The Forgotten Meaning of Health

Let’s try something: When you are not driving or speaking to your boss, grab an electronic device and type “synonyms for health.” One of the initial sites that comes up is “,” which lists “energy” as the first synonym. Notice that nowhere are the words “diet” “calorie counting” “one-hundred daily abdominal crunches” or “swimsuit model.” Therefore, why does it feel like “healthy” is so often related to weight, facial-beauty, and/or body shape? 

The answer to the above question is not straight forward. To start, there are numerous commercials that advertise fad-diets with actors excitedly stating, “I am so much healthier now that I have lost weight with ‘this’ diet!” Another example is fitness models on a magazine or television. Sure, they may look great, but their physically fit physique often consumes their days. Most of them must eat and drink very specific amounts of specific foods at specific times, and often must sleep a specific number of hours. It can be draining, and I have heard from fitness models it can diminish a lot of natural energy. It may be something the models want to do, so I am not bashing it, but it is clearly not sustainable. 

One of the reasons I am invested in the true meaning of health is because of my job as a traveling personal trainer, where I go to each client’s home or office. From the beginning I have encouraged my clients to focus on how they feel inside, specifically their energy levels. I discourage clients from focusing on a number, appearance, or outside comments. Furthermore, in the beginning of a new client-trainer relationship, I divulge that feeling healthy, energized, and physically fit requires two secret ingredients: eating well and moving. You probably just rolled your eyes, but the thing is, it is extremely possible. Once you get on the “eat-well-and-move” track you will never want to go back to the old days where you were asleep at work or school, even though you swear you slept eight hours the night before. 

Many people ask me how I remain energetic and physically fit. I drink two cups of coffee in the morning to start (it works for me, not for everyone), and after that I feed my body with nutritious foods and beverages for the majority of the day. If this lifestyle of eating 80% nutritiously sounds relatively boring, I understand. There may be the thought of “I refuse to never have ice cream and chips, and there is no way I will solely eat fruits and vegetable.” Well, that’s completely fine! I will never ever tell anyone not to eat dessert, especially since I eat a small dessert daily and often have a few highly caloric beverages on the weekend. Yet I absolutely promise you that if you focus on consuming primarily nutritional food and drink, and engage in an exercise program that you enjoy, your health/energy is bound to be a rapid result.

If this article has brought up a few thoughts or questions about health, energy, fitness, nutrition or general wellbeing feel free to email me at 

To the contrary, according to the website “English Oxford Living Dictionaries,” energy is defined as “The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity”

Sine 2007 Mara Irwin has been an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Group Fitness Instructor, and in 2011 she became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. While actively training a wide range of clients and teaching multiple fitness classes, Mara obtained her Masters and soon became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) license in 2017. What sets her workout sessions apart from others are the application of skills that she combines as a Professional Counselor and Personal Trainer-active listening, being empathetic, sharing the knowledge of science-based health and fitness, communicating observations, and having a special rapport with each client. She enjoys motivating clients on their active and healthy journeys by sharing my enjoyment and knowledge of health and fitness.