vitamins. But taking care of your body also means listening to it. Do I feel okay? What do I need to make myself feel better? Go for a run, or laying down for a while? A little spa at home, chilling in your most comfy outfit, watch some series, read a book, be with a friend. Do you actually want to eat some sugar free raisin biscuits, when there's some salted caramel chocolate to choose, as well?
The thing is, if you really listen to yourself and what you need, you won't eat the whole chocolate bar. You won't lay down in your bed for a whole week, because you'll feel that you need to get out. If you start to know what works, you can trust yourself.
On a higher level, it's very important to know your healthy body, too. Because if you're in contact with yourself, mentally and physically, you'll notice way sooner, when something is wrong. My mother did, when she felt a weird thing in her breast.

It's not something you can do overnight, getting closer to yourself. You have to work on it, every day. At the same time, it's not very hard. What makes you feel good? What people make you happy? What gives you more energy? How do you balance your life? These are questions that your gut feeling can answer, most of the time. With some trial-and-error, you'll get there. It's great not to live with so many restrictions, because you feel like you need to live up to other people's expectations. Surround yourself with people who support you and love you for who you are. Believe me, it will make a huge difference.

With this blog, I'm not trying to day that I've got it all sorted out. Oh no, I'm still looking at my body in the mirror, without being completely happy. I'm not sleeping enough and every now and then, I think about what other people think of me, too much. I'm so freaking imperfect and that's okay. I just wanted to remind you and myself, that it's not all about the outside. That having a 'healthy' body doesn't mean you're healthy. That the person who you are is way more important than the amount of 'gainzzzz'. That you need to appreciate not being sick. Live, people, enjoy your life. Take care of yourself, but don't forget to live.

XO Josie

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