Not too long ago, I was fairly clueless about what it meant to be truly healthy.
Yep, you heard correctly.
Me, the health coach/life coach, didn’t have a friggin clue about health.
The idea of health lingered somewhere in the back of my mind. A salad here, a run there, but I thought most people who didn’t have health problems were healthy.
Then, lightening struck, and all the sudden I had all sorts of health problems.
I had always been an athlete, I ate moderately well. How in the world could I have health problems when other people who have worse eating and exercise habits then I do, are fine?
Sometimes there is a big difference between the idea you have of yourself and the reality.@hayleyhobson (Click to Tweet!)
I speak to a lot of people who don’t think about health and what it means to be healthy until something happens in their lives to compromise their health.
I hear this all the time – “My New Year’s resolution is to get healthy!”. But what they actually mean is “I’m going to eat salad for lunch and go to an extra yoga class”. You know what, that’s great, eat that salad and go to that class but you’re missing some key elements to your health:
We, as an entire species, are sleep deprived. Sleep may very well be the healthiest thing you can do for your body, mind and soul. I fall victim to sleep deprivation myself. One more email, one more status update before bed right? And you JUST have to stay up for the Daily Show right?
Now, you’ll hear debates in the wellness community about how much sleep we really need, but if you’re whacking the snooze button and just can’t face the day without a cup of coffee, your body is trying to tell you that you need sleep. It is only in a good night of sleep that our cells repair themselves and our minds get rest. So if you get healthy New Year excitement, if you’re not diving into bed (without sleep aids) and getting good rest, all your hard work is for nothing.
And do I really have to mention that if you’re having a glass of wine or popping a pill to get to sleep there is a bigger concern here? First, see a doctor if you’re having sleep issues because it could point to something that needs medical attention. And set up a night time ritual for yourself. Hop into bed with a good book, knit, write, have some soothing scents about (a bit of lavender in a diffuser will work wonders) and wind your brain down for a bit. And please, get your computer out of the bedroom. Never take your laptop to bed!
You know that phrase “Trust your gut”? It’s true for a reason. Your gut is your bodies communication hub. If you’re having heartburn, or you are not regular (Yep. I’m talking about poo), take this as a sign that something is not right in your body. This is the reason I start clients off with an elimination detox. If you take out everything that could possibly go funny in your system, you’ll start to know what it feels like to be really healthy.
Common, everyday things can bring havoc to your internal systems. That little drop of milk in your coffee could be the cause. Heck, it could be the coffee. Did you know that plants produce caffeine as a natural toxin to fight off aggressive pests? The more processed a food gets, the harder your body has to work to deal with it.
If you’ve been following me at all, this is not going to come as a surprise – If you really want to be healthy, go raw and vegan. Eat your food in as natural a state as possible. I’m not going to sugar coat this one. Processed food and commercially raised meat is not a pathway to optimal heath. Adding just one raw vegan meal a day will drastically change your state of health.
OK great, let’s say you go raw and vegan and do yoga every day and you poop like a rock star, I bet you are still poisoning yourself by what’s in your environment. Your shampoo contains the same commercial detergents as your dish soap; it just smells better. Your body lotion has petroleum products in it. Your nail polish has formaldehyde in it – the stuff they use to keep dead bodies from rotting away on the table.
Everything you put ON your body goes IN your body. It all gets absorbed right into your skin. And you’re gleefully lubing yourself up with environmental toxins every day, and every day that has a cost. All your hard work at the gym and in eating healthy is reversed by sulfates, parabens, petroleum, artificial colors, waxes, and well, just stuff.
Remember, your skin is your largest organ. You need to not be smothering it in poisonous crap. Investigate your beauty products. Spend the time to know that you’re hand lotion is actually good for you. There’s enough organic products out there now that its not actually that hard.
My best beauty tip? Coconut oil. Use it for everything. It’s a great make-up remover. It’s brilliant for that wintery dry, cracked skin. It has antibacterial properties. You can even brush your teeth with it. Oh and you can eat it too.
So what does “healthy” really mean to you? I would love to hear your process, what you discover, what you find and what you like? Please leave me your comments below.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Image courtesy of: Microsoft