Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a Q & A with actress Juliette Binoche at the SVA Theatre. I found a lot of her comments insightful and was struck by her independent approach. She kept stressing that as an actress, she has to be in charge of herself, of her own experience, rather than look to, say, a director to make or break that experience.

I think the same can be said of our health. It’s so easy to blame Others or the Media or Work—or if not blame them, to let those influences dictate how we take care of ourselves. We put all these things before our own health. For example, people might skimp on sleep and exercise because they have a demanding schedule, or perhaps a girl sees pictures of actresses and models in magazines and thinks she has to look like that.
How can you perform, though, if you are not in good physical, mental and emotional shape? How can you take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself? I believe that health begins on the inside. If you feel good, you look good.
Personally, I think there exists a link between the increasing pressure to be thin and the rise in obesity and overweight in general. What I believe is that, in an attempt to fit the mold, people lose touch with their own bodies, their own internal cues.
I know I struggle with this sometimes. I constantly have to remind myself that I follow a plan that is specifically for me. I am responsible for myself and need to treat myself well and think positively so that I can act positively and treat others well. For example, when I go to a restaurant, if I’m hungry, I eat a piece of bread and dip it in olive oil, ignoring a dining companion who waves the basket away and talks about watching their carbs. Or, if I’m not hungry, feeling okay about not having bread while the person across from me shovels it in.
This is easier said than done of course. Enjoying a big juicy veggie burger with cheese while a friend picks at a salad can require a lot of mantra-repeating. When it comes down to it, though, your body is your body—no one else’s—and it’s your responsibility to take care of it and to meet your own needs, not to worry about how your needs compare to others. There’s room for all of us.
It may not sell as many magazine copies, but I think that should be headline-worthy. Tune in and listen, you know?

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