July 05, 2011

By Tina Haupert

Last week, when I told my blog readers about my recent colitis diagnosis and flare-up, someone asked me whether I still considered myself a healthy-living blogger. My response was short and simple: Yes, I'm still a healthy-living blogger.

The term "healthy living" is subjective. To me, it's a lifestyle and state of mind, so my colitis diagnosis doesn't change that. Being healthy doesn’t mean not having health issues. There are lots of health bloggers out there who have chronic conditions, but they still strive to live their healthiest life possible. Healthy living is about the choices you make, not the cards you're dealt.

I'm not going to lie, it was really tough for me to go from eating whatever I wanted and exercising several times a week to severely limiting my diet and not being able to walk my dog around the block without an emergency trip to the bathroom. Colitis came out of nowhere and totally threw me for a loop. I was completely healthy, and then almost overnight, I was forced to deal with a serious health issue that affected my entire life. Talk about unfair. No matter how frustrating it is dealing with an illness, I've learned that there's no "right" way to be healthy. Being healthy is different to different people, and healthy-living bloggers don't need to fit into a mold of practicing Bikram yoga, eating oatmeal, and wearing a certain size dress. It's more about making the life choices that are good for your situation and your body. Making lifestyle changes that are specific to you is the best way to manage any disease, and no one except for you can figure that out.

Just because I have colitis, it doesn't mean that I'm going to start living an unhealthy life. If anything, being diagnosed makes it even more important for me to make healthy choices to help minimize or eliminate future symptoms. I hope by blogging about my experience I can prove to others that it's possible to overcome health obstacles, and that an illness shouldn't hold them back. Showing that I can live a full life with colitis is just another part of healthy living for me.

In the end, healthy living is all about how you live your life, no matter what the obstacles. Colitis has forced me to find a way to live the healthiest life possible for me, but it doesn't define me. It's taken some trial and error and a lot of adjustment, but I know I can still be healthy with it. For me, making the most of my life (with or without colitis) and sharing it with my readers is what makes me a healthy-living blogger.