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What Is Health?

Written By Page Lauer • 4 min read

What Is Health, REALLY? The pursuit of a healthy life often drowns us in a sea of definitions and expectations, each one offering a unique perspective on what it genuinely means to be “healthy.” These definitions frequently revolve around superficial attributes, dietary rules, and exercise routines, painting an incomplete picture. Having been in the health and wellness industry for some time, I’ve encountered various definitions of what it means to be healthy. Maybe you’ve heard some of them too. They often revolve around appearance or eating, and go something like this:

“Being healthy is drinking green juice and doing yoga.”

“Being healthy is maintaining lean weight and fitting into a certain clothing size.”

“Being healthy is about being fit, exercising religiously with both cardio and strength training.”
While these definitions hold small grains of truth, are they really what health is all about? As the Director of Wellness at PFC, I have the privilege of engaging in candid discussions with individuals about their health journey. These dialogues often reveal the intricacies of health that extend beyond mere appearances. Here’s what PFC campers tell me:
Camper 1: “I was in my best physical shape, yet I was drinking every day and sleeping horribly.”
Camper 2: “I finally got thinner, but I was hardly eating and anxious around food, terrified to gain a single pound.”
Camper 3: “I thought I was fine; I mean my weight was okay and everything. Then, I got some blood work done, ugh!”
If we delve beyond the surface, we can embrace a more comprehensive view of health that supports our well-being and helps us achieve our goals. Consider these two definitions:
1. Health is the state of being free from injury, disease, or illness (Webster’s).
2. Health is a quality of well-being that enhances our daily life, emphasizing robust personal, social, and physical capacities to live more fully (World Health Organization).
From these definitions, we begin to understand that health extends far beyond our appearance or specific food choices.
Here are three key insights:

1. Health is the foundation of strength and freedom to live life fully. This health is evident when we can:

  • Energetically and physically move throughout the day.
  • Embrace risks, say yes, and have a readiness for life.
  • Maintain durability, flexibility, and confidence to handle stressors instead of being overwhelmed.

2. Health is a comprehensive and whole way of life: what improves a part enhances the whole. This is noticeable when we:

  • Exercise and also experience improved clarity, energy, stress resilience, sleep, heart health, and less injuries.
  • Eat nutritiously and also experience better digestion, mood, focus, metabolism, energy, longevity, and less illness.
  • Prioritize sleep and also experience better concentration, energy, and decision-making, while also noticing less irritability, mindless eating, reactivity, and fatigue.

3. Health is a balanced, living practice that includes limits, so life isn’t cut short but extended and amplified. This is reflected when we:

  • Set clear and reasonable limits with drinking alcohol, indulging in foods, managing stress, spending, working, partying, and more.
  • Build true self respect and self-mastery, feeling stronger, living longer, thinking more clearly, and enjoying the quality of each day.

So, take a moment to contemplate these ideas. Consider whether a more comprehensive concept of health, as explained above, might support not only your appearance but also your daily life. Further, you might want to take a fun pop quiz to get a glimpse of how you view health:


1. Is health an objective to strive for, or is it an identity and a way of being that we live from?

2. Is health an external standard or image to reach, or is it a lifestyle capacity we nurture to truly live well and be happy?

3. Is health narrowly defined by appearances and desires, or is it an inner foundation that helps us better handle life’s stressors and challenges?

The Bottom Line:

However you may have answered, when health becomes more about living true health than a means to an end, we begin to realize our health more fully, including our appearance. It’s not that desiring weight loss or fitness is bad or unhealthy; it’s that they become the wider result of living a life of true health rather than being the sole focus. When we understand health as a primary resource for life, a foundation that enables us to live fully and manage hardship, health becomes robust and lasting, no longer reduced to our waistlines.

While developing a good understanding of health is fundamental to reaching your weight loss goals, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to achieve good health alone! If you’re looking for comprehensive support and a program that really works, I invite you to check out Premier Fitness Camp’s award-winning weight loss retreat. Our approach to a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about quick fixes; it’s backed by clinical results and will help you develop the long-term habits you need to stay on track. Feel free to reach out to us to learn about our rates and how our luxury weight loss retreat can make a real difference in your health and wellness journey today.

Page Lauer, LMFT, CEDS
Behavioral Health Director

Page Lauer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and is knowledgable in all things obesity, weight loss, anxiety, stress management motivation, and relationship issues. Click the link below to schedule a 55 Minute 1-on-1 session with Page today.

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