Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Health or Wellness?

Hi Everyone!

I have struggled for a while now with my self-esteem during pregnancy. I know that weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy, but I feel like I am becoming an unhealthy whale and not beautiful. I also know that a lot of women suffer from low self-esteem whether they are pregnant or not. I suffered from low self-esteem before I was pregnant and worked hard to get to a point where I was at peace with how I felt I looked. I went for walks, watched my weight, and made an effort to drop down to a comfortable place.

When I think about what I did to get to that place, I have to think to myself, "Was I being healthy?" Years ago I worked out obsessively and gave up my gym membership at the advice of a mental health professional so that I wouldn't go every day of the week for hours on end.

After that, I let myself go for a while and felt miserable. I worked on getting back to where I wanted to be by walking and rollerblading.  I freely admit that sometimes I would forget to eat (food never really interested me) or found it too difficult to eat. The difficulty came from having to eat a gluten-free diet (not by choice, for medical reasons), so it was hard to just grab something on the go.

Nutrition and fitness have always interested me, but now, I find myself wondering what does it mean to be healthy? Is there a difference between being healthy and being well. What is wellness anyway?

I looked in many places for those answers. Although health and wellness are words used interchangeably in society today, I feel like they are two separate things. Reading the different definitions of health and healthy, I think that it is best used to describe the physical body although it at times can include the mind. Usually when someone is viewed as healthy they are free of disease, pain, and injuries. Where wellness is the overall state of someone encompassing all aspects of life and lifestyle including health.

When I started to look at my overall well-being instead of just my health, I realized that I had gone about things all wrong. I was focusing on one thing, weight, instead of the whole picture. I was neglecting the other parts of wellness and even my health. I realized it isn't good for me to look at my weight gain during pregnancy as unhealthy as it is a healthy and natural part of preparing for and nurturing the growing child inside of me. I also realized that simply by recognizing my feelings about gaining weight and the various body changes I am going through is a step toward improving my overall wellness.

After these realizations, I decided that I was going to work on my wellness. I am working on creating several goals for my wellness. I decided to break the goals down into 5 areas and place them under headings that I recognized and felt connected with. I choose to break them down into Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit as I have worked spiritually with these elements and can relate to the aspects of them.

In coming posts, I plan on outlining what these areas means in my journey of wellness and the different goals I have associated with them. I hope you will  join me on this journey.


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