Healthy is good, right? Eating healthy food, making positive food choices and striving to have the best possible diet for one's overall health and well-being? Well, not always.
While few of us would dispute that healthy living; be it as a vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist, omnivore or whatever your preference is a good thing, there are times when even the healthiest eater can slip into an unhealthy realm.
It can happen to the best of us. We're trying hard, planning well and eating all the right things. But, before we know it, we start to drift further and further afield, and away from our healthy intentions.
So, how can healthy be unhealthy? Here are 3 things to look out for:
1 When you stop socializing
It can be easy when you have a particular diet and/or eating habits to become a bit of a hermit. You want to stay healthy, and not sabotage your best efforts by letting anyone or anything get in the way. Health is, after all, one of your top values. But, too often you end up staying in, eating alone and declining your friends invites, which doesn't feel great.
The solution: 1) Make “having fun”, and not “food” the priority. Why not meet your loved ones half way? Still hang out with them, and let your hair down – just bring a few of your own healthy nibbles along, or decide on the restaurant you go to. 2) Get out there and meet new, and like-minded people, who enjoy a similar style of eating to you. Being healthy is a great opportunity to expand your circle.
2. When you're uber-stressed
Thinking and talking about food and healthy living all day long can be stressful. You're passionate, so it makes sense that it happens. You want others to share the feel-good with you. But, your good will can lead to others feeling judged, and uncomfortable around you. And you feeling stressed. When you see your Mom tucking into a chocolatey treat after a long day at work, you can't help but point out how terrible it is for her. When the happy couple across the table enjoy a cheese-filled feat, it's difficult not to send judging eyes. It's because you care that you do, but the result is counter-effective.
The solution: Free up. Nobody needs your judgment, only your love. Do what makes you feel good, and allow others to do the same. Everyone's on a different journey, and health is in many ways unique to the individual. You can still practise, and put out a healthy, positive message without needing others to follow immediately, or raising your stress levels.
3 When it's extreme
Being healthy is all well and good when it's handled in a balanced, and calm way. When it feels right for you, and you look well. But anything – including health – pushed too far, can become extreme, and actually very unhealthy. If you find you've crossed the healthy point, don't worry, you can always make your way back. Begin noticing when you're obsessing, stressing and controlling. Reliase that this isn't true for you. It can help to talk to someone who knows you well, and has your best, and healthy interests at heart. They may let you know that you're not acting like yourself, or seem too rigid in your thinking and actions.
To consider: Do you really need to know the exact ingredients in every meal you eat? Would it be so bad to have the occasional sweet (yes sugary) treat? Is food really the most important thing in life?
My intention is not to stop you from being a healthy person, or stir you away from whatever diet you've selected. But, rather to encourage you to look, from a wider perspective, at your approach to healthy eating. I come from a place of experience and love. I, myself have dabbled with the unhealthy arena, being super (unhealthily) healthy, and it just doesn't feel good. And that's our intention, right?