What seems like a lifetime ago, but really, was last year, I wrote a book on how to live a habit based lifestyle. It’s a compilation of all the strategies I use to sustain myself through all the things that life has to offer. Long before I started writing the book, however, I had the idea that building a life you don’t need to take a vacation from was something worth striving for. That amorphous, vague idea is and was always the end goal, but the getting there is anything but vacation-like.
As I went back to school for my Nutritional Therapy certificate last year, I found myself musing on the outsized role that health plays in our lives. Health affects every aspect of our lives; from having the energy in the morning to reach our goals, to our pocketbook to pay for doctor’s visits, to our resource of the time it takes to go to appointments. Energy and vitality is a product of genetics, attitude, input (what we eat), reset time (sleep, meditation, downtime) and movement. Of those five factors, we control four of them.
We’ve all heard “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is a nod to the idea that ‘food is medicine.’ Well before we understood what eating not processed foods and copious amounts of veggies did for us, humans knew that food affects us in positive and negative ways. The Michael Pollan said “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” How we fuel our body is an essential part of having the energy to go after our day with gusto and have the drive to passionately work towards our goals.
There’s been a few comments on my Instagram feed remarking that I must not get much sleep – when really I average almost 7 hours a night. I got serious about sleep around 3 years ago when all the studies about sleep affecting age and longevity came out. I had a FitBit to monitor sleep, and I started doing everything I could to sleep more. When I lead Best Day Ever health and wellness challenges, sleep is one of the things we track because it’s so essential for brain health and energy.
My mom instilled a huge love of movement in my life. When I was younger, she used to run in races, and as soon as I got old enough, she got me a gym membership so I could work out with her. For me and my Type-A (eh hem, high strung) personality, if I don’t work out daily, my mood goes a little sour. With daily movement, I’m a kinder, gentler person. It’s such a big part of my mental health routine that when I was making a dream husband list, “work out every day” was on it. My work outs are hugely varied but over the years, I’ve tried boxing, running, pilates, TRX, Zumba, weight lifting, karate, mountain biking, spin classes, hiking and yoga. Whatever it is, I fit in some form of movement every day.
It might sound like a lot of work. Yes, it is. Having energy for your day, each and every day, does take work. But, it’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your goals and dreams are worth it. Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want to learn how to build a habit based lifestyle, I’ll be running a Best Day Ever fitness and health challenge starting January 15. I’d love to have you join me to get introduced to more of these concepts, learn from others and be surrounded by community that is all striving for progress, not perfection.