The Woes of ‘Healthy Living’

We’d all like to be a little healthier, but does this mean we have to sign up for the muesli and lyrca-clad culture too? CHARLOTTE HILL explores on our changing concept of ‘healthy’ and tries to make friends with her alarm clock.

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Oh, carrot sticks! This ‘healthy living’ thing is deceptively difficult. In exam term we all try to be virtuous, and healthy living inevitably becomes a hot topic of conversation. But, however important it may be to look after ourselves, it seems to have become more about guilt than granola.

It all sounds so simple; so wholesome; so apple-crunchin’ly good. But, the art of the healthy lifestyle has been made into a complicated business.

For me, ‘healthy living’ conjures up images of white-clad, muesli-eating, yoga-doers on a mountainside. They are serene, and they are beautiful, and apparently they wake up really early. They make me angry.

This is not a lifestyle I can achieve. The word ‘healthy’ just leaves the bitter taste of broken resolutions and post-cake shame in my mouth. As such, all my attempts at healthy living have been disastrous. But, occasionally I tell myself: I will be wholesome. I will be a beacon of all that is pure and virtuous. I will be reborn as a person with some semblance of self-control.

Waking up with the sun is wholesome. Perhaps my previous lack of gusto for early mornings was because I didn’t have the sunrise and a leisurely bowl of muesli to look forward to? My usual duel with Time (otherwise known as the How-Many-‘Five More Minutes’-Can-Happen-Before-I-Actually-Miss-My-Supervision? game) will be replaced by a sprightly leap out of bed. I will greet the day with a yogic sun salutation. My alarm clock will become my friend.