Today I’m starting a series talking about my five core values: Authenticity, Balance, Creativity, Health, Connectedness. First up is health.
Last weekend I was back in Michigan for my Aunt Bunny’s funeral. I was there for 4-ish days, and I felt very depressed being “home.” Of course funerals are sad, but it was more than that. I consider myself to be a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), so I feel energy really strongly, whether positive or negative.
The energy all weekend was of…for lack of better words, bad health. Now I won’t say why or who as to not throw anyone under the bus, but it makes me think that there are so many people out there not really “living” life. They are just slowly dying. And accepting it.
I joked to my co-workers when I got back to LA that my health meter (referring to video games) was nearly at zero as I felt I had sucked up some of that energy. I felt lethargic and blah.
Being back in LA, I have felt my health meter starting to rise again. Say what you will about LA (it’s not my favorite place either), but the energy here is that (for the most part) of good health. You can’t spit without hitting a yoga studio or juice bar. You can’t walk outside without seeing someone running.
This may sound snobby, but there is something to be said about how the environment you live in affects you.
Just yesterday I was at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open. While it would be improbable for me to attain the level of fitness and low body fat that these athletes have attained, there is something VERY motivating about seeing them in action.
It makes me that much more dedicated to always focus on health first. It literally is my number one priority in life, because without it, (I feel) you can’t be your best anything (mother, father, brother, sister, wife, husband, employee, etc.).
I must admit, it drives me bananas when I hear/read someone saying they were depressed or had a bad day, and the thing that they chose to do is drink a ton of alcohol or go get fast food or a bucket of ice cream. That is a sure-fire way to feel shittier.
Or people with chronic health problems who refuse to get to the bottom of the root cause of a symptom, but instead want to just keep sticking band-aids on the problem, or take a pill.
I know someone close to me who is having serious complications from a skin condition, which happens to a lot of people, but is so bad they could nearly die from it. When I suggested that stress (which they agreed is in his life in a big way) might be the root cause and to perhaps address the cause and try to rectify it (seek professional help or read books/articles), they flat out refused.
I consider myself to be empathetic, but I don’t feel bad for someone who is constantly sick, and at least 90% of the time it’s because of lifestyle choices. And then refuses to make any lifestyle changes. What kind of life is that?
And lest you think I’m perfect and what gives me the right…rest assured I’m so far from it. But I know I will constantly be seeking out any ways I can to try to feel my absolute best. I really don’t want to live a long life if I’m going to be suffering from chronic this and that because of lifestyle choice.
In the last five or so years I’ve had to up my game by*:
- Making sleep a HUGE priority (check out the Model Health Show or read the book Thrive to learn more about the ways that good quality sleep is ESSENTIAL to good health).
- Cutting way back on carbs (sniff pasta sniff).
- Prioritizing meditation (read 10% Happier by Dan Harris. It’s not a woo-woo book!).
- Taking probiotics (I SWEAR by them, even if they are expensive. I take Udo’s Choice).
- Drinking way less alcohol (not that I ever drank a lot to begin with).
- Rarely eating out (expensive AND more calories).
- Strength training (so, so important!!).
- Monitoring snacking (which is my weakest area by far).
- Almost daily taking a green supplement (I use CytoGreens for Athletes-it’s tasty!)
- Drink lemon water as soon as I wake up.
*I’ve always exercised 5-6 days a week so that’s been a constant, which is why it’s not on the list.
What I need to do to level up:
- Gain control of snacking (what I eat and when).
- Drink more water.
- Getting up from my desk at work more and stretching/walking the stairs.
- Flexibility training (yoga, and stretching after workouts).
- Optimizing skin care and better sunscreen usage.
- DAILY meditation (right now I still skip days).
- Cooking more variety of fruits and veggies (I tend to stick to the same ones).
- No artificial anything!
- Even less sugar!
- Daily gratitude journal (although I practice gratitude, I’m not recording it anywhere).
- Brain training (I’m worried about a mushy mind in “old age”).
- More unplugging/social media fasts.
- More organic food and using natural cleaning products.
As you can see, I have a LOT to work on! It’s a tall order, but it’s something to work towards.
In closing I’d like to say this: Please, please PLEASE try and take better care of yourself, and I promise I will do the same. If you’re sick of being sick, then DO SOMETHING! I’m not talking about prescriptions, although if necessary then OK. I’m talking about being proactive with your health, and making daily decisions that are good for you and don’t deplete your health meter.
It’s not about being ripped. It’s about enjoying life a lot more than you may be currently experiencing. It’s about being around longer with your friends and loved ones. It’s about being able to do simple things (like flying on a plane or going on amusement park rides) without something like your health or weight being an issue.
If your doctor says to lose weight, don’t take offense. Just start with simple walks. “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.” It’s the law of inertia. If you’re just starting to exercise and you feel tired and therefore think you should rest, then you will lose your inertia. You WILL break through the tiredness and you will reach a point where NOT exercising makes you tired and exhausted and you will crave it! Trust that it will happen!
Cheers to all our health!