What exactly does "good health' mean??
What is the definition of “good health”? I would start this conversation simply. Do you have a relationship with your own body?
If the answer is yes, what is that relationship like? Is it a kind and reciprocal type of thing? Is it a more punitive thing? Does it feel like your body has a vendetta against you, or is your ally in this messy thing called life? Are you apologizing for your body often as if it is an embarrassing sibling your mom insists you take with you everywhere?
If the answer is no, does it feel like your body does its own thing, regardless of your wishes? Does it feel like it has a will of its own, and you have no tether to it, or the consequences of its functioning? Do you feel at your own body’s mercy?
Our bodies are very much intertwined with our minds in the beginning of our lives. We are built for that reciprocal relationship to maintain homeostasis, or balance in the ever changing landscape that is a life lived. Our bodies react in kind to what our brains feel and perceive. When this communication breaks down, and it often does, the two begin to function without the others input, and nothing the body does seems to makes any sense.
We women are put at odds with our own bodies from the moment we know what we look like in the mirror. In reality women’s bodies are built to be strong, flexible and incredibly resilient. We can carry and deliver small humans for God’s sake. So where does the disconnect happen? It happens when we are told what our bodies look like from the exterior is more important than how they function on the interior.
Every single one of us has a unique body system. Unique in its functioning. Charts like to tell us what we should weigh based upon our height. What our BMI should be. What size clothing we should wear. The truth is each one of us has a healthy baseline that may or may not fall into the parameters of these charts. Our bodies are sexualized according to our shapes. Our sexuality is hijacked from us, dissected, analyzed and spit back at us in an unidentified mass. We internalize this exterior peanut gallery and all of its rules and regs, and begin the inevitable course in disconnecting from ourselves.
I tell my clients often when they have long term dysfunction that no medical professional can seem to diagnose: have you asked your own body what’s going on? Yes. That is what I say. Does this concept seem absurd to you? Asking your own system what exactly is its malfunction? The truth is, when we honor and love our bodies, no matter the shape and size, our bodies honor and love us. The truth is our bodies try and tell us things we should know. Every. Single. Day. When communication breaks down, we simply cannot hear them anymore. So how is a body to get its message to us if we are ignoring it? Through pain and dysfunction.
The road to “good health” begins simply with us consciously re -connecting with our own bodies (health is in quotes because that term means something different for all of our wonderfully unique body systems, and it elicits unfair comparisons to others and thus, more insecurity.) Once we begin this journey to reconciliation with these physical forms that carry us dutifully through this life, we can begin to decipher what we need to feel better. Listen ladies, we have all seen some shit in our lives. What we have experienced determines how we function. The journey will be long, and NEVER linear. But it begins simply and succinctly when we begin to look inward instead of outward for our own individual definition of “good health.”