On Being Healthy

As I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently, I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to be a healthy person. Much too often, we seem to confuse being healthy with dieting and restriction, and furthermore conflated it with consumerism by buying into fads and gadgets as easy-fix solutions. Meanwhile we ignore the simple things we can do to improve our health, by turning simple choices and actions into enduring habits.

  • Embrace your body’s healthy weight range, shape and size. I will never ever be super skinny and that’s okay, nor will I ever have Marilyn Monroe’s curves, and you know what, that’s okay too!
  • Don’t talk trash about your body, and don’t use this sort of talk to bond with other women. Stop reinforcing the culture of girls growing up insecure about their bodies because they see their older sisters, friends, mums, aunties denigrating their beautiful bodies.
  • Eat healthy food, and a very good guideline on the type of food you should eat comes  from Michael Pollan:  “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 
  • Don’t engage in unnecessarily restrictive 1200 calories diets or starve yourself in the name of beauty
  • Avoid so-called low-fat foods like the plague as they are loaded with sugar and empty calories, and embrace that certain fats in moderation are good for you.
  • As Mammy would say, eat your vegetables and fruit!
  • Find regular exercise that you enjoy and want to do! This can be anything from running, Zumba, aerobics, swimming. If you enjoy it, and it gets your heartrate up and makes you sweat, go for it.
  • Learn what a occasional treat is, and don’t use it to justify eating junk food everyday.
  • Don’t eat your stress, anger or sadness away, deal with your emotions in more satisfying and less calorific ways.
  • Keep a food diary for a week and track how many calories and nutrients you consume in a week to see where you can improve your diet.
  • Watch your portion sizes and recognise the difference in serving sizes between a small sedentary woman and a tall man. Just because I can eat that amount of food, it doesn’t mean that I should.
  • If you don’t know how to cook, get a beginner’s cookbook and start to prepare your own food TODAY!
  • Don’t assume that because you exercise, that you can eat whatever you want.

Any other healthy eating tips that I haven’t included here?


2 thoughts on “On Being Healthy

  1. Well said. My biggest problem is always portion control. I really hate when a restaurant gives huge portions because I feel like I should finish what I’m given. My biggest breakthrough was realising that no one would get offended if I left something on my plate.

    • Same here, Mags. My illogical reasoning on polishing off everything on my plate is that I’m wasting my money if I don’t, and then I regret eating all that food anyway. I wish Irish restaurants did adult half portions, it’s one of the best things about restaurants here;

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