14 Habits of A Truly Healthy Person

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Life is meant to be full of experiences like eating delicious food. And being healthy does not mean starving yourself and spending hours in the gym and it does not mean looking a certain way or only consuming boiled chicken and steamed broccoli (yuck). Being healthy means eating foods you love and living a lifestyle in order to do the things you love. People who are truly healthy take care of their bodies as an act of self-love and are not obsessed with losing weight all the time.

Skinny is not a sustainable way of life nor a fulfilling one. And skinny is not synonymous with healthy. Healthy people lead a balanced lifestyle because balanced is fulfilling and sustainable.

1. They make a healthy lifestyle a habit not a once-off

They know that being healthy is a habit they want to maintain. They don’t crash diet or do a ‘juice cleanse’ to quickly lose weight. They know that taking care of themselves is a lifelong endeavor. A lifestyle. They know that not eating for a whole day is not a viable option and certainly not sustainable.

They build sustainable habits.

It is a way of life and not a sprint or desperate act to fit into a pair of too-tight jeans or that beautiful wedding dress. It cannot be rushed. And it may take time to cultivate so they are patient with themselves and never beat themselves up for any perceived failure. They know they are not perfect and accept that what works for them may not work for others.

2. They never feel guilty ever about consuming any type of food

They eat food because they enjoy food. They know that food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. And to miss out on one of the greatest pleasures would be awful. They eat chocolate or burgers and pizza and do not associate feelings with food. They try and not say,

I am having a cheat day today” or “I am being naughty by having this.”

They enjoy all food from all the food groups.

If they are craving something sweet they eat it, without feeling guilty afterward. They know associating feelings of guilt with food will sour the experience. Eating food is never a crime and never something you need to atone for.

3. They do exercise they love

They don't spend hours in the gym hating it or themselves. They do exercise they enjoy like dancing, or mountain biking, running or walking or lifting weights. They find something that gets them moving and brings them pleasure. Because they know exercise is good for the body and the mind.

It is an act of self-love.

It fights depression and keeps bad thoughts away. They find something they enjoy and although some days they may not want to do it, they do it anyway because of the natural high it brings or they don’t and they never feel guilty about missing a workout. They listen to their body and what it needs.

4. They know that cutting out one food or food group does not mean you are healthy

They never cut out bread or sugar. They never say,

“ I am not eating bread at the moment.”

Or sugar or chocolate or anything else. They know that bread is not the devil and that simply cutting out bread will not make them healthier, fitter, or slimmer. Eating a balanced diet is healthy. Eating all the food groups is good for you and cutting something out will only leave you craving that one thing. They know the more they restrict themselves the more they are setting themselves up for failure.

5. They eat. And they eat regularly

They never starve themselves. Or do a fast of only carrots. Food is fuel. It is nourishment and it sustains us as humans. It means we can function, think, and be productive.

Without food, we would die.

They eat when hungry and they eat every couple of hours. They don’t only eat one meal a day. They eat and snack regularly because they know that not eating will only lead to overeating.

6. They do not consume copious amounts of alcohol

They know that alcohol is not great for the body and they also don’t like the way they feel after drinking a huge amount. The would rather wake up and go for a long walk in the morning or run then wake up with a hangover and feel sorry for themselves the entire day. They do not drink every day and drinking is not a hobby.

7. They do not smoke cigarettes

They know that smoking is like poison to the body. It kills people. It is a slow poison. They do not poison themselves.

8. They do not hold unrealistic expectations of themselves or the way a ‘perfect’ body should look like

They may have a round tummy and round thighs. And they know that is ok. Being healthy does not mean being skinny or having perfectly chiseled abs.

They accept and love all the parts of themselves.

And know that looking a certain way will never make them happy. Loving themselves will. And ignoring the unrealistic standard of skinny is the start of having a healthy relationship with their bodies. Having a round tummy or cellulite does not mean you are unhealthy.

9. They focus on how they feel and not how they look

They exercise and eat food that is filling and nutritious because they love the way it makes them feel. They feel better after eating a filling breakfast. They feel better after going for a nice long walk or doing a workout or going for a run or cycle. They focus on what makes them feel good, energized and they do not focus on what will make them look good or how to rapidly lose weight.

The goal of being healthy is to feel good and not to lose weight which makes sticking to a healthy lifestyle a lot easier because feeling good is guaranteed but losing weight is not.

10. They never say they need to lose weight.

They do not agree that losing weight is a sign of health.

They do not exercise or eat regularly to lose weight.

They know that weight fluctuates and losing weight is an elusive goal that is not sustainable and will never leave them satisfied for long.

11. They also accept they may have bad days

They know that some days they may struggle to unconditionally love themselves and find it difficult to fight the unrealistic standards of beauty. They know that some days they may look in the mirror and feel like maybe they should lose some weight. Or maybe they need to work harder on the treadmill.

They know that it is normal to struggle.

A healthy lifestyle is a process.

12. They never compliment others on being skinny

They know that being skinny is not a compliment but an unhealthy standard of beauty. They never compliment others on looking skinny. They have no idea what that person did to get skinny. They could have starved themselves or taken pills or something else that is damaging and unsustainable.

13. They practice self-love and body acceptance

They know that having a healthy relationship with their bodies is the key to being healthy.

If you love something you will take better care of it.

If you dislike something you will struggle to fully accept it and make the best decisions for it. They never eat or drink something and say ‘they don’t care’ anymore. They care about their bodies. They know you only get one.

14. They never ever weigh themselves on the scale

They know that a number on the scale does not determine their healthiness. They don't take progress pictures either. They don’t judge themselves or others by a number of BMI or measurements. Those measurements mean nothing anyway. Being healthy is not a one size fits all. And a number on the scale will never make them happy.

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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