"Hi. I'm Cassie, and I'm addicted to sugar."

by Cassie Byard
Women's Director at Veritas Life Adventures

  Sometimes when I tell people what I do for a living, I wonder if they mentally look me up and down and think, Seriously? You teach kids holistic health? But... I’ve seen you eat pizza. And didn’t you say you’ve struggled with depression? Also, you have more than 15% body fat. And love handles. And I can see your cellulite through your jeans.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying I think I’m fat. I’m actually quite happy with my body, but I recognize that I may not fit the bill for some people’s idea of a holistic health advocate. I’m not trying to make a point about whether or not I physically look the part (that’s for my next blog :)). What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t take long to look at me and see that I have not “arrived.”

I am not the perfect model of health. Not because I have love handles and like pizza, but because there’s no such thing as the perfect “model of health.” Health is a not a final destination that can be quantified and then attained, especially if your measuring stick for success is acquiring a specific body type. When I talk about health, I’m talking about treating body, soul, and mind with care and respect. And let’s face it: I do not always make choices that respect my body, soul and mind.

Like the rest of us, I am on a journey. Every day I am faced with choices to respect myself or to stumble and try again tomorrow. Some of these choices are easy for me. I could even say I’m good at making some self-respecting choices consistently. But I also have lots of areas of struggle, and always will, because I am on a journey that doesn’t have a final point of arrival.

This isn’t to say we can’t have goals along the way. Maybe you’re determined to finally run that 5k or that marathon, so you make specific body-challenging choices for a season. Maybe you’re like me and want to break that sugar-happy habit, and certain boundaries and accountabilities need to be established for your body's benefit. Perhaps your stress levels are through the roof and it’s time to prioritize some serious rest and revitalization. Maybe that Netflix account is sucking away life and creativity, and your mouse or remote needs to be decommissioned for a while. Whatever it is you want to accomplish, go for it and be proud in both the process and attainment of your goals! But please don’t think it means the journey is complete.

We do not make this journey in order to “arrive” somewhere, or in order to attain “perfection.” We push on because as we learn to respect and love our bodies, souls and minds, we find ourselves fuller, healthier and better able to love and respect other people, too.  Sometimes it's rough and sometimes it's smooth sailing, but always it is a journey that urges us to move, invites us to keep on keepin' on, and promises reward and fulfilment simply through participation.

I have not arrived, for there is no arrival; the journey is the destination. But it's a worthwhile journey, and I invite you to join me on it!