The Not-So-Picture-Perfect Road to Health and Happiness

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 14 June 2015
  • 3 minute read
How Finding an Online Community Can Help You Thrive with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

The Not So Picture Perfect Road to Health and Happiness | The Health Sessions

Maybe you noticed that, unlike many other health blogs, you rarely see pictures of me sipping green juice or looking fabulous doing yoga on The Health Sessions or social media.

That’s mostly because I’m a pretty private person, who’s watched one too many episodes of CSI Cyber and Stalker. It’s also because I still have a sneaky suspicion that some yoga poses were invented by gurus with slightly sadistic tendencies. And most of the time, my healthy homemade meals don’t look that Instagram-worthy either. (As if eating my dinner when it’s still warm isn’t hard enough with a one-year old at the table without having to take photos.)

But another major reason for not broadcasting pretty pictures of how fun and glamourous a healthy lifestyle can be, is that I don’t want to come off as a hypocrite.

Because just like you, I struggle with sticking to my healthy habits from time to time. I know what I need to do and how to do it. But real life is rarely as straightforward as many textbook tips suggest.

Some days you’ve got all the right intentions and preparations when life suddenly throws you a curveball – and all your carefully crafted plans go out the window. Some days there’s just no willpower left to resist those potato chips calling your name. No energy to make it to gym class after yet another sleepless night.

Sure, some people will tell us to just stop making excuses, but I have a different view on that. Heck, sometimes choosing the less-than-healthy option can save your sanity – and that’s worth something too.

The irony is, I actually love reading about other people’s attempts to overcome immense obstacles in pursuit of their dreams. When their faith and determination is put to the test, their grit and resilience put into practice.

To me, the moment of success – whether it’s winning an Olympic medal, running a million-dollar start-up or climbing Mount Everest following a broken back – isn’t nearly as interesting as the bumpy road that lead them there. If it were easy, if those outstanding achievements were just a matter of being born with certain talents, we wouldn’t be so by amazed and inspired by them. The triumph lies in the striving, despite the adversities they’ve faced.

When it comes to the important things in life – health, happiness, wisdom, love – it’s progress that counts, not perfection.

So maybe it is worth documenting what a real journey towards a healthier lifestyle looks like. Unfiltered, unpolished, with its ups and downs and the occasional slice of pizza. What it’s like to try to thrive with chronic illness, including the flare-up days and disappointments, but without dwelling on the negative.

It wouldn’t be so perfectly beautiful and perhaps a little less inspiring, but it would be real.

What do you think? And who do you follow online who does just that? 

P.S. Here’s my brand new Instagram account!

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