The Every Body Is Beautiful Project

3 Ways I'm Finding My Version of 'Healthy'

Ophelia's PlaceComment

We’re all looking to find our version of “healthy.” But what exactly does that mean? To me, it doesn’t mean perfect.  

Redefining what society says is “healthy” has given me so much freedom and happiness. From having the surgery to fix my deviated septum, to hitting the weights at the gym. I only get one body, so I’ve decided I’d like to treat mine with the utmost respect.

When I am at the gym — no matter what I do — I feel great. It has everything to do with my newly found positive outlook. Even if I stay for just a few minutes, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Why? Because I’m doing it for me. No one else made me wake up and get moving today. I did it. I’m not working out to look good for other people. I’m not trying to burn off every calorie I ate the day prior. I’m just taking ownership of my body and doing whatever makes me feel good.

The simplicity of finding your own version of “healthy” is almost too simple, but I am here to tell you it’s possible.

My goal once upon a time was to lose weight — like the vast majority of the world. The media brainwashes us into thinking we only look good if we are skinny. Although I acknowledge the goal of losing weight can be a health goal for some, I don’t think that should be the main focus. If losing weight comes with the goal of you becoming your own version of healthy, then that’s a beautiful thing!

Now — how do you go about changing your mindset around the idea of “healthy?”

1. Drop the negative body thoughts.

Try to accept your flaws. Not only should you try to accept them, but you should try to embrace them. They belong to you. Take ownership.

2. Fall in love with your personality.

We put a lot of pressure on the way we look every day. I have lessened that pressure considerably by choosing to love my goofy, caring and fun-loving personality. Sometimes we can feel like if we look “perfect” that people won’t see the flaws within. The less you rely on your looks, the more you can rely on that shining-star personality of yours. Looks will eventually fade away, and then you are left with only one thing: you. Make sure that is someone you like.

3. Take the things you don’t like about yourself, and work on liking them!

I have a caring heart and I saw this as such a weakness, so I vowed never to show it. I had a tough exterior because I thought it made me strong. I only appeared to be strong, though. In this world, I think showing your feelings is 10 times more courageous than putting up a fake front. I used to make fun of people who showed their sentimental side. Turns out I was just jealous that I didn’t have the guts to show mine. I have since found the courage to outwardly show my feelings and it has been a game-changer for me -- and hopefully it will be for you too.

Take ownership of your body and health and you will feel how liberating it is. Together let’s create a new version of “healthy” — one that takes your happiness seriously.