Health is 100% Personal

You’ve likely heard the saying that weight loss is “80% Nutrition and 20% Exercise.” While this may be true (that what you eat plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise), I believe that most individuals that desire weight loss truly desire health more. They want to reduce the aching in their knees and back, they want to reverse diabetes or heart disease or an autoimmune condition, or they want to minimize their risk for getting diseases. While the surface goal may be to look better, the underlying root is often deeper and can also help them persist past challenges.

Health, however, is 100% personal. It is something that is not always related to weight loss, either. Everyone’s version of health and path to it can vary greatly. Just like we have different hair or skin color and we come in a variety of sizes, so too do we have different degrees of health. For some, health looks like optimal bloodwork, no disease, a body that works in all ways, and little dysfunction. For others, they are managing their dysfunctions as best they can, working with what they have, and surviving another day.

I think we all wish that our health was determined by our habits, but unfortunately cancer/autoimmunity/name your disease doesn’t care about the habits you have. Health can also change in an instant – one minute an individual is running a marathon and the next they are getting a heart attack. Disease has no prejudice and sometime no warning.

We have to treat health as something that is very individual. Habits can improve health and reduce the risk of getting disease, but everyone’s path to their version of health will look very different. So therefore everyone’s habits for health are individual and must be personalized.

If someone has been working out for years and is trying to add on more muscle or perform a certain exercise, their habit change will look different than someone that has never done formal exercise or lifted a weight. There is nothing wrong with either situation, just that each person will have a different goal based on where they are at right then and there.

So often, there are goals thrown out there that supposedly everyone should be doing – like 10,000 steps a day, drinking half your body weight in ounces, eating 3 or 5 or 2 meals a day. While these aren’t terrible goals, the shame in the should is brought out when someone who is only walking 2,000 steps a day tries to aim for 10,000/day their first week, only to fail at the huge increase in movement. Getting healthier is all about slowly improving upon the habits that you have to make a better version of YOU, not try to keep up with someone else.

Walking in the forest with my son

All that to say, don’t feel you have to keep up with Joneses – even in regards to your health. When you are ready to change, make a goal that will make you 1% better, such as going for 5 minutes longer on your walk, going to bed 10 minutes earlier, or adding 1 more vegetable to your dinner. Give yourself room to grow!

Have a goal that you need help working towards? Do you need to adjust your eating habits? I can help! Go to my main page to schedule an introductory call to learn more.

Published by Megan Salazar, RDN CSSD

Megan Salazar is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with over 8 years experience with coaching individuals towards more healthful lives. She loves sharing the potential greatness that individuals can achieve through food, movement and lifestyle. When she's not working with individuals or learning more, she is at home with her husband, 3 kids, and 2 dogs. She loves cooking, baking, and exercising.

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