My Declaration of Health

HealthDeclaration

I really just wanted to come up with something official for my unofficial banter on health. Thus, I give you my declaration of health.

I was throwing a fit yesterday afternoon to my fiance. It’s okay, he gets me and doesn’t hold my vent sessions against me. I hope note anyway or you may find me sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge soon. I’ve had way too many these days. Anyway, I kept going on and on about how I love my line of work (being a wellness coordinator and coming up with wellness programs for different businesses), but ALL of the extra to do’s lately have taken away my joy for the job. He reminded me that my job is a choice. All jobs are really. And that got me to thinking… he is exactly right and my tasks are a choice too!

Yes, to do’s have to get done with the job, but I get to choose when, where, and how. If I am allowing the tasks to rob me of the joy that I normally have for my job then I need to make the change. I need to bring back in those tasks that really keep health messages simple and fun. Because THAT is the part of the job that I love. I love seeing people get excited over health goals they just reached or realizing that changing a habit isn’t all that hard when simple objectives are set to reach the overarching goal. Man, I could go on and on.

When I got back to the positive thinking, I got so pumped up (cue Rocky’s theme song) and thought…. I am going to make a Declaration of Health. MY Declaration of Health… and may I remember it anytime I drift away from the joy of what I do.

I declare to always keep my passion for health at the forefront of my heart and mind…

May I always remember that MY choices lead me closer to my WHY for wellness or lead me to drift away from it…

I pray for strength and wisdom to accept and realize when a change is necessary…

And for love and compassion when my help and expertise is requested…

May I always keep my wellness messages simple, effective, and fun…

And take care of my own personal health and joy first so that I can be a positive light in the world.

Woo hoo! Back to loving what I do… this feels great! How about you? How are you feeling these days? If you had a declaration of health, what is one line that would be included?

Happy Fitness Friday, dear friends!

Overcoming Unhealthy Food Cravings

Overcoming

I am a day late, but not a dollar short. It was The Fit Dish link up yesterday with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers. The topic is a great one so I really wanted to post about it even though I missed it yesterday because of work.

Before I get into how one can overcome unhealthy food cravings, I have to admit that I don’t always… sometimes I just cave. Sometimes I just want that darn Hershey’s Kiss… ya know?! And that’s okay too. So, these tips are just tips and no strict guidelines to follow. Catch my drift?! Me no likey strict shit.

Tips to overcome unhealthy food cravings:

  1. Drink water or herbal tea first. Sometimes hydrating yourself can bring you back to reality and make you realize that it was actually hydration you craved. My current fave herbal teas are mint (great for your digestion) and chamomile (fantastic for stress reduction & relaxation).
  2. Wait 30 minutes. Distract yourself or whatever you need to do. Sometimes fixating on the craving makes it worse, but if you go for a walk or paint a picture or chat with a friend you totally forget about the craving in the first place.
  3. SAVOR. I love that word. Sometimes, you just need one of what you are craving. Taste it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Taking in all the flavors and eating the food you are craving slowly can keep you from wanting more and more and more… and you get the picture. Savoring a treat is never going to get you into trouble; it is overeating treat after treat after treat and leading a sedentary lifestyle that can get you into trouble. And then stressing out over it.

There are my top three tips to overcoming unhealthy food cravings. What is one of your  top tips??

Eat well my friends!

Top 5 Health & Fitness Decisions

Fuzzy

I am thrilled to be back into the Fit Dish link up with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers. It’s been 3 weeks too long, but who is counting?! Today is all about my top 5 best health and fitness decisions. In fact, I think I will make this the top 5 best health and fitness decisions that ANYONE can make (and should make if not already). How ’bout ‘dem apples?

In the words of my favorite Fuzzy’s Taco Shop cup, “Oh Queso let’s do this….”

{ONE} Finding a FAVORITE workout or two (or three). I truly think the reason I look forward to being active is because I have found activities that I enjoy. If running on a treadmill or elliptical for the rest of my life was a requirement to being active, I would be a sedentary potato head. But, I took the time to find activities that I love and because of that, they MOVE me. They get me off the couch.

{TWO} Saying no to dieting. This was a tough one. Who doesn’t like the promise of a skinny tomorrow? Diets can be like vacations where the anticipation is half the fun! But, they failed me. And they fail you. Diets disconnect you from your body. Diets allow fear to rule your roost. And, let’s be honest, they create WAY TOO MUCH FOCUS on food. Who the heck wants to think about food all the live long day? Don’t we have peeps to hang out with? Spreading love and joy is something to say yes to in place of dieting! Trust in that body of yours… it’s a lesson many of us need to learn and it’s okay if it takes awhile to fully sink in.

{THREE} Finding support. Humans strive for connection and we can all find connection in a variety of areas, whether at home, with friends, or even in an online community. It’s easy to turn to social media for the wrong things (obsessing over other people’s picture perfect life), but it can be used for some great things. Hello, motivation, support, and kick-ass #fitfam friends!!! Take advantage of online support if you do not have as much support at home or live alone.

{FOUR} Calming the mind when necessary… and it’s almost always necessary. I am convinced that stress leads to more weight gain and diseases than anything else on the planet. It’s the hardest thing to objectively fix. Think about it… to be healthy, I can eat more fruits and veggies or run 30 minutes per day. Those are simple goals for most people. But, reducing stress is so personal that each individual has to figure out the technique that works for them. Heck, for us crazy, goal-oriented, always moving type of people, having to do a certain number of stress reduction techniques can stress us out. How’s that for ironic? So, instead of reading all the self-help books out there and doing an hour of yoga each day, find simple ways to calm that noggin’ of yours. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of sunshine!

{FIVE} Focusing on balanced health, rather than perfect health. I love being healthy. I have created a career out of it by becoming a dietitian and teaching group exercise classes. I am passionate about it. But, rest, relaxation, and play are just as essential. I do have days where I don’t workout and I am totally fine with it. There was a time where if I had a day off, I kinda freaked out. I ended up not liking that person very much so I changed. And thank goodness, because now if I eat cookies, miss a workout, have a lounge day, or drink wine with friends I just savor it. And maybe the next day I have an awesome workout. Or not. Having balance is better health than striving for perfect health. No guilt allowed!

There you have it friends. What is one thing that would be on top of your list?

Sitting with Emotions

emotions

I have been a little MIA lately. I think my last post was before Christmas even. Yikes! But, sometimes breaks are necessary.

It has taken me awhile to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. I felt sick for a little over two weeks, work has been crazy busy, and I am now planning a wedding. Talk about a true mix of activities and emotions that go with… from fatigue to stress to joy. The whole gamut!

With all that I have been experiencing lately, I feel compelled to write about emotions and the importance of truly feeling those emotions. Sitting with them, exploring them, and being okay with them (yes, even the negative ones). I don’t do that well. Like, at all. I feel an ounce of stress or boredom and I think a cookie will make me feel better. Well, not even one cookie, more like two at the minimum.

When I cope with an outside object or substance, I don’t listen to my body. In fact, I am ignoring it. My mind and body are trying to tell me something and I avoid listening whenever I reach for sweets or turn on the TV instead.

Most people can relate in some way. Perhaps it isn’t sugar, but is shopping, caffeine, narcotics, sex, alcohol, nicotine, sleeping, or gambling instead. Need I say more? Just about anything can become a negative when used to cope as opposed to enjoyment. And often the line is a slippery slope. But, if you get to know yourself, you will know when you have passed that slippery slope. And that is crucial. For when you pass that slippery slope, change is necessary.

Let me give you a couple of examples.. and they are both true. I have my struggles like everyone else. In fact, small tangent.. I strongly believe that people have to struggle at times. If we didn’t, we would never grow. We would never open our minds to other opinions, situations, options, choices, etc. So, here are a couple of examples.. one from the past and one from the present:

  • I have talked about my love for tea before. There is nothing wrong with tea. It is wonderful! And I still love tea. However, I often felt like I HAD to have it anytime I was in the car. Starbucks was like a crack dealer… I felt like I needed that drive through for a $2.50 tea I could brew at home. I changed that habit when it felt more like an addiction than pleasure. The urges brought awareness that my slippery slope had been crossed.
  • I have a love for sweets, even as a health nut. It’s part of being human… and I am glad I have it, because if I ate healthy 100% of the time I would no longer be relatable. I do not think sweets are bad or off limits, but lately I find myself reaching for cookies when I’ve had a long day at work, feel a bit “off”, or am emotional about something. For me, the difference between coping with sweets and enjoying a dessert is the quantity and mental state at consumption (I made that sound scientific, didn’t I?). To enjoy a dessert or sweet is to consciously pick it out, eat it, and enjoy it. To cope using sweets is to feel the urge to grab whatever sweets you can, not think about it at all, consume it fairly quickly, and hope that you feel better afterwards. Hope being the key word, because let’s face it.. the emotions that were with you before are still there. Whenever I cope with emotions using sweets I am not doing my body or mind any good. I have crossed the slippery slope.

It’s easy to avoid emotions and feelings, especially those negative ones like sadness or anger. But, allowing yourself to sit with those feelings is way more healing than an object or substance. Sitting with emotions and feelings can give you confidence in yourself and knowledge that EVERY PART OF YOU is acceptable.

I know I plan to sit more with my feelings and emotions. And then if I need to talk through them with a loved one, I will honor that. I will be grateful for all emotions and feelings as they come up, for they make me whole.

Which emotion is the hardest to deal with for you? Mine is anger. I don’t like being angry and I feel like anger makes me “mean.” But, anger is not my identity.. it is just a feeling. And if I sit with anger and allow myself to feel it when it arises, I can use it to propel me forward. Am I angry about a situation that was out of my control? Am I angry about a situation that I can change? I get to decide the next step and honor ALL of me by doing so.

Be true to yourself, my friend!