Why I’m No Longer A ‘Healthy Living Blogger’

There was a time when I categorized myself as a “healthy living blogger,” or perhaps a “fitness blogger.” It was a time when I worked hard at the gym and ate the cleanest foods possible. I told myself I was the healthiest I’d ever been. I could run faster and lift heavier than ever, and physically was the smallest and most “toned” I’d been in my whole life.

I thought that was the epitome of health. I thought that health was something you could choose. But my definition of health is changing. Because of this, I no longer classify myself as a “healthy living blogger” and believe what is commonly thought of as healthy living is not the true definition of healthy at all.

Health is something you can strive for, but it is not something you have full control over. Health doesn’t stop at good food and exercise. It goes much, much deeper than that.

I really hate the hospital. I know that is a cliche, but there is something about that place that makes me want to turn in the other direction and run as fast as I can.

In the past few months, I have spent many hours a week at the hospital working with my physiotherapist, getting x-rays, cat scans, meeting with surgeons, and of course, sitting in waiting rooms. It makes me feel like a sick person, when on the inside, I don’t feel sick at all. Sitting in those waiting rooms, watching people wheel in and hobble out, it occurred to me that I’ve had this “health” thing all wrong.

It’s not about marathons.

It’s not about calories.

It’s not about how many push-ups you can do.

Because when something really happens to your health, when you are facing a much larger power with no control over your body, everything else feels so small.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t still try our best to eat well and exercise. But I’m also saying that to be truly healthy requires a lot more than that. It’s treating your body well. Not starving it or beating it up by running too much. It’s about knowing when to sleep and knowing when to stay up chatting with your best friend all night. It’s about not letting the little things stress you out. It’s about being with loved ones, getting outside, and doing the things that mentally stimulate you.

And if for some reason, health is still taken away from you, you’ll know you’ve at least fulfilled all of those needs.

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Posted on June 22, 2011, in Health. Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. To me, you are a healthy living blogger, the true one. I’ve followed you before your injury, and I read your posts now, and I love every single one of it. You are such an inspiration to me. I haven’t treated my body right for a few years, hating it, not fueling it properly and exercising more than needed. To read your posts about what actually means to be healthy, and happy, and how we take our health for granted…well, it helps me in my recovery, and it helps me to learn how to love my body properly. How to truly be healthy. Because seriously, there’s so much more to health than being toned and eating the healthiest possible. Thank you :)

  2. This is such a moving post girl. :)

  3. greensandjeans

    If I could hop on a plane right now, fly up to Canada, and give you a hug, I totally would.

  4. Hi Susan!
    So I have been reading your blog for a few months now, but I’m pretty sure this is is my first time commenting. I am really not sure why I have waited so long to say something to you, but you should know that I have enjoyed reading your site and the wonderful posts and pages you have put together and written. Although I did not read all of your posts before your injury, I have been following you since then, and truly admire how you have been dealing with that whole situation. I don’t personally know you, but I can tell you are a strong, determined lady that has has a rather obnoxious/unfortunate/irritating/cruel physical set back but are working through it amazingly.
    I loved this post and felt compelled to say something today. For so long, I have strived to make myself healthy by losing too much weight, restricting, running too much, and constantly depriving myself of what my body needs. I have suffered with disordered eating for so many years now, because I have believed this was the “healthy” way to live. You have helped to show me that healthy really has so many definitions beyond the ones I have focused on and I appreciate you writing about this.
    I truly look forward to reading more!

  5. I love you, I will be there soon! xoxoxoxoxo

  6. The more I think about it, the less I understand the term “healthy living blogger”. If it means that I have to run four miles every day, cut out sugar and eggs and coffee, and beating myself up constantly when I don’t acheive my goals, then yeah, we’re out. But if it means living a life that leaves you as emotionally and physically fulfilled in ways that are unique to our individual situations and not according to anothers’ standards, then to me that’s healthy living.

    I think you are one of the healthiest bloggers around. You are right on!

  7. I think health gets redefined throughout different stages in our life. It changes our perspective.
    I hope that you are able to get through this stage.

  8. I agree with the previous comments- this may not be a “healthy living” blog but you seem to be living in the healthiest way you can (minus all that scan radiation ;-)

  9. I agree with everyone above. This newly gained perspective makes you an even stronger healthy living blogger! Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you’re going to start smoking cigarettes, drinking beer every night, and eating greasy, fatty foods. Injured people need to stay healthy too! You may have to work harder at the physical aspects of healthy living, but you’ll certainly have a lot to share about the mind/body/spirit element of healthy living. To tell you the truth, I’d much rather read about a holistic journey to healthy living than one solely focused on running split times and calorie counting. Please reconsider abandoning your “title.” You are most certainly still a healthy living blogger.

