Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Being healthy



Hey, guys!

I actually had a bunch of other posts lined up (and still do - there's fashion and many others coming up), but recently I've been playing around with the thoughts in my head and wanted to write them down and share, what I've come up with today. Impulsive blogging - just the best, isn't it?

First, I'm a great advocate of the idea, that health is not simply the absence of an illness. Being healthy consists of multiple aspects, including physical, emotional and many others.

So far so good. Here is where I start to doubt myself. Firstly, there is so much information available out there and most of it contradicts. Moreover, should I even fill my head with these different theories or instead focus on doing things intuitively, because I've seen it work so well on multiple people I love? There are also so many different "levels" of being healthy. How healthy am I? For some people eating a chicken breast instead of deep fried, bacon covered, panned or mayo dipped fatty meats is a great step up. For some people, that chicken breast is healthy only when it's boiled and unseasoned with salt. For some - only organic (for some - only grass fed) is the way to go and anything less is unhealthy to them. Can you catch my drift?

I grew up in a culture, where food is not a great focus in regards to health. Latvians have always been hard workers and needed filling, affordable (or readily available) and energy providing meals. It's hard to find a good avocado in my hometown grocery shops, let alone organic avocados, compared to the wide range of organic products here in Denmark. At the same time, if you buy Latvian products from a shelf in Latvia, they will almost certainly be organic naturally, because that's what we have. You can't find unsweetened almond milk (easily at least), but you can always buy real, full fat milk, that's natural and that's not bad either, if you ask me!

My family especially is completely careless towards food and yet all of them are slim, healthy and happy. Here in Denmark people are much more... interested in food. Dinners are a social arrangement (menu of which are often discussed and planned at the breakfast table, for example), shops offer a variety of local and foreign products, people are curious in the new "it" health-stuff to try and people consciously exercise. My parents have had such a busy, physical working and home life, that I can't (for the life of me) imagine them using their energy on running (with no seeming purpose) outdoors for an hour. When they were younger, sure, they played ball, they swam, they biked, but not with the health factor in mind.I myself have gone through many phases in the last 5 years. I've gone from being a slim, intuitive eater to eating whatever I wanted, as long as it tasted good, from an emotional eater to an overweight compulsive eater, from a diet obsessed average twenty year old to an underweight unhappy victim of distorted eating, from a recovering overweight twenty something year old to a recovered average weight intuitive eater. Hmm. That's quite the ride.














At the moment I eat healthily (I think!) most of the time, but I'm also pretty careless. Sure, I'll have whatever's available at a restaurant, a dinner party, when I'm visiting someone without asking: "Is this meat organic?", "Is this skimmed milk?", "Are those cucumbers Danish?" and lately, even though I've been contemplating eating even more healthy, I stop myself at the thought of becoming a fussy eater and ruining a lot of things, that are simply so easy at the moment. Basically I've come full circle to how I was in high school with the exception of obviously having the baggage of everything that has happened to me in the last few years.

I'm very much aware of the benefits of eating whole, natural foods, but if I don't have them available, I won't panic. I also believe in seasonal and local eating, I believe that buying expensive, foreign berries in the middle of winter might not have the amount of health benefits we hope for and that mom's home made jam with berries from our garden (even though it's made with extra sugar) might last me better during the colder months. Speaking of sugar. It's not good for us, sure. But I also believe that at least our bodies know what it is...? This is the reason I always buy real Coke instead of the Diet or Zero one (twice a year, when the occasion arrives), because how can something so sweet have zero calories? That's cheating. And those artificial sweeteners is a chemical product, that's unnatural and I believe really mess up our bodies, when it gets in our systems. A real Coke will make me a bit jittery maybe, have a sugar rush (and subsequently a crash), but that's also a very natural reaction to plain carbs and I think that's... fair. Then you make that unhealthy choice and deal with the calories, the sugar spikes etc., but at least you're being semi-natural (even though I'm fully aware, that it makes little sense).

I've also been active in high school, I walked everywhere, I played volleyball, I danced, then I didn't do anything for a long time, followed by heavy cardio, anything that would make me sweat and lose weight, followed by no purposeful exercise, but a lot of biking, working on my feet, running around, walking etc., followed by a conscious exercising in the gym, with the intention of building muscle and being healthy, followed by doing nothing and now I'm walking considerably a lot, but I also feel like my body's itching for more.

