I recently had someone say that “wellness” is just a term that people use to talk about dieting and looking a certain way and that she wants nothing to do with it. I’m sure she has some things from her past that made her view it that way, but I also realized that there might be other people who misinterpret what “wellness” is…and why it is so important.
First, let me clarify what wellness isn’t:
- Wellness isn’t how you look in a bathing suit
- Wellness isn’t the number on a scale (although that can be a sign that you aren’t well)
- Wellness isn’t being able to run a marathon
- Wellness isn’t depriving yourself from all good foods and only eating kale 😉
What is wellness? Wellness is taking care of the body that God gave you — allowing it to function to it’s fullest potential.
God, in his awesome creativity, gave us bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Contrary to what is shown on TV and the internet, one shape and size isn’t better than another. And athletic ability doesn’t determine our worth…or the money we make. We don’t get to choose the body we have, but it is our responsibility to take care of it.
Let’s say you got a brand new luxury car. Are you going to fill the inside with fast food wrappers, use diesel for fuel, and never get the oil-changed? Of course not! You give it the fuel it needs, you protect the floors and leather inside, and you make sure the engine is running it’s best.
Your body is far more valuable than any car and has WAY more responsibilities that just getting your from place to place. You need to care for you body so that it runs it best — by fueling it with proper nutrients and food, drinking water not sugar loaded beverages, maintaining healthy gut bacteria, etc.
I’m not a fan of diets. God made our bodies to run on carbs, fats, and proteins — there is no need to remove one of them. When we focus simply on weight, we keep our bodies from functioning the way God designed them to run. Does our society need to eat better? YES! Our world is overfed, but undernourished.
So why focus on wellness? I strive for health and wellness so that I can be around to watch my kids grow up AND can engage with them — that I can go play a game of basketball or wiffle ball with them. I want to thrive so that I always have the energy to help and support my family. I’m 42 years old, but feel better than I did in my 20s.
How about you? What motivates you? Why do you need to focus on wellness? Maybe it’s so you can focus at work and not fall asleep on the job. Maybe it’s to get rid of Type 2 diabetes. Maybe you just want to get up the stairs without running out of breath or wake up in the morning without everything hurting. Find your “why” and start working toward those wellness goals. Not because the world tells your to look better. But because you value your body and want to feel better.