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What Does Health Mean to Me?

August 23, 2010

I recently added my blog to Healthy Living Blogs (have you added your blog yet?  CHECK IT OUT!), and have spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about the current topic: What does health mean to me?  So here it is…my personal vision of what health means-beer, pretzels, goofiness and all!

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I realized that even though this question is subjective, there isn’t a cut and dry answer that I personally can give.  I do think that health is a journey and not a destination, and I don’t think anyone can say that they have reached ‘”perfect” health, since health will always be something to strive for.  To me, health is a sum of many different aspects.  It’s about being physically and mentally well, which is more than what you are eating and how much you are working out.

I think so many people focus on what is going to help them be skinny and fit, and tend to forget about how important their mental health is to their whole wellbeing.  Health is about taking the time to care for yourself.  Taking a bubble bath and reading a crappy magazine can be just as healthy for you as a killer cardio sweat session at the gym.  If you aren’t mentally sound, and are only focused on your physical wellbeing, then I believe your health will suffer.  Taking time for yourself, and learning to love who you are, flaws and all, will make you a healthier (and better) person. 

I also think health is always taking care of yourself.  I am the first to admit, I wasn’t always the best at that.  When I swam in college, though I would often have to miss sets or practices due to shoulder problems, I was always willing to get into the pool and swim with a fever, a nose so stuffed that I couldn’t breathe, or the flu.  Pushing yourself too hard in situations like that aren’t going to get you anywhere, could result in taking steps backwards and just aren’t healthy!

It wasn’t until the last few months, when I got pregnant, that I really stopped and began to LISTEN TO MY BODY.  Rather than waiting 3 days to go to the hospital when I broke my nose (true story), now, I take care of a problem right away.  When my body told me to stop running, I did what it said!  When something is just not right, I’m more inclined to trust that voice in my head than to ignore the problem thinking it will all work itself out.  When my body is craving something, I give in rather than trying to eat what I think I should eat.  My body and mind function so much better because of it!  It took another little person to teach me that being healthy is not about counting calories, trying to workout everyday and hating every part of my body.  I’m glad I’ve finally learned!

Ultimately, I think health is about trusting your instincts, being preventative and just loving yourself and what you are capable of.  Am I the perfect picture of health?  Hell to the no!  Am I a healthy, vibrant, beautiful woman who cares about her mental wellbeing and physical strength and capabilities?  Hell yes!  Does it matter what anyone else thinks as long as I feel good in my own skin?  Nope, not really. 

That being said, let’s get on to the pregnancy health this week, of both me and the boy!

Week 33

Boy is doing well, and growing strong, at about 4 to 4 1/2 lbs. right now.  He is now tucked into a fetal position, since there isn’t much more room to move around in there.  It’s so cool to see all of his movements, since there is more baby in there than amniotic fluid.  Just yesterday morning, I saw his little butt push out and couldn’t grab my camera quick enough to document my lopsided belly!  His sleeping lasts much longer now, but so do his awake periods.  His bones continue to harden, his skin keeps thickening and the folds and connections on his brain keep developing. 

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Sleeping comes and goes, but it takes me forever and a day to fall asleep.  My eating is different than it ever has been (more carbs, but I only WANT whole grains), but my weight gain is consistent, and the doctor isn’t at all worried.  My body has changed a lot, and is much softer since I can’t lift weights like I used to, but I know that’s temporary.  I also have found that my nesting instinct is starting to kick in.  Though I’m already a neat freak, I find myself doing things around the house that aren’t part of my regular routine…like Magic Erasering (is that a word?) all of my walls, cleaning like a mad woman and doing some large amounts of cooking (to freeze for when baby comes).  Busy busy!

DSC05927 For all of you beautiful preggo girls out there, if you are looking for a great dress, I can’t recommend the one I am wearing enough!  It is from a Pea in the Pod and I’m obsessed.  Here’s a link for the 6 Way Convertible Maternity Dress.  This is a basic LBD that can be worn 6 different ways.  Last night, I wore it one-shouldered to a wedding.  I’ve also worn it halter style and strapless and will probably wear it as a skirt during the Jewish High Holidays.  It is comfortable and was just a great purchase, I love it.  Check it out!

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So, what does health mean to you?  Do you consider yourself to be a healthy person?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2010 11:28 am

    HAPPY 33 WEEKS!!!! You really rocked that dress beautifully!

    I’m healthy as far as activities / exercise but very unhealthy at eating. Everyone always comments on how I bring bags and bags and bags of vegetables in to give to coworkers (we have a HUGE GARDEN…like really realllly huge) and then proceed to eat a hotdog and brownie for lunch. LOL. Always trying to improve but never really getting there.

  2. August 23, 2010 12:16 pm

    health means being alive and happy. because truly thats all it boils down to.

    look at the little man! hes just growing and growing. and you look gorgeous btw. i cant believe its 33 weeks already. holy moly, he’ll be here any day!

  3. August 23, 2010 1:43 pm

    I love your statement that healthy living is a journey and not a destination. It is so true! Wellness is about so much more than what you eat and how much you workout. We all have times in our lives when we lack balance but that does not mean that we are no longer healthy or can’t get back on the path to health and wellness. It is important that we take time to enjoy or make the most of food, fitness, friends and all of the other good (and not-so-good) things that we encounter along the way.

  4. August 23, 2010 1:46 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about health being about mental well being as well! This weekend it was necessary for me to veg out, drink wine and eat donuts. and I actually felt BETTER this morning than I have in a while!

  5. lessonstolearn permalink
    August 23, 2010 3:44 pm

    I love your philosphy on healthy living. Couldn’t agree more! Listening to my body in terms of eating and exercise has always been tough for me…pushing for one more mile, or eating something because its something I “should.” I am still a work in progress, but like you, being pregnant has forced me to listen more carefully to my body. Its very humbling when you are used to “pushing through the pain” to have to step back and accept that your bady can’t do what it used to or what you want it to do (even bending down to pick something off the floor!)

    I can’t believe we are on the verge of 34 weeks! I’m trying not to count days, but its hard!

  6. August 23, 2010 6:02 pm

    I love all that you said about what health means to you!! I agree with every bit of it!! 🙂 It’s taken me 27 years to finally “get it” completely, but I can finally say I that I listen to my body – thanks to my little boy!

    WOW – you look so great – 33 weeks!!!!! 🙂 So exciting!! Love that dress!! I might have to look into that one since we have a wedding to go to in October. Thanks for the recommendation!!

  7. August 23, 2010 8:34 pm

    You look awesome in that black dress!

    I agree with you about health…but I almost think you ARE at perfect health because you aren’t “healthy” 100 percent of the time. I really think it is HEALTHY to not be healthy every second, like you said health is about listening to your body and sometimes your body wants a little beer 🙂

  8. greensandjeans permalink
    August 24, 2010 12:58 am

    You and Solomon look so cute all gussied up!

  9. August 24, 2010 9:14 am

    Health is well depicted by the overall wellness model. I guess because I teach it, I lean towards the textbook definition, which includes the phrasing “not merely the absence of disease”. Health involves an overall sense of well being, and security and safety even play a role. It’s like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Health to me is overall wellness and a positive spirit. It is not as simple as “eat all organic, all natural foods”. You can do that and still not be healthy. Health is about balance, moderation and variety in EVERYTHING that you do.

  10. August 26, 2010 9:35 am

    I totally agree with your definition of health, a journey that you are always striving for, and something that isn’t just about how much you work out or what you eat. I think one of the most important aspects of health is mental health! Which I feel like is so easily forgotten

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