What I'm planning is starting to exercise again, but it's hard for me, because I'm a very goal-minded person, I love to reach milestones, so I struggle with the idea of committing to exercising simply... from now on. No short term fixes, so set finish line. Just me and my body in it's most fit and maintainable form for the rest of my life. That's... almost discouraging!
I'm torn as to what to do now. I eat what we have bought, what we have cooked, what other people have prepared and I don't know if I'm being lazy or it's actually smart to be so flexible, especially as long as I can maintain a healthy weight anyway. Don't want to fix what's not broken, ya'know?

I know my boyfriend appreciates that flexibility. He loves to surprise me with dinner, he loves to take me places and to try things with me. He loves to get tipsy with me, because we always have so much fun when we let loose after a long working week with a bottle of wine and a few beers. He loves to take me out for cocktails and share desserts sometimes. And I do that. Not for him, but because I really enjoy that as well. I don't think my imaginary six pack would make me as happy as sharing an ice cream with him on a hot sunny day. But I also believe there's no black or white ways of living. We can be healthy most of the time and then also have something "bad", because it makes us feel like we're living, not just existing and life, sadly, is indeed short.
It's easy to be with my boyfriend. He prefers to eat healthy, he loves to cook, he gladly tries (and says he enjoys) everything I make and he's always up for us to have a "healthy week" when either him or I feel like we've gone a bit crazy on the "treats" for a while. But I also eat too much sometimes and have something I probably wouldn't by myself.

So, I don't know. I think what I'm trying to say is that I'd like to focus on it a little more for a little while. I'm lucky enough to live in a place with so many great options readily available - sweet potatoes, goji berries, coconut oils and milks etc. and the variety is what makes healthy eating exciting and doable and a long term solution.

I actually know quite a bit about nutrition by now, because I was so obsessed with it for a while. But I there are also many, many things I don't know. And I'm on the brink of diving into it once again, this time with the intention of being more healthy after doubting it for a long time, holding onto the "ignorance is bliss" idea, because it seemed to work so well for me and in many ways, it still does.

Perhaps, I will simply get more "disciplined" with myself and make more conscious healthy choices when I can and whenever I am in charge of what I'll be having, leaving me some room for treats and exceptions and the occasional indulgences, even though it's sort of what I do now anyway.

Lastly, I felt like I had to mention this, even though it's a bit embarrassing. When life gets challenging and grown-up and hard and I start to doubt my abilities, I tend to focus on the more achievable things such as health, beauty, fitness, fashion, it becomes my little hideaway and I feel safe. Thing is, if I put as much effort into solving the actual problem, I'd probably succeed twice as fast.

I'm starting my (dream) internship in a week, so I'm not sure if I genuinely want to be more healthy or I'm just trying to distract myself from how nervous I am by trying to plan a better diet and fitness routine.

However, I don't feel like I'm writing this in vain. I am hundred percent sure, that having a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine will benefit me immensely throughout the next few stressful months and therefore I am about to commit to an improved lifestyle.

Question is - are you guys with me? Would you be interested in recipes, What I Ate posts, my fitness routine and posts regarding health and wellness? I can make a mix and match between the usual beauty and fashion posts and the lifestyle posts, so I'm not changing what this blog is about at all, I'm just adding things to the menu, which I for one, find even more exciting and interesting.

I'm impressed if you actually made it through and read this, thank you so much, I mean it. I know I only do it, if it's some of my favorite blogs, favorite topics or something is well written. I will also love to hear from you with whatever feedback you might have and will, as always, reply to each comment.

Sorry, if this has been boring for you, but it means a lot to me, if I have this blog first and foremost to write about whatever's on my mind. And if someone's on the same page as me, that's even better.

I hope you're all well and I'll talk to you soon! :)
Renate 


6 comments:

  1. Delicious photos :)

    Do you want to follow each other, let me know?!

    http://danadimitras.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks :) I'll definitely check it out

      Delete
  2. Great post, the bagel with the bananas looks delicious :)

    christelpaola.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow!!! love the pics so much!! the foods look super delicious!! great post dear
    thanks for your comment.. wanna follow each other? let me know dear.. i''ll follow back for sure♥

    http://www.stylecompetiter.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete