What is health?

As part of my coursework today, I was asked to answer the question “what does health mean to you?”

I used to think it meant being really physically well, strong and fit enough for triathlons, having trained and exercised and fuelled my body with the right nutrition to be in ‘peak health’.  To be lean and fresh.

And yet if you had asked me 6 months or so after my first triathlon, when I was still physically fit enough, my mental capacity and emotional wellbeing were totally off.  No amount of running and eating wholesome food was going to make me have the energy and wellbeing that I would have considered myself to be in good health.  I was lean, too lean perhaps but desperately unhappy.  I didn’t look or feel healthy at all.

And that is where my answer came from.  To me, health directly relates to my happiness.  When I am happy, everything else is good;  my fitness levels, my eating habits, my relationships, my social life, work and contribution all feels good and in alignment with my values and I have absolute confidence and faith that everything is all working out just as it was meant to.

This last year has taught me that.  In my pursuit of happiness in the darkest of days, I have learnt many lessons.  Yes, happiness is a state of being.  And yes, it is great when you can choose to be happy.  But sometimes, you have to let everything else fall away and allow yourself to heal the hurt, let time pass in order to restore emotional harmony with head and heart and finally, mental clarity lights the spark of energy, of joy, of peace, of happiness.  And to me, that is health.

And green juice, red juice and any colour of the rainbow juice on top is the icing on the health cake of life!

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