Don’t be “healthy”. Be healthy.

Do you consider yourself healthy?

The odds increase if you’re reading this post. But the probability of an individual being sincerely healthy is low.

I’m not simply talking about being free of the flu. Though many people contract that regularly.

I’m talking about overall health. True health. Healthy health, not sick health.

In 2012, over one third of people were medically classed as obese.

I’m also not only talking about not being overweight or obese. However, depending upon where you live, the chance of having a healthy weight is low. In 2012, over one third — 35.3% — of people were medically classed as obese.

Health spreads farther than not being obese and not having the flu. Being healthy means:

  • not depending on stimulants to wake up in the morning;
  • not needing a handful of medications to function each day;
  • not succumbing to allergies every spring.

It means not chowing down on processed salt, sugar and fat day in and day out.

Sometimes it’s difficult to class individuals into camps of healthy and unhealthy. Even more challenging is classing teenagers and young adults. It seems as if teens have energy to stay awake until 3am. Then wake up at 7am the next day for school. They seemingly inhale mountains of chips, cookies and cakes. They chug cans upon cans of sugary juice, soda and sports drinks. Some even excessively consume alcohol. And yet, they can seem to gain no weight at all despite their horrid habits.

Being thin or having the ability to play a sport doesn’t imply health

Starving yourself to stay lean doesn’t make you healthy. And exercising to burn off all the junk food you eat doesn’t alter the detriments or improve nutrition.

Countless are confused about what healthy is.

It’s all too easy to compare your health to others’. I’m healthy because I’m not obese like that person. I’m healthy because I don’t have diabetes like him. Or I’m healthy because I don’t eat meat like her.

Nearly half of people get cancer.

These characteristics don’t inherently make you healthy. Being healthy is about overall actions, not single attributes. You’re not healthy because you eat salad or don’t eat chocolate.

You may not have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, acne, digestive problems or any other symptoms of unhealthiness. This is sometimes true for teens and young adults.

If an overall healthy lifestyle is not adopted, the likelihood of contracting one or more health problems is high. In the US over 40% of people will contract cancer at some point in their life. That’s nearly half of all people.

Add that to the high rate of obesity. Plus one third of Americans die from heart disease. Based on national statistics there’s a good probability you’ll suffer one of these chronic illnesses.

Do you still believe you’re healthy?

There are numerous other ailments to suffer from. Diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, dementia, depression. All of these ailments correlate with or are caused by poor lifestyle.

Being unhealthy does sound a little scary.

Judge your health on an overall scale. Judge your health by how you feel now versus how you could feel. I bet that if people knew how marvelous they could feel, they’d be extremely dissatisfied with their current level of health.

You can’t think of yourself as healthy when you’re at risk for heart disease or suffer excess weight, depression, arthritis or allergies.

Stop comparing yourself to others in a sick society. It says nothing to be healthier than a sick person. By imagining how superb we could feel, we motivate ourselves to become the healthiest we can be. Truly healthy.

  • Updated a couple of years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.