Is it possible? Can you have both health and happiness?
A recent conversation with a stranger:
Them: “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a health coach. I specialize in helping busy moms feed their families healthy, quick meals and live healthy lifestyles.”
Them, laughing: “Oh, I tried being healthy once. It was the worst day of my life! Everyone is going to die sooner or later, and I’d rather die young and happy than old and healthy.”
I’d rather die happy than healthy.
I’ve heard this sentiment more than once. There is a HUGE misconception about health and wellness in the world, one that needs dispelling.
Here is what the myth teaches us:
- Healthy people are miserable. In order to be healthy, you have to eat rice cakes and rabbit food. Anything delicious is not to be touched (butter, bacon, bread), and it better be the low fat version you are eating. Don’t forget to hit the gym for several hours a day to do a very grueling workout. It has to be hard, it has to hurt, and you should feel like vomiting at the end. No pain, no gain!
- Unhealthy people are happy. Yes, they may carry around a few extra pounds, but who cares? At least they get to eat what they want, when they want it. And yes, maybe they will die a few years earlier, but hey, when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go!
I’d rather die happy.
Here is the reality:
- Healthy people are happy. A person who is truly eating nutritious food would never touch a rice cake, and understands the power of beneficial fats (which can actually be found in butter and bacon). Healthy people understand that healthy food is more delicious, and are usually known in their circle of friends as being the best cooks. In fact, I had a recent health coaching client tell me, after making a new recipe at home, “This is so much better than store bought!” Truly healthy people would never do an exercise that is grueling or painful, they exercise because they love moving their bodies and love their chosen form of movement. And hey, the endorphins that exercise kicks off give you an euphoric feeling, reacting in your brain kind of like opiates, without the harmful side effects of drugs. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty happy!
- Unhealthy people are unhappy. Carrying around those few extra pounds can make moving difficult, sometimes even painful, restricting them from doing the things they want to do. Want to go hiking with friends this weekend? Nope, the joints are too painful. How about dancing Friday night? Can’t, none of those cute clubbing dresses fit anymore. Oh, and don’t forget to take medication, morning and night! And please don’t bring up how much those medications cost, each and every month. Pretty soon it won’t be handfuls of pills, it will be shots injected into the belly or thighs every day for the rest of their life. The heavily processed food is hard on the body, causing problems in the digestive tract like bloating (sometimes painful!), constipation, and gas. But don’t worry, there are pills for that, too.
Here a video I found that I think describes this concept very well. It is focusing on sugar/soda, but the concept is the same whether it’s sugar, fast food, processed food, or anything unhealthy that you put in your body.
So, I say with the rest of the world, everyone has to go sooner or later, I want to die happy!
That means that every day for the rest of my life, I am going to eat delicious food, and most of it is going to be healthy and nutritious (hey, a girl’s gotta have a birthday cake here and there, right?). That means that several times a week I am going to dance around my family room like a crazy woman and challenge my muscles with my beloved Tracy Anderson Method (or some other exercise that I love doing), all to some super fun tunes, because I LOVE it. Between those two things, my body will be strong enough to do anything I want it to do. Run around and play with my kids on the playground? Of course! Take the family hiking in the beautiful mountains nearby? Yes, please! Run circles around my crazy siblings when we are horsing around at family events? Heck yes! This life is fun, and I want to be healthy enough to join in all of that fun.
So now I ask you: Everyone’s gotta go sometime. Wouldn’t you rather die happy?
And now a shameless plug, are you confused (like most of the world) about how to be healthy? Book a free initial health coaching consultation with me by filling out the form right here, and we can discuss how to get you on the path to both health and happiness!