In honor of my birthday coming up (shout out to my fellow December babies) I’ve decided to list 24 things about my health that I’ve learned in 24 years!
1. No one is going to be a bigger advocate for your health THAN YOU! So ask the tough questions, tell doctors your concerns, read nutrition labels before you buy food, give the things you put into (or on i.e. lotion) your body a second thought– they determine how well (or not) it functions.
2. Trust your gut–literally! If you’re having any digestive issues it’s important to PAY ATTENTION. You never know if you have food intolerances, bacteria overgrowth, or other intestinal issues until you get yourself checked out and tested. Take it from someone who has brushed aside her stomach issues– they need tending to and more likely than not they will not go away on their own.
3. Don’t be afraid to try knew fitness trends– minus the fad diets! I’ve learned that trying new things makes staying active more challenging and rewarding than just staying in my comfort zone.
4. The sooner you kick that habit of having sugary drinks the better. I myself was never much into juices or soda, but in college I got on a kick of getting “caramel swirl” in my iced coffees. There’s nothing wrong with some sugar in your coffee every once in a while. But I felt SO much better without starting my day with a cup full of sugar.
5. Caffeine is NOT the enemy. Overconsumption of caffeine however, is no bueno. But seriously, the numerous benefits of caffeine have been studied thoroughly. It’s not necessarily our coffee that makes us gain weight or feel less than our best–it’s what we put in it (see #4)!
6. There is a right and a wrong way to go vegan/vegetarian. I learned this by studying vegetarian and veganism before I dove in. And I learned this again first hand from going from vegan to vegetarian now to pescatarian (are you rolling your eyes yet)?! There are plenty of junk foods that can be labeled “vegan” that are damaging to your body. Which brings me to my next gardein nugget of knowledge …
7. PLANTS ARE THE BEST SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND NUTRIENTS! Yes that’s right. You heard me correctly. It’s better to get your nutrients from plants than from supplements. And no matter what your dietary preferences are in terms of meat, fish, neither etc. it’s best to get the majority of your food from plant sources.
8. Establishing a routine is the best way to ensure that you’ll reach your fitness goals!
9. You can’t undo your hard work in a day, or even a week. Don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t able to be as active as you’d like or if you’ve stopped meal prepping because you’ve been busy. Get back on track and show yourself some compassion.
10. Negative self talk will get you nowhere. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your very best friend– no less nice and just as sassy. Gas yourself up like you do your girls!
11. Confidence is essential. If you’re feeling particularly unsure of yourself recognize that’s normal and don’t let it hold you back or get you down.
12. Fake it til you make it! If you’re trying something new in the gym, or are afraid to, remember that no one really cares. No matter how many eyes you think are on you, no one is really watching.
13. Your health should always be your #1 priority. Mental and physical alike. It’s also important not to neglect your spiritual well being and do some introspective exercises to better understand who it’s a different faucet of who you are apart from both your mental and physical self.
14. Do your research. Make sure you’re constantly learning and evolving. Don’t rest on your laurels. Learn something new, contribute to the conversation.
15. Ease yourself into weight lifting (or whatever you’re into). Don’t just jump right in expecting to deadlift as much as your friend who has been working on her form alone for years.
16. Comparison kills joy. Everyone is so uniquely beautiful and different. Don’t you dare compare yourself to others. It’s not fair to anybody!
17. Speak up! Read an article about eggs and cholesterol you want to share? Do it! Listened to a podcast about the benefits of turmeric? Tell a friend! Chances are they’ve been wondering about what you’ve learned or are interested in it’s benefits.
18. Spend time with loved ones. It’s more important than any workout, measurement, or extreme fitness goal you have. You can get yourself to your goals without neglecting those you love.
19. You will fail. Some days (or weeks) you won’t meet your macro goals or you’ll have a bad workout. You might drive all the way to the track to try to hit your fastest 400 time only to not be able to get out of your car. It’s okay. It’s a part of life.
20. There are more holistic ways to deal with health problems than many health professionals are aware of. As easy as it is to take that prescription that took your nurse practitioner .2 seconds to fill out to the pharmacy, it’s worth the research. You might be surprised how changing something up in your diet or lifestyle can save you the meds.
21. It’s okay to take medication. More than that, sometimes it is absolutely necessary. You may need it to be healthy and there’s nothing wrong with being on medication for whatever issues you have. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
22. If you’re ever feeling like less than a rockstar, go outside, to your local gym, a field, wherever and do something that makes you remember YOU ARE LIVING IN YOUR BODY. It sounds obvious, right? WRONG. Sometimes when we get down we feel almost like we’ve been body-snatched and we’re just going through the motions. Get out of your head and back into your body.
23. Stretching and meditating will change your life
24. You deserve to be healthy. Wow. writing that gives me chills. Repeat it, out loud, YOU DESERVE TO BE HEALTHY. Now say it in the first person, I. DESERVE. TO. BE. HEALTHY. Now say your name in the sentence this time, I _____ deserve to be healthy. Okay, now don’t you ever forget it. You deserve to feel well and radiant. Remember that every time you go to reach for something that was made in a lab, or engage in a habit that you know isn’t benefitting you. Remember that you when fueled correctly, you are an incredible force of nature. And most importantly remember that your wellbeing matters.
Be well xx.