Being content with our body’s version of healthy


Jessica Powlen, Staff Writer

I’m sure we have all felt some sort of pressure to physically look a certain way.  Especially with the social media we have today, it’s very difficult not to look at other men and women and think: I need to look like that.  Then, you most likely start telling yourself you will start eating less until you accomplish this…but that plan usually doesn’t last even 30 seconds because you can’t bear the thought of going without those potato chips or the 10 piece chicken nuggets from McDonald’s.  However, this issue has recently become much more prominent and more teens and adults are bombarded with that certain pressure to “be healthier.”

This issue of “being healthier” isn’t even about being healthy at this point.  Now, it seems to be about fitting that “perfect body” image and looking exactly the way we need to be, in order to be accepted by society.  Truly, being healthy is so much more than having less on your plate and working out daily.  Though those may be beneficial, they’re only a fraction of what your body’s version of healthy requires.  Some other factors to consider: Are you relaxing daily?  Do you sleep enough?  Are you hydrated?  Do you go throughout the day with positive or negative thoughts?  Believe it or not, these things play a major role in how “healthy” you are.

Healthy is defined as having a sound mind, body, and spirit.  However, our society today is quick to exclude the mind and spirit and only incorporate the body.  Being healthy is not all about how much you weigh, or if you have an hourglass figure, or if you have abs.  The truth is, people can be healthy at different weights and everyone’s “healthy” is different.  Body sizes are all different and unique, but, for some reason, we have it locked into our minds that there are only certain body types that are healthy and attractive.  Individuals can be the same height, weight, eat the same amount of calories, exercise the same amount daily, and yet their body’s can still look completely different from one another.  This is due to the fact that our body sizes are determined by so much more than just our exercise habits and diets.  

Another big reason as to why everyone’s bodies vary is because of genetics.  Many people don’t realize that they can exercise for hours a day, eat no more than 1,000 calories per day, but their bodies will not change because of their genetics.  Each individual’s body may require more or less nutrition because each person’s health requirements may differ and are unique.  Our genetics are set up so that our body’s will be healthy when treated as such.  However, when we are “healthy” to the extreme, because we have that set image of “healthy” for ourselves, we can really damage our bodies and can lead to other health problems.

Due to our physical-appearance focused society, there is so much insecurity and confusion over why everyone can’t look the same certain way.  We need to understand that all body types are unique and are all different in their own healthy way.