Five (Healthy) Things I Worry About – And Five I Don’t

After writing Wednesday’s post about the whole skinny vs. fat debate, I started having thoughts about some of the other things in my life that either a) drive me bananas, or b) I let completely go in favor of peace and serenity.

Unfortunately, the former list is longer, but still I try to maintain that there are some things in a healthy life that are worth the trouble – but many that just aren’t crucial enough to sacrifice even short-term happiness.  Like what, you ask?

(HEALTH/FITNESS RELATED) THINGS I WORRY ABOUT

5) Getting enough sleep.  If I don’t get six-and-a-half hours of sleep, I’m a monster.  I forget things.  I’m cranky.  All I can think about is when I can sleep again.  I’m starving.  It’s like the worst possible version of myself, all because I didn’t sleep well. I make it a huge priority in my life to sleep early, sleep well, and sleep often.

4) Getting my sweat on.  In addition to the above, I make sure to exercise six out of the seven days of the week (see below).  Exercising is a non-negotiable in my life; even if I am the aforementioned sleep-deprived monster, I can always make myself feel better with a workout – and I truly believe in the now-cheesy line that “exercise is the most potent yet underutilized antidepressant.”

3) Getting my rest on.  Just as sacred as my workouts are my rest days.  I plan my rest day ahead of time, treating it like a special event that I look forward to all week.  On rest days, I get massages, take long baths, lay supine on the couch, and just chill.  My body thanks me for it, and the workouts on the day after rest days are always the best ones.

2) Eating enough vegetables.  Rather than count calories, I worry more about nutrient balance (my “macros,” if you will) and how to get the 7-9 recommended servings of produce into my life.  If I am eating vegetables, I am well – my body functions efficiently, my sleep is better, my skin looks amazing, and yes – I poop.  If I am not, it all goes to pot – starting usually with a breakout and ending with weight gain.  Boo.  Veggies 4 life.

1) Staying lean.  Don’t get it twisted – this is definitely not a skinny thing.  I keep my body fat under 20 percent because that is where I feel my best – my most powerful, my most fit, and my most attractive.  My clothes look their best.  My abs look their flattest.  When I am lean, I can see my muscles and muscles make me happy.  I couldn’t give half a crap about the number on the scale (again, see below) but I monitor my body fat like a doctor.

(NOT AS HEALTH/FITNESS RELATED) THINGS I DON’T WORRY ABOUT

5) Body weight.  I am a person with a “medically normal” body weight and BMI (if you aren’t sure where you fall, check out this easy calculator), and I don’t stress over the scale.  If your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and glucose levels are in order, you shouldn’t either.  Body weight is a relatively useless measure for healthy people; rather, check your body fat percentage, get a blood panel, or simply try running a mile to check on your actual health markers.  It’s liberating to step away from the scale and find out which numbers actually mean something for your overall health.

4) Being perfect.  If you know me, you know I like beer.  Beer and fine food.  Ok, beer and fine food and the occasional bowl of ice cream.  But what I mean by not caring about perfection is that I don’t strive for it – I know that I will eventually order a pizza, or cave in to a fro-yo craving, or eat to explosion on Thanksgiving – and I have already forgiven myself for it.  No person is truly healthy that eats and behaves like an ascetic 100% of the time; I’d rather live my life than wonder what it might feel like.  So I do.  And I’m happy.

3) Getting older.  Especially in L.A., there is a horrible stigma attached to getting older.  Not only the apperance of age; no, people here freak out about the absolutely normal signs of aging (OMG!  my knees crack when I wake up!) and outright refuse to acknowledge either a) their harmlessness or b) their inevitability.  I’m 31, and so far, each year has been better than the last.  I look forward to each and every birthday because I am so confident that the years ahead will bring even greater gifts – I don’t even have kids yet! -and I really do believe that with age comes wisdom – and we could all use more of that.

2) Other people.  As my absolute favorite meme of all time reads, haters gonna hate.  I’ve had people tell me I am too muscular (shoot me), too fat (nope), too tall (hmm, maybe they’re too short?), too happy (seriously!), too smart for my own good (what, exactly, is the good in being dumb?), and too “into” fitness (hi, it’s my job).  And to each and every one of them, I have a four-letter word for the level of interest I have in those critiques.  Live your life, make yourself happy, never harm other people, and do your best.  It works.

1) Money.  Of course I care about money – it makes the world go ’round, right?  But unlike some people, I don’t let it rule my life, make my choices, or most of all, determine my worth.  I am lucky enough to have a fantastic job where I call the shots, I control how much income I make versus how much time I work, and I actually love what I do. The sacrifices I would have to make in the face of cold, hard cash just don’t justify losing the happiness, security, balance, and passion that I have now.  So I do the best with what I earn and remind myself, when the wallet gets thin, that what I have going in my life is all the stuff money can’t buy – and I will never be poor because of it.

What do you worry about?  What things have you learned to just let go?

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