Getting sick is no fun. At one point in my life, I was living alone. No one was there to taking care of me. Once when I got sick, I went to the clinic all by myself. It was a total disaster – the “journey” from my bed, to my car porch, to the doctor’s, I vomited twice. It felt horrible.
After I recovered from my sickness, I decided to take good care of my body. I want to be fit, active, and healthy. Because falling sick is the worst feeling ever.
However, this change in lifestyle has made me see society in a different light.
I noticed that I was surrounded by a society that has a majorly misguided notion that being healthy is no fun.
Living in Malaysia is wonderful. Living in a country that has some of the best food in the world, you will never face dying of starvation (unless you really refuse to eat anything). However, being the health-conscious one, I always felt like an outcast. I thought that I was weird for not joining the food-lovers bandwagon. Fortunately, it also gave me get a clearer look at how the current generation perceives healthy living.
When I was undergoing my undergraduate studies, my friends and I always went out to eat. I tend to avoid fast-food and all-you-can-eat buffets. I frequented hawker stalls, at least those kinds of places have slightly healthier options.
However, people started calling me “no fun” or complain that I am too picky, saying that I should not be bothered about my food intake because they claimed that I am not fat (I am 5ft 2, and I can fit a S size legging so it’s not as if I’m particularly overweight).
Of course, once in a blue moon it is okay to eat French fries but consuming too much of unhealthy food could cause constipation. I have a low metabolism rate, therefore I prefer food that contains high fiber. I refuse to fill my stomach with high density lipids and fructose sugar with fast food, or stuff myself to become a big bloated balloon by eating at a buffet. They think that I refuse to have fun, when in fact I will feel tortured and physically ill if I choose to follow their eating lifestyle.
Most of us have always been encouraged to engage in an active lifestyle. I love waking up early in the morning to either go for a run or work out in the gym. However, it’s become a laughing matter to certain people.
“Isn’t weekends when you’re supposed to sleep longer?”
I am aware that it is important to have enough sleep but that does not mean that I should misuse my weekends to oversleep and forgo my work out regime. In fact, I think weekends are a wonderful time to have healthy activities because I usually have more time to have longer workouts.
“You are not fat, why do you want to exercise?”
I choose to exercise because I want to be healthy. The gym is built for people who want to be physically fit and healthy, not only for people who want to lose weight. There are so many benefits like preventing heart disease and building healthy bones, and of course, gaining a lean body with a good immune system.
“You already have a boyfriend, why do you want to work out?”
I was told that I should not be concerned about physical appearances anymore because I don’t have to attract anyone’s attention. This judgement is wrong and unreasonable. We work out not just for a better body shape, but also to lose fat and gain muscle mass and increase our self confidence.
“You can’t have health problems, you’re not fat.”
I told them that my cholesterol level is not at the optimum range; therefore, I need to watch my food intake and exercise. In return, I was judged. They doubted me and said: “It’s not possible because you are not fat!” This is one of the most common misconceptions about cholesterol. It is true that overweight people tend to have higher levels of bad cholesterol; however a thin person could have high cholesterol too. Body weight and shape are not your health’s determining factor.
Being healthy is difficult and requires sacrifice of time and guilty pleasures. But when you find an activity that you enjoy doing, it feels wonderful. Sure, healthy lifestyles may need tremendous willpower, but once you begin stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time. And the benefits are so worth it.