After a recent bout with a health issue this week that I should have picked up on much earlier than I did, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care. Why is it so hard to take good care of ourselves? Or alternately, why is it so hard for me, when it seems not to be so hard for other people?
I signed up this week for a website called Health Month, as part of my newly renewed determination to get myself into better shape (full disclosure: once I signed up, I realized the site creator was married to a friend of my husband’s, but I have the free membership and have received no preferential treatment or compensation). I have some habits that are good for me– I have never smoked and don’t drink anything alcoholic–but also have some habits that are terrible–I don’t drink enough water or get nearly enough exercise. I’ve had luck giving up unhealthy favorites–I’m two years off caffeinated drinks and have gone about a month without eating potato chips–but still don’t eat enough vegetables. I’m hoping that starting small, with support and motivation through Health Month, that I can start establishing some of the healthier habits that have eluded me for years. If I have success with these, I’m hoping to move onto larger ones. I’m tired of not being in better shape, and I’m tired of feeling guilty and upset about it.
Incidentally, this is one reason I get so frustrated by all the “obesity epidemic rhetoric,” because I have always been at a healthy weight, sometimes even underweight, but my actual health status has fluctuated wildly. I was probably at my unhealthiest and thinnest at the same time, and decoupling weight and health has been part of getting myself to think more seriously about my health, regardless of my dress size.
Do you take good care of yourself? If so, tell me your secret! If not, why do you think that is? Do you neglect yourself unconsciously, or deliberately? What would it take for you to take better care of yourself? What does taking care of yourself mean to you?