Happy Monday everyone! As we enter the heart of the holiday season and are all slowly recovering from the overeating marathon that was Thanksgiving, I wanted to write a more personal post (it sounds funny saying that since this is my personal blog) about my health and wellness journey. I feel like I use the phrase “health and wellness journey” so often, but I’ve never actually taken the time to explain what exactly that phrase means to me.
The journey is simple and something that I’m sure most people already inferred: I want to be healthier. But what brought me to this realization? and what are my main goals to becoming a healthier individual?
I feel like the most common reason people embark on a health journey is to lose weight. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than 1 in 3 adults in the United States are considered to be overweight. It’s safe to say that there is an obesity epidemic in this country, and I am someone that has fallen victim to that. According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), I am considered to be in the “overweight” category (and I’ve been there for a while). Coupled with mounting stress, chronic stomach issues (most likely due to stress) and general feelings of exhaustion, I was left feeling so unhappy about myself and the way I not only looked, but felt.
So yes, the short answer is that I began this journey in order to lose weight. But what I quickly realized that it was about so much more than just a number on the scale (cliché, I know). It dawned on me that even when I weighed 20 pounds less, I didn’t necessarily feel happier or more confident in my body image. I re-focused my broad goal from “lose weight” to “be healthy” when it became apparent that in order to gain happiness and clarity, I needed to focus on what I was putting in my body and how I was treating myself (both physically and mentally).
To say that it has been an uphill battle is putting it mildly. I have yet to find a workout that I love, sometimes I feel like eating healthy is actually making me feel worse (i.e. I recently had an allergic reaction to quinoa), and on top of all of that finding ways to manage my stress is exhausting and stressful in itself. Creating this blog as a way to document my failures and success is helping me to stay motivated on this journey, and maybe it can help someone who is in a similar situation? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor and I don’t have all of the answers (sometimes I believe I have absolutely NO answers) but I do know that researching and trying new ways to incorporate health and wellness into my life have given me a sense of purpose and, in a way, has allowed me to let go of those harsh, negative criticisms I have been dishing out against myself for so long.
So, where do I go from here? Well, the scale has been gathering dust under the counter for a month now, a nice change of pace from the weekly weigh in and documentation that I was putting myself through. I think I have finally figured out what may be attributing to my nagging stomach issues (a combination of stress and possible food sensitivity). AND I have carved out time each day to practice a relaxing activity to help manage my stress and gain mental clarity. It’s nearly impossible to measure my success on a quantitative scale, but I think I am heading in the right direction and will be here writing about it every week.
Where are you on your personal “health and wellness journey?” What are your health goals? Are they specific or broader? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.