This month I want to share a very personal story with you. Did I ever tell you about the person I was about six years ago? Trust me, it was nothing like this health loving, kale eating, wheatgrass drinking and yoga loving woman. I was more like a spend too much money in fashion, skip meals, work too many hours in a high stress corporate job and end the week feeling a bit sorry for myself girl…Yep. That was me, and I’m telling you this because I know some of you are experiencing a similar situation and paying the high price of such a lifestyle. I hope my story can help.
In 2008 I was by many standards a successful person. With my high paying job and fancy shoes, I put my confidence in all things external. To decompress I took expensive vacations and collected wines so I can unwind with a glass or two almost every night. Looking back it seems sad, but I wasn’t the only person living like that. As a matter of fact, everyone around me was living the same way, so it looked normal to me. The side effect of all that was that my own physical and emotional health started to crumble. It was by no means a dramatic disaster. It was more like a silent slow rust eating my body & heart, one that I couldn’t escape with any amount of retail therapy, entertainment or work.
Around that same time I found yoga, and I held on to it like a lifesaver. That was my first step towards balancing my wellbeing account. But with that tiny opening of consciousness came the voice of my body shouting: Pay attention to me! Even thought I was young and looked fine on the outside, I had trouble keeping my weight on, I was irritable and nervous, my sleeping was poor. I had weird night sweats and also what I now recognize were signs of depression. I went to the doctor for help, and she diagnosed me with a hormonal imbalance that was making my body go into menopause earlier than normal ( I was 30 years old..What!?) My lifestyle had aged my body about 10 years…That was my wake up call! I decided to reverse all that damage and as a result I’m here writing this today, hoping someone out there can do the same.
The lesson of a reformed workaholic is simple: My greatest wealth is my health. It was a matter of simple economics. I could not keep making withdrawals from an account that was depleted. As a savvy business woman I kept this in mind and turned it all around. Here is my simple balancing formula:
1. Look at your healing deposits. Are you fooling yourself with a band-aid made of new clothes, comfort foods, wine, beer, video games and such trying to convince yourself that you feel good? Where are the benefits to your physical body, your mind and your life? Aim for daily deposits that are relevant and meaningful. I started with prayer, yoga and cooking. I added at least one of them every day and my body got the message: I care about you. Find easy ways to begin this practice. Things like drinking more water, eating a salad everyday and going for a walk. As they become routines, increase the “amount” of your deposit. Don’t focus on calories or weight lifting repetitions, instead, put your efforts in simply doing something of value to your wellness, regardless of how little it may seem.
2. Look at your wellness withdrawals. I stopped abusing my body by running it to the ground with stress and adding sugar, 3 lattes and a glass of wine to compensate. Unhealthy withdrawals cannot be greater than your healing deposits. If you don’t exercise, then you cannot make a double cheese burger withdrawal…makes sense right? If you don’t go to bed earlier you cannot expect your body to be alert and sharp. Please don’t interpret this as an excuse to do something that doesn’t support your health with the excuse that you made a “deposit” of a salad that day. We are aiming to increase our “health wealth” not to have zero balance in our account. Our daily life requires “expenses” that are hard to avoid – like seating on the desk for hours or dealing with traffic stress. The point is that you don’t consciously add more to them (like I did with my Grande latte) . Look closely at how you use your energy, chose your food and spend your time. Always ask yourself : Is this worth the energy?, Is it a health investment or will this come back to collect with high interest? I used to ask me self over and over again: “Is this what I REALLY want? ”
3. Set goals and get help . My goals was clear: to heal my hormonal imbalance and to feel like healthy a 30 year old woman. And I found that what financial gurus say about financial goals is true: the earlier you start the better. First, you must be clear on what is your desired outcome. Go for the deep answer, the one with a feeling or emotion and deep meaning within. Goals also need to be realistic. Losing 30 pounds in 30 days may not be it…but helping your body to have enough energy to run 2 miles by “X” date could be it. Once you have the goals, you need to find that path to achieve them. For some people this is the hard part. I enrolled in nutrition school and completed yoga teacher training…but let’s face it, I went all out! The good news is that I did it so this could be simpler for you. I studied and changed my lifestyle to be “The health coach you need”. Getting expert guidance can make your goals much more attainable and enjoyable. Just like people look for financial help when they have money problems, with health coaching, you can build a less overwhelming path. This is the opposite of a risky investment (which to me is the equivalent to a fad diet). With a coach is about YOU, getting accountability, avoiding set backs and self sabotage. As a result, you will make smarter choices in increments…and your healthy account will grow in a sustainable way, without the fear of a crash in the market.
Ready to claim your health fortune? I urge you not to wait for a doctor to tell you “the bad news” like I did. My life experiences paved the path to my purpose and I’m grateful because today I can help others who feel like I did. If you are “sick and tired of being sick and tired”, then your wellbeing account is probably in the red numbers. I invite you to find a strategy, and more importantly, get the support to come out of a lifestyle debt. Being ill is very expensive, not only in the financial sense, but because of the consequences to your emotions, your relationships, your ability to enjoy life and more.
Make deposits to your wellness account as if your life depends on it, because quite literally it does. Here is your chance to think: What will you add to your wellbeing savings today?
Like what you read? If you live in Orlando and would like to work with me in a fun group setting, join me for the 10 week Group Coaching Transformation Sept 5 – Nov 14. Apply Holistic approach to health and wellness! More info HERE