Here at FEEST we believe that everyone has a right to housing, food, medical and mental healthcare as basic human rights. Being healthy is something that we all are striving towards, but what does it actually mean? We had a really great conversation on this topic at summer camp. Here’s what we learned from each other.

Health is holistic.

Your health should be approached in a holistic way that prioritizes physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. When you’re able to find balance in these areas, you will be empowered to live your life to its fullest potential.

It’s about paying attention to what your mind and body are telling you about what they need. It’s being happy within yourself, having energy and being happy and positive.

Health is different for everyone. 

Being healthy is NOT a one-size-fits-all situation, and what it means for you may change over time. As we move through the different stages of our lives, the healthy habits that we pick up and work best for us will change as our lifestyle changes — and that’s perfectly normal!

When you’re healthy, you will feel well physically, mentally, and socially. Being healthy means feeling your best, not about how you look. That is not to say that we won’t have days where we’re not feeling good physically, mentally, or socially. That’s also completely normal.

Fatphobia has racist roots.

We had a really fruitful conversation about fatphobia at summer camp. We can’t talk about fatphobia and shaming without also talking about obesity and how that ties into poverty. Anyone who has lived in poverty can tell you that when you’re poor, more often than not you end up having to buy processed foods because they tend to be the most affordable and quickest options available. 

Food apartheid is a system of discrimination that creates segregated cities where some neighborhoods have food abundance, and others, usually communities of color, have food scarcity. This is a systemic problem that is deeply rooted in racism, and it leads to communities of color experiencing higher rates of diet-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. 

Health is not as simple as “diet and exercise.” We encourage everyone to think critically about the messages we receive about what it means to be healthy. Hope this information helps! In our next blog post, we’ll talk about how food apartheid affects young people’s relationships to food at school.