If we had to introduce a brand new day, New Year Resolution Day would be most welcomed! December conversations at bars, weddings, malls, coffee shops aren't complete without making a list of New Year resolutions. Making resolutions feels like we have proved our reason to exist for the next year!
My attempt as a New Year resolution is to "define" health so that it is not a part of any New Year resolution discussions going forward!
Most lists of resolutions usually have "health" right at the top—we don't even need data to prove this! I must have had this goal for almost eight years I think. Year after year, this was a constant quest of my life. Phew!
This is how my "health goal" would pan out in the "new year":
- January: Crazy diet fad begins.
- February to March: Still trying but losing a little interest.
- April, May and maybe June: Taking notes from those who have lost weight and trying some new crazy stuff.
- July and August: Goal is moved to just fitting into that bathing suit.
- September to November: Cravings, hunger pangs and therefore eating everything that I deprived myself of.
- December: Time for the resolution again!
When I finally had three different sizes of denims in my closet, a destroyed immune system and defeated confidence, I decided to educate myself on how to make a health goal that could actually work and sustain.
What I learned is this—"health" cannot be a goal! Let me save you all the trouble of getting to this point and learning this because it is true. What "health" really needs is a redefinition. To be understood as a way of life, a way of being that is holistic, real and very personal.
So my attempt as a New Year resolution is to "define" health so that it is not a part of any New Year resolution discussions going forward!
1. Health is 'you'
Health is your emotional, mental and physical self. We are so wired to take care of our physical health but mental and emotional health are not only seen separately but also considered taboo topics! The only person getting adversely impacted with this thought process is you. The starting point of defining health is to know it is holistic.
2. Health is rooted in science
"You are what you eat" is not just a slogan— it's the truth that drives behaviour patterns, moods, thoughts, sustainability so on and so forth. What you consume has a biological and chemical effect in your system that drives the output beyond weight management. So next time you think of abusing your body with crash diets, remember how self-destructive it can be!
3. Health is bio-individual
The next time you pick up diet tips from others over lunch or in a gym, do understand that one size doesn't fit all. Your genes, blood group, childhood food and upbringing, vitamin and mineral levels and many other aspects unique to you play a role on what's your optimal 'healthy being'. Understand yourself better to know what works for you.
4. Health is energy
Everything that you consume has energy of its own that plays a role in your energy—therefore it's not just the calories in food but the quality and the kind of food that can make you feel a certain way. Food energetics is true and can be used beautifully to drive your energy goals. For example if you want to feel grounded and strong, root vegetables can do that for you and if you want to feel uplifted and spontaneous, then broad leafy greens are a good bet.
5. Health is not just about food
It comprises relationships, careers, states of mind and exercise. Yes I know workouts are usually very well taken care of but what about the rest? What is your contentment level on the other aspects? You can eat all the organic food of the world but if you are not happy on those things that drive your daily life, then you are not healthy. Period.
6. Health is self-love and self-care
Accept and love yourself as you are—even as you are every day growing to be the best version of yourself. Treat yourself how you would like others to treat you—that is with utmost care. Take care of yourself daily with the right routine, peaceful meditation, embracing things that feel good, relaxation and massage. Know what it is to feel special every single day
7. Health is listening to your body
Stop using the calculator or mental math to count calories or the weighing scale to determine what your next meal is. Listen to your body. It gives you every signal—when it's full, when it's feeling good, when it's feeling stuffed, when its feeling uneasy or even when it's just taking time off to heal. Have a deeper and more beautiful relationship with your body—it won't lead you astray
Health is your most beautiful self—inside and outside. When "health"' and "you" are merged into one, you will rarely allow anything in your inner circle that is destructive, unkind and does any form of disservice to your being. You will see yourself only going for the most beautiful things in the world because they feel good. This is health and therefore it can never be a goal – it is you.