A healthy body is like… a fridge that has everything in it. Fruits, vegetables, water, meat, soda, snacks, etc. A brand new refrigerator that has everything in it except hot water – being powered up with the right amount of electricity to do its job. Whether you are an athlete, a gym instructor, a yogi, an entrepreneur, an office worker, or  a wife or a househusband, having a healthy body is essential in order for us to do our daily tasks and responsibilities. But how do we know what a healthy body is? What does a healthy body feel like, look like?

Comparing a healthy body to a brand new fridge is kind of a low blow. A healthy body is more than just a thing that doesn’t know what’s an apple and an ice cube – which one needs to be frozen and which one doesn’t. A healthy body is not something that only goes by how the body looks. “Oh, she’s fit because she’s thin”. “He looks obese!” “I bet you are malnourished already. Just look at how slim you are!” “How did she die? She had a healthy lifestyle and was so active. How come?” Our appearance may tell us that someone is healthy or not. If someone’s too thin – we often tell them that that person is malnourished. If someone’s too fat – we often tell them they are overweight or obese. Yes, that often may be true at some point. But little do we know that there’s more than what meets the eye. It’s the body composition that we need to consider looking at. There are people who are naturally thin even if they eat a lot. I’ve seen and met a lot of people who are like that. They eat like there’s no tomorrow but don’t gain weight. On the other hand, there are people who eat a lot but they gain weight easily. Hence, they tend to gain fat and oftentimes have a hard time controlling their food intake and being fit. Why is that so? It’s pretty obvious that it has something to do with – again – our body composition. And when we say body composition, we are talking about the body’s “core components: fat, protein, minerals, and body water.”

Each of us is different. We are unique in every way. For example, we have person A and person B. Both of them are in their late 20s. Both are active. They both go to the gym. They have a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious food. However, person A often feels fatigued and person B has thinning hair. How is that so? They both look fit in our eyes. Here comes the body composition. Even though both of them are actively working out, eating vegetables and other healthy stuff, when you check their body composition, are they able to meet what their body needs? I’m not a nutritionist or a health expert. But I often see or hear this from some of my friends who are experts in this field saying that one’s food intake should not be the same for everybody. If you will notice, especially in today’s generation, whatever is trending in social media, people will often follow it. “Oh, I saw this viral video where a known celebrity who is a fitness enthusiast is drinking this ‘healthy’ drink and eating this ‘healthy’ food. I should eat/drink that one too!” Do you see where I’m getting? Person A and person B may be healthy looking on the outside because of what they do and what they eat, but there’s still a possibility that each of them is not meeting their daily nutritional needs. We have to know our body composition in order for us to know what our body REALLY needs.

Furthermore, having a healthy body doesn’t only pertain to your physical appearance or capability, it also applies to the ‘body’ itself. The TOTALITY of it – from head to toe. To put it simply, I’m referring to the mind, the brain, and the intellect. And comes along with it are the emotional capacity and mental capacity. What good is a fit body if the mind is unwell? What good is a fit body if you’re always angry and irritated? Mental health has been a taboo topic for many centuries. It’s been somewhat neglected and due to poor awareness and understanding, people who are suffering from mental health issues are often discriminated against and undervalued. We are fortunate that we are living in a generation where people are now more aware and more open to the various types of mental health challenges. But come to think of it, some of these mental health conditions are affected by the irregularities of a person’s body composition. Again, it comes back down to body composition.

With all these being said, a healthy body is something that we cannot compare to a thing or something tangible because a healthy body doesn’t only involve having a good or fit body, but it also involves having a good state of mind. And we can only have both of them if we are able to meet our body composition which each of us has a unique target. If I really need to compare a healthy body to something.. I’d say, a healthy body or a healthy person, rather, is like travelling to your dream destination where you feel energised to roam around that place, eat the food you like, feel ecstatic. It’s as if you’re at peace with yourself and the people around you. You feel alive, you feel great about yourself. You have the right amount of energy to go on with your daily life. You are happy and healthy.