I consider it a compliment that friends, family and clients ask me a ton of wellness questions. Have you heard about Oregano Oil? Do you take CoQ10? What kind of protein do you put in your smoothies?
I am by no means an expert on wellness. I read and research a lot of different sources, try a lot of things and choose what works best for me. And you can do the same. There is no one silver bullet for great health. It’s about progress. And a funny thing happens along the way. It changes you.
Today, I’m going to share more about my wellness journey so you can see what I mean. This is me at a high school yearbook camp with my friend, Mindee (I’m on the left).
While I may look like a normal, healthy teenager on the outside, I was drinking 2-3 Diet Cokes every day, addicted to sugar (I can see that now, looking back) and eating a typical American diet (plenty of meat and carbs, not very many vegetables). But at that age, I was motivated for school, college and life so it didn’t seem to affect me. Fast forward to my mid-twenties. I had a stressful corporate job, and had now moved on to way too much coffee and a diet of convenient processed foods with an occasional salad. This can only last so long, my friends, until your body screams for help.
The screams I heard came in the form of recurring headaches, digestive stress and fatigue. Looking for pain relief and more energy started me down the path that I’m still on today… just enjoying a way better view!
So. Here’s my point: baby steps matter.
When I look back, there wasn’t one pivotal action that POOF! made me see the light and I instantly became more healthy. It was a series of small actions that added up over time. While stressed in my corporate job, I decided to take a yoga class with my mom. That was 1996. This small action rekindled my passion for movement and teaching which later led to my quitting my job and starting my own yoga business in 2004.
The list goes on and on. I made the switch to a naturopath who opened my eyes to many holistic treatment options and the wonder of healing with whole foods. I bought a juicer and a high-speed blender. I quit drinking soda and coffee and I feel more energetic and more alert! I tried gluten-free for 3 weeks and never went back because I felt so much better.
I began to crave more of the healthy stuff and less of the junk. In fact, when I had moments of weakness and went back to indulge in some decadent food from my past life, it didn’t have the same effect on me. It didn’t satisfy.
The same is true today. My husband and I eat a mostly plant-based diet. Every once in a while, the idea of something else tempts me. Sometimes I stay on course and sometimes I give in. But I’ll warn you, when I give in, that once tasty thing doesn’t satisfy anymore. Eventually…giving in is just silly. I already enjoy the best foods — whole, real, awesome food.
All of this to say….be encouraged! Don’t look at the whole giant challenge of getting healthy…instead, take one step. Choose one thing that you can do today that’s not so difficult. And tomorrow, do it again. And the next day. It does add up and you will build momentum. You can do this. Here are just a few examples of baby steps…I know you probably have your own list too.
- Move for 20 minutes — go for a walk, put in a fitness dvd or just dance around your house!
- Shop the perimeter of your grocery store
- Eat at least 2 meatless meals a week. Gradually increase that number.
- Confide in a friend about your health & wellness goals – it always helps to have a buddy!
- Eat more vegetables.
- Drink more water.
- Drink less soda.
- Get outside more (weather permitting)
- Just get started. Take that first step….