So much more than a number

Written by Telaine Feeney

Health is Life.

The sentiment behind the oftentreacherous, but well-meaning word, ‘health’ always portrayed a huge
salad, daily exercise and limiting of indulgences for me as a child. A picture of a woman politely declining the salad dressing as she was ‘watching her weight’.

Now I envision laughter, good food and community gatherings.

Health embodies happiness, companionship, and energy. It’s curiosity to what’s in the salad dressing.

It is talking, sharing and connection.

My journey to a healthy lifestyle came from a long list of failures (lessons, shall we say). Losing over 100 kilos, gaining it back, losing it again, gain, loss…it has taught me a lot. The journey to ‘good
health’ is just that.

Not a destination but a lifestyle.

Health is not weight loss.

I always pictured myself slimmer as the ‘image of health’. I have learnt time and again that is not the truth. Healthy is self-awareness and acceptance. I have gotten slimmer to find I was unhealthily
focused on the numbers. I missed out on good times with friends and family to ‘stay focused’. That impacted my health.

It left me feeling exhausted, lonely, and disheartened.

Weight loss does not have to be punishment. It can be an organic process of little changes. Reduced sugar intake, creative meals, soda instead of tonic.

It’s dancing classes with friends instead of a cinema date.

Health can – and should – be fun!

I grew up with health being taught as a ‘responsibility’. Do NOT eat too much, you MUST exercise. My next life lesson: unhealthy is not just excessive eating or lack of exercise. It’s about your mindset.
If we approach our lives seeing our limitations and feeling ordered, the instinct is inherently negative.
Imagine picturing health as community dinners full of cultured share plates, lavished in home grown vegetables and local farm products?

Picture a day at the beach with your family. Envision yourself swimming, strolling down the sand, possibly a fun game of cricket.

Eating and exercise isn’t restriction and commands, it’s life!

Health is knowledge. I worry sometimes at the culture we live in currently. We now have access to all the information we need in the form of technology.

Yet, we seem more complacent, even less curious now we know it’s there.

It’s overwhelming to have to question things. So more and more the marketing of ‘products’ gives us biased ‘opinions’.

Constant conflicting advice. Social media opinions.

The impact on our health is vast.

Changing diets, anxiety, depression a lack of self confidence in knowing what’s best for YOU and learning your mind and body.

Awareness and curiosity within yourself gives you the filter to not be hindered in focused knowledge. I found by learning to be curious about physical and mental changes within myself, I wasn’t blindly
following any ‘current’ trends or biased information shared.

Knowing myself meant I knew what to seek out.

Be curious with how you envision health. It’s a fun way to live.