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How Healthy Are You?

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By: Dustin Kebre, M.A.; LMFT EMDR

 

I am a Psychotherapist and my job is to help people be healthy. Healthy is such a relative term. An appropriate therapeutic question to this topic would be what does it mean to be healthy? The answer to this question is essential to answering the first one. Confused?  

Well, I believe health is a subjective meaning, that as humans beings we all have varying opinions of what being healthy looks like. Are we physically healthy, spiritually, mentally, socially, vocationally or emotionally healthy? We may place different levels of value in each of these categories. Additionally, we must acknowledge health is relative as well. It could be possible that we believe we are healthy when in fact we are not. This simple statement hits at the heart of what it means to be healthy and answers the question if you are in fact healthy. 

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist , my job is to encourage people to find the ways in their life that mirror healthy decisions and choices that lead to overall wellness and happiness. It would make sense that I have to mirror what that looks like in order for me to help people do the same.  I need to be healthy as well (at least mentally).

I recently started a diet and have successfully lost 10 lbs. in a week which medically is supposed to be impossible, but did happen. I am feeling really good and I am eating clean. I also play multiple sports such as softball, tennis, basketball and golf. I consider myself an athlete; however, when I underwent a body analysis of my fat levels in relation to my height and weight my numbers reflected someone who is unhealthy. It is somewhat upsetting and disheartening considering how I feel and how hard I am working. 

I started to think about and sit in these feelings. I started to think back about all of the wonderful times I have had and all the victories in the sports that I played, the happy moments with my wife and kids. All of this time I believed I was healthy, but when it came down to facing true reality in regards to my body I was not healthy. In that moment I answered the question or at least identified an important concept as it relates to mental health. I realized that we normalize the unhealthy dynamics of our life; meaning we are involved in our own personal denial and we are unconscious to the inevitable truth of how unhealthy we truly are. This delusion keeps us trapped. Once I made this discovery, my attention turned to others and acknowledged the same difficulties in realizing their unhealthy behaviors and how they are hurting themselves. They fall into the same illusion. It is equally as difficult for someone who has become of aware of their unhealthiness and is implementing interventions to make those necessary changes in order to be healthy. 

One must first come to grips with the facts related to the unhealthy parts of ourselves and our own contributions to them. Finally, we must be willing and ready to make those changes. All of which is a difficult road which the majority of us struggle with. Good news is you are not alone. I always say "slow and steady wins the race."  The process of change is a long road which forms over time. Looking inward, not having all the answers; rather asking questions are the first step to positive change to being healthy! 

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