I broke caring for my body down into three categories: Rest, Nutrition and Exercise.
I became more honest with myself about the fact that being a working mom and wife is a gift…and it is exhausting! With this in mind, I became vigilant about making sure my body was getting the rest it needed to joyfully manage all the demands of my daily living. This involved managing my nightly sleep as well as “checking” and “listening to” my energy levels throughout the day.
While I was already a relatively healthy eater, I became more diligent about putting nutrients in my body to “fuel” me throughout the day, and support my immune system, while also choosing to find freedom and joy in “yummy” foods in moderation. I became less “calorie” focused and more “nutrient” focused.
As a former athlete and fitness instructor, I am physically active, but in an effort to remain fit, I tend to push my body too hard. I began to pay attention to my energy level and then structure my physical activity around what my body NEEDED, as opposed to what I felt others expected, or how I felt I should look.
I decided that caring for my mind meant better managing my stress and anxiety.
Managing my stress started with weighing what gave me joy and fueled my giftings and passions vs what I was doing out of obligation. Through working with mentors, counselors and the support of family and dear friends, I began to accept and embrace my strengths AND my weaknesses, to work within my limitations and challenge myself to grow and leverage my talents.
As someone who has struggled with anxiety since I was a little girl, I began intentionally practicing gratitude and mindfulness daily and reach out for support when I felt my anxiety creeping in. As a person of faith, I also incorporated my beliefs into this process.
The definition of “spirit” is “the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.” I categorized tending to my “spirit” into my beliefs, identity, feelings and needs.
I began to dive deeper into understanding my personal spiritual beliefs and how they applied to life’s pressures. For me, as a follower of Jