Everyone can have their own interpretation of what living a "healthy lifestyle" means. And thats okay. For me, this lifestyle goes beyond the surface level of eating healthy foods and exercising. I, of course, believe those play a huge part in health and are very important, but its deeper than that.
When I think about what this lifestyle means to me, I think about things like...
- meaningful + genuine connections and relationships
- lots of laughter
- reading books and constantly learning
- expressing creativity
- finding joy in the little moments
- self-love + self-care
- a spiritual/religious practice that resonates
- meditation + positive affirmations
- career fulfillment and enjoyment
- rest, relaxation, and SLEEP
- lots and lots of fun
- anything that lights up your SOUL
Because the truth is, if you are living life according to the list above, most likely your level of stress and anxiety will be very minimal. You will feel centered, happy, balanced, and whole. How many times have you come home and binged on all the junk food because you were sad, angry, stressed, frustrated, bored, or just plain old unhappy? Sometimes we don't know what to do with all the energy from our emotions because we were never taught. Some people even binge eat when they are happy because in this day and age, we often suppress our emotions. A lot of us are out of touch with ourselves, so when things get intense, we don't know how to deal. We don't always think or know that it's okay to express these emotions and to let it all out.
Meditation, positive affirmations, journaling, and mindfulness are all great techniques that bring you back to the present moment and help you get in touch with yourself and your emotions. When you practice being present, you stop seeking external fulfillment that can be detrimental to your health. You get to know yourself better. You find a deeper love for who you are and it's easier to choose healthier foods, movement/exercise you enjoy, relationships that bring you happiness, etc. Once you get to know yourself, you realize that you want to fuel your body, mind, and soul with things that will make it thrive and grow. You realize that putting yourself first is not only the opposite of being selfish, it's actually necessary in order to be the best friend, wife, mother, brother, sister, dad, boss, etc. You realize that the word "diet" does not exist in your vocabulary because that's not what it's all about it. That was never what it was about. Health becomes your lifestyle because you love yourself, you deserve the best, and you are worthy.
I never struggled personally with dieting and counting calories, but I did struggle with debilitating anxiety, adrenal and thyroid issues, and digestive problems. I was so out of tune with my body and what it needed/craved in terms of food, movement, self care/self love. Over the past 8 years, I have read and studied everything I can get my hands on in terms of health and wellness because I am so passionate about it. I'm even more passionate about helping others feel the relief I felt after I started changing my lifestyle. I'm not perfect and I will never claim to be. I still eat "junk food", go out with friends, slack on exercise some weeks, forget to meditate, etc. because I'm human. But at the end of the day I always come back to this lifestyle because it makes me feel good and lifts me up. It's something I believe in so, so deeply and I crave it. I'm on a mission to educate, inspire, empower others to live a healthier lifestyle and to remind them they are worth it.
Your reason for making these conscious decisions has to come from a deeper place than wanting to be "skinny" or to "look good". Sure, those are good side effects, but your "why" has to lead you through the times when you don't feel like putting in the time or effort. You have to be willing to make a commitment to yourself because it isn't a quick fix, it's a lifestyle.
Here's a little peak into my morning routine:
- wake up and make celery juice
- write my "morning pages" or journal for 3 pages in my notebook
- meditate for 15-20 minutes
- recite positive affirmations
My positive affirmations at the moment are: "I am worthy, I am love, I am enough". I recite these over and over until I feel satisfied.
What is one baby step you can take today to start creating a healthier lifestyle?