You are free to be healthy, seriously

 

Rashad Richey

What is health? Is it understood purely by the habits of our physical workout routines, doctor’s visits or dietary commitments? Can our understanding of health expand beyond traditional exercise, eating rituals and trends in our societal comprehension?

Health is defined as being “free” from injury or illness. This “working” definition provides us with a foundational principle of “health” — free. A core tenet of a healthy lifestyle is being free — not only free from injury or illness but also free from judgment, ridicule, self-loathing, doubt and a host of other daily realities we face collectively.

Many people assume if a person exudes a great toned body and well-balanced diet they are healthy, and in a sense they are. Physical health can also have a great impact on mental health, self-esteem and an overall feeling of well-being.

But the truth is we all know someone who has a great workout regime, eats the healthiest foods and works at it daily but may not display the same intensity for health in other areas of their lives — spiritually, relationally or even professionally.

There’s a traditional saying about eating that is worthy of further consideration: “you are what you eat.” In 1942, nutritionist Victor Lindlahr published You Are What You Eat: How to Win and Keep Health With Diet. Even though the phrase was around before Lindlahr published, his book became the vehicle that popularized the notion and made it a household term.

The slogan “you are what you eat” was used to sell products cloaked in the authority of “healthy eating.” Some products being pushed through this hyper-propagandizing were good while others were not. But that did not stop major food companies from connecting their “healthy” product line to the “catchy” phrase. In the 1960s, the term got its second wind during the hippie era.

The food of choice during the ’60s hippie movement was macrobiotic whole food. The flower children co-opted the term and eventually made it their own.

There is a reality in the expression “you are what you eat.” It is clear through science and experience that our eating habits can provide the basis for physical alertness, energy and vitality.

On the other side of that narrative, “bad” eating can do the exact opposite. The question is, are we really what we eat, or are we eating what we are? There is an indisputable connection to who we are as individuals and how that reality translates to our eating preferences.

It seems we are not what we eat, but rather we eat because of what (or who) we are. Some of us eat emotionally while others simply overindulge. Whatever the reason, our eating correlates to our personal conditioning. Once again, if being “free” is the basis for health, we may be wise to consider why our thought-based habits have not freed us to enjoy this health in every facet of living.

Rashad Richey, Ph.D., is a radio personality, television news political commentator, university professor, national speaker, author and editor-at-large for rolling out. Connect with him @Rashad1380 on Twitter, and Rashad_Richey on IG.

Rashad Richey
Rashad Richey

Rashad Richey is a radio personality who can be heard on News and Talk 1380 WAOK weekdays from 10am-1pm and providing political/social commentary on The People's Station V-103. He's also a television commentator for CBS 46 News and Peachtree TV in Atlanta, a university professor, motivator and lover of all things COOL! Rashad Richey, PhD Radio and Television Commentator @Rashad1380 [email protected]

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