What Kind of "Health Person" Are You?
Food For Thought.....
In my years researching nutrition and health, as well as my time spent as a Nutrition Consultant working with various clients, I've come across a variety (and I mean variety) of people who view health in such different ways.
It never ceases to amaze me how some people come up with their "conclusions" about their health. I've decided to categorize these individuals into five main groups.
Which one do you fall into?
1.) The Health Nut
We all know someone in this category, right? Characteristics of a Health Nut include:
- An "all or nothing" approach to their foods. In other words, they cannot even look at French fries because they are BAD.
- They over-consume "health" foods, such as organics and natural foods, that a non-natural food on occasion is considered POISON.
- They exercise every day for the fear that they will contract a disease or illness if they miss just one day.
- They spend entirely too much at the health food store on supplements that they "think" their body needs, since they guarantee "good health."
- They shun others who "know nothing" about good health.
- They are frowned upon at family gatherings because they can't eat "anything" that is offered because, you guessed it, it's POISON.
- They exhibit severe control over their loved ones to the point their loved ones are found hiding in the garage binging on Slim Jims
- They are likely to feel deprived and miserable.
Why do I know so much about this category? Because I was once in this group. Scary, I know.
2.) The Healthy AND Educated
This group is a little less strict, but still incredibly aware of their health needs. Characteristics of this group are:
- A constant strive to consume the most healthy and wholesome foods available
- A knowledge that whole foods are the best choice, when heavily processed foods should be avoided as much as possible.
- A drive to learn more, by researching new foods, reading ingredients, and being their own health advocate
- A desire to exercise for good health alone; exercising in moderate amounts, allowing for days of rest
- Allowing treats occasionally, since being deprived is likely to lead to feeling unhappy
- Knowing that an occasional French fry (preferably the homemade version) is okay once in a while
- The ability to lead others toward a healthy lifestyle appropriately, including children
This group is the group that I fall into. I feel it offers the most benefits, such as having a clean bill of health, feeling good, and being happy. In addition, it allows for an open-minded approach to new health issues and promotes gaining new knowledge about health and nutrition.
3.) The 50-50 Person
This group is an interesting one because they teeter on the fence when it comes to their health. Characteristics of this group include:
- Having a good idea of the appropriate foods to eat, but those foods don't always end up in the grocery cart.
- A belief in false labels on foods, such as "FAT FREE!" or "NO SUGAR!" means healthier (yes, these are the ones that still believe that Diet Soda is a good choice)
- When faced with a healthy food versus one that isn't healthy, they opt for the unhealthy one saying, "Well, I know I shouldn't be eating this, but it is just so good......" Only later to say, "Ow....my guts are hurting, I shouldn't have had that double cheeseburger and fries!"
- Consumption of fruits and vegetables in a moderate amount, but not every day.
- Focusing on some good foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, but dismissing the knowledge of food problems, such as GMO's, pesticide usage, and additives in foods* (See more information below on this)
- Sometimes, this group will be found saying, "Oh, I didn't know that food dyes were not good for my children!" or "I trust the FDA!"
4.) The It-Doesn't-Matter Group
This group usually riles me up the most, and I often find myself having to hold my tongue so I don't get into an all out brawl with them. Characteristics of this group include:
- Making absolutely NO connection between the food they eat and their state of health.
- A believe that their "family history" of disease is what ultimately triumphs any effort toward making their lifestyle any healthier.
- A belief that excessive fried foods and meats have no effect on their arteries
- A reliance on medication for issues that can be managed through better lifestyle choices
- A strong belief that when it is "their time to go" then it's their time to go (now don't get me wrong, it is okay to believe this; however, I feel that even if it is your time to go, your "journey" along the way should be one that is filled with fewer health issues and less aches and pains, don't you agree?)
Know anyone in this group? I can think of several and it's important that I stay FAR AWAY from them!
5.) The I Don't Cares
Ah, I don't have much to say about this group, since they are the most interesting. I can't even argue with them! Some characteristics of this group are:
- A lack of care for what enters their body
- A little bit of knowledge on what they "should" be eating and what exercises they "should" be doing, but it is met with apathy
- A belief that "If it is good, then I'm eating it" regardless of the health consequences later
- A belief that healthy food taste gross
- The most exercise this group gets is to and from their car (or to and from their fridge)
- A belief that the movement toward organic foods and other food industry problems are all a conspiracy
Like I said, I can't even argue with this group because they just don't care.
It is easy to confuse Group #4 and #5 since they share some similar traits. The main difference between the two is that Group #4 sometimes cares about their health, but doesn't really see the connection between their lifestyle and health. Group #5 simply does not care.
If you've found yourself in one of these categories, great! Can you move about the groups in a course of a lifetime, yes you can! Do you need to make changes?
*In relation to Group #3, I have some interesting information that comes from my community Facebook page (Eat Well To Live Well):
- I usually post health tips and information 2-3 times a week. I can view the amount of people who have viewed the specific post and who has shared it as well. Currently, I have 320 followers.
- In the past month, I have posted information on various topics. When I posted about the health benefits of asparagus, magnesium, and proper thyroid function in relation to foods, I had well over 250 views of these posts! Great, right? Well........When I posted information about Genetically Engineered Salmon and signing petitions to keep additives out of dairy, fewer than 80 viewed the posts! WHAT?!
- So, I am concluding that these people want to care about their health and enjoy knowing that specific foods are good for them, but when faced with larger issues, such as our poor food industry and the drive for the FDA to eventually poison everyone, they are in denial and want to push the topics under the rug. I DON"T GET IT!
Here's to your good health....hopefully!