Healthy living is often broken down into pieces. You read and hear of different fad diets, trendy exercises, and the next “new” idea. You can read a whole book on a particular way of eating, a specific workout, or some other specific thing aimed at leading you to optimal health. Many of these ideas and recommendations are valuable, but by themselves fail to produce the overall improvements you are looking for. Anytime you break things down into pieces, you lose the value these pieces have in the “whole.”
You have heard me refer to the “wellness lifestyle” many times. This lifestyle is a way of living, day in and day out. It is not about eating a healthy meal here, and doing a workout there, but tying all of your actions to a philosophy congruent with living well.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Wellness is not an act, but a habit! Buying all organic foods one week, but eating fast food three days a week is not wellness. Joining a gym, but never going is not wellness. Donating money or time to a good cause, but treating your server in a restaurant like dirt is not wellness. Buying organic foods, joining a gym, and donating your time and money are all acts. Making wellness a habit requires more.
I do not want to keep you from engaging in wellness “acts,” but you will find it much easier and more productive when making wellness a habit.
Think about your body parts. Your heart is an amazing organ. It pumps 2000 gallons of blood through your body every day. Now think about your lungs. They contain approximately 1,500 miles of airways and millions of little sacs that allow us to get the oxygen we need and allows us to get rid of the carbon dioxide that we don’t. You also have approximately 640 muscles, which contract and relax allowing us to lift, bend, run, and jump, and create all of your movements. Each and every body part is amazing and vital, but alone is useless. It is the sum of all of the parts that gives you your amazing body. All of these parts work together to create you. You can work, climb, love, and think because of all of your body parts work together in harmony.
Wellness is a lot like that. Eating whole, real foods is great, but without regular exercise, you come up short. If you exercise daily, but hate your job, you cannot be fully well. Being kind and generous with others is excellent, but if you overeat and pollute your body with toxins, you can’t get the benefits wellness has to offer. If you eat well, exercise regularly, but constantly berate yourself, then you are not truly healthy.
Do not get consumed with one aspect of wellness. Try not to get caught up in the “acts” of wellness. It is not only about the meal you had today or the workout you did yesterday. The “whole” is more than just the sum of its parts. Grasp the wholeness of wellness.