  10. A to the MEN! This is part of the reason I don’t blog much anymore…not sure where I fit in to the whole scheme of things. I mean I have “Healthy” in my dang blog name! I’ve thought so many times of shutting it down but something stops me from it…anyway, I loved this and I LOVE bloggers like you who remind me that I can be “healthy” and drink mimosas on a Tuesday because my work threw me a bridal shower because, some moments you have to take advantage of :-)

  11. I agree with you, and many of the comments. I myself changed my “blogger title” from a healthy living blogger to a balanced living blogger a while back for this very reason. Balance is something that is always accessible, even though the definition of “balance” may change with your health, while the amount of exercise you do or your daily diet is not. :)

  12. Very well said. Health should definitely be more more of a holistic experience than just numbers and lists of good foods and bad foods. Well done!

  13. Love this post so much. So so much. I have never classed you as any “sort” of blogger- I class you as Susan. Someone who grabs chances and opportunities and runs with them and who says “eh” and values family and friends and good times (hello, beer!) and doesn’t beat around the bush and isn’t afraid to talk honestly and openly. Which is what makes you human and why I love your blog and think you are amazing. because you are real and that is what health is about to me- living life and that goes well beyond a number of miles or reps or cups of spinach in a smoothie. Sure, we do our best to look after our bodies but it’s not the be all and end all because why do it if we aren’t going to USE those bodies to LIVE out our dreams and passions and ride the waves of life, which are turbulent and rocky…it’s times like that when the looking after your body as best as you can switches focus from tricep dips to clinging to the surfboard, holding your breathe and doing whatever it takes to get by. And at those times, the healthiest dinner might be a pint of ice cream with your best friend or a night out eating kebabs and drinking beer. Mental health is so often overlooked when people picture “healthy living” bloggers, IMO. It’s easy to take care of yourself when life is going smoothly- what defines people as healthy, in my mind, is the bigger picture. I used a pie chart when I was doing life coaching of “balanced” life which was the focus (NOT ‘health) and physical was the same size as as productivity, relationships, emotional health. I think it’s important to keep those pieces in perspective- health comes when they are balanced. And that’s why I love (picked!) your blog name.

    And whaddya know? A long and rambly comment for a change!

  14. I think balance is the key to healthy living. I also have abused my body – exercising it too much, stopping it from eating the types and amounts of food that it needs, criticizing it. Those things are not healthy, you are absolutely right. Thank you for the eye opening post.

  15. loved this! i think about this kind of thing a lot…that health really is about so much more than physical fitness, PRs and how far you can run. It’s a whole approach to life!

  16. Wonderful post! And you’re so right.

    I’m just starting to learn that being healthy is only partly about what you eat and how you move, it’s also about what you think and what you believe; it’s about what you say to yourself in the mirror in the morning; it’s about what you do and who you love and it’s about where you’re going.

    Take care of yourself – sending good thoughts your way.

  17. I am so sorry you are going through all of this! Is there an update on the current problem?

    I went through something like this a few years ago–I was close to reaching my goal weight, I was healthy, I was slender, I was active and felt GREAT. Then I found a lump in my breast. It’s funny how quickly you can go from feeling great to feeling “sick” when you’re not sick at all. Luckily for me it wasn’t cancer and the lump was removed fairly easily but it certainly took the wind out of my sails.

  18. I absolutely love this post!

  19. I hear ya on this one! When people ask me about what my blog is I say “it’s about everything”. It’s about healthy living. It’s about fitness. It’s about stress. It’s about my ups and downs. It’s about my life. And in knowing you and knowing what you’re going through, I’d say that your blog is about life, every aspect of it. Healthy or not.

    Right now I’m going through some issues with my “healthy lifestyle” and I know you’re struggling with your injuries, but keep your chin up! It will get better!

  20. I think you make a great healthy living blogger because you enjoy life! It makes you much easier to relate to! I love when you share junk food treats or admit that you drank way too much. It makes for much better reading than hearing someone had just one small pour of wine or one bite of cake and called it a night!

    Hope you get some answers on your current health issues!

  21. Amen. I have been in the hospital, I have taken a billion CT scans. Nothing could explain why my hair was falling out and why I had lymph nodes the size of golf balls. And I was at a pretty “healthy” weight of 130, since that day I have put on the pounds, 145, 150, 160 and 170. I feel perfectly fine…. life is weird. Enjoying it is the only thing that we have control over.

  22. I agree with you 100%. I live a “healthy” lifestyle, but realized that I have to focus more on just eathing right and exercising. It’s about balancing your entire life mental, physical, etc. And that means a glass of wine every know and then, with a side(or 2)of cake!

  23. Great post. I’m really struggling with this right now. I’ve considered myself to be “healthy” for so long… but recently realizing I’m not healthy at all has been really disturbing. I question everything I do and have been doing for years now, stuff that I always thought was good for me… but maybe its not. Its confusing when the things I thought I was doing for the sake of health, were actually causing so much damage…

  24. I love this post…so much!

  25. Maybe just being a blogger living a full life? No need to pigeonhole yourself or feel excluded from being a ‘healthy living’ blogger.

  26. I concur. Love it Susan. Wise soul you are my friend. A very wise soul. :)

  27. I just saw your tweets. I am tearing up for you over here. You are so, so, right about this. I have watched my Dad go through MULTIPLE health problems the last few years – real health problems. Open heart surgery, a brain tumour and now a degenerative disc in his back that makes it so he can barely walk. Health is not about the calories or the marathons, it’s a MUCH MUCH bigger picture than that.

    I am sorry you are going through this. I can’t even imagine how you must feel. My heart aches for you. Sending every good thought and prayer I have your way.

  28. Susan, you are such an inspiration! There is so much beyond our control. Even a diet and exercise guru cannot control genetic/environmental/other factors.

  29. And today of all days, this post rings even more true than ever. Like 100 times more so. After I heard about your tentative diagnosis of lymphoma, I really did question if it really mattered how many calories that stupid tortilla has. Or how many calories I burned today. I’m sending you every strengthening/loving/healing thought I have in my body.

  30. You gave me the chills. It’s the things we cannot control that put the rest of our lives into perspective. You have been hit with two really serious blows recently and I think that what will get you through all this is your maturity and wisdom. I have seen you grow over the years and you have learned so much about yourself and what it takes to really have an awesome life. You have gone after your dreams, set and achieved goals and accomplished so much in the short time I have known you. I am so glad you are who you are-you are so mentally stable and mature, and I know that you will be able to handle these bumps in the road better than anyone. That said, I am still really sorry all this shit is happening to you.. and if karma is real, then why you? Blah. I love you to the end of time and back again.

  31. sheesh, i think your words just spoke to everyone! There are things we can’t will NEVER be able to. To look past this and go deeper that “superficial” health is so important. I am taking your words and holding them tight.

  32. I love this post. Thank you. Beautifully written.

  33. Wow. This is probably one of the best posts I’ve ever read. I just stumbled across your blog and I’m keeping you in my prayers for a speedy recovery.
    Take care,
    Megan

  34. Perfectly said. And so very true. Thank you. I will be thinking of you and wishing you all the best

  35. very nice post :) everything has a reason and know that whatever happens to you, there is SOMEONE GREATER behind this all and HE is in control so for now, just TRUST HIM. :)

  36. this is a beautiful post lady :) you have much to be proud of and my heart and hugs go to you! you’re strong and beautiful and will beat the living ape shiznat of whatever comes your way!

  37. Great post.

    Thank you for being so honest and adding so much perspective.

    Sending positive thoughts your way!

  38. best.post.ever. my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  39. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post….thank you!

  40. Very well said, Susan. I just read Janetha’s post from yesterday that linked to this article and I really enjoyed reading it. Regarding your recent diagnosis, I’m SO sorry. My aunt recently found out she has breast cancer [and is undergoing treatment as we speak], and the news absolutely devestated me and our entire family. Know that I am sending you a big hug and I pray that your treatment goes smoothly and that you overcome this and come out better for it on the other side.

    Hugs, Dana

  41. Hey, stopping by after doing a google search on blogging as a whole…
    Thanks for the insight…haven’t been feeling myself lately, and your post let me reflect on what I’ve been doing as a person.
    I don’t know if it’s me, or if it’s the people around me (actually, now that I think about it, I think it’s both!), but I feel a LOT better after reading about the fact that I can do something about it.
    The bit about the right mental stimulus really hit home. Sure, it might take loads of effort to try to stop thinking over things, or see things in a more positive light, but I’ll definitely try. Super-duper enlightenment with your post.

    Thank you.

  42. Wow, this is a very intense blog post. I agree with everything you’ve said 100%. The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is not just something that people made up. I read an article a few years ago that said when you laugh your body produces more white blood cells which helps fight off infection… so there is some truth to that. Anyways, you’re post has really touched me and if you’re interested you should check out this website: http://www.hippocratesinst.org/category/recovery There are articles and stories about people who have recovered from some sort of disease or transformed their lives with “healthy living”. You might find them interesting.

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