Stop the Madness! Let’s Focus on the Good We’re Doing with Our Health

happinessI’ve been feeling a little down lately.

Don’t worry—everything is fine, better than fine. Life is good. But I haven’t been able to keep up my fitness and eating like I usually do. And honestly, I’ve felt a little disappointed with myself.

You see, I’m now 20 weeks pregnant. I’m getting backaches when I run too long or too far, even though I feel pretty good while I run. While I used to round out 35+ mile running weeks, I’m lucky now to get in 15 on a good week. Instead of butt-kicking hot yoga, this morning I went to “therapeutic yoga”—apparently for people with health challenges over age 65.

My food aversions haven’t completely gone away, which means I don’t always choose super-healthy food options. Sometimes I reach for ice cream sandwiches. (I give myself a slight pass since the brand we buy is organic with real ingredients…but, I mean, it’s still junk food.) I’ve felt guilty for indulging so often. Usually, I have more self-control.

Then, while doing all this feeling bad about myself, I stopped.

I thought, Hey, isn’t this what real health is about?

I started this blog on the foundation that we’re all human and can all be healthy. Sometimes health looks a little different than in other stages of our lives. I realized that instead of chiding myself for the things I’m doing wrong, I needed to take into account what I’m doing right.

I’m running 15 or so miles a week and I’m 20 weeks pregnant. I mean, booyah! Right?!

I make a lot of great food choices every day. For every ice cream sandwich or dark chocolate bar there are maybe ten really healthy, nourishing foods I’ve eaten. I have a healthy green smoothie for breakfast almost every day. Just yesterday, I had a delicious homemade curry over brown rice for dinner (thanks, hubby!).

I take excellent whole food prenatal vitamins, vitamin D and DHA (almost) every single day.

I make sure to get eight hours of sleep almost every night.

I foster good emotional relationships with my friends and family and have a strong, supportive  network of people I really, really care about.

When I started looking at it that way, I realized, I’m doing pretty good. Don’t you think?

How about you? How often do you focus on all of the things you’re doing wrong with little attention to the great choices you’re making every day to support your health and longevity? How many times have you silently regretted eating a doughnut or felt guilty missing the gym for the second time in a row?

And we do it with our kids, too. How often have you handed your child a processed or sugary snack, feeling guilty knowing it should be an apple instead? How many times and ways each day do you feel bad about a parenting decision? I know I do. I easily forget about the good choices my husband and I make every day for our daughter and tend to zero in on the not-so-great ones.

Let’s stop this madness. Instead, can we all take a moment and reflect on the things we’re doing right? Even if those things are few and far between, they are there. Let’s shine a light on the good we’re doing, the wonderful decisions we make on a daily basis to make life better.

I’m not advocating ice cream sandwiches, even if they’re delicious. But I am advocating cutting ourselves a break. If you’re doing your best to live a great, healthy life, then kudos to you. Things will slip through here and there, and that’s OK.

Real health is about doing our best but knowing that, as humans, our lives and choices aren’t always perfect. They’re real.

I promise to start focusing on the good—how about you?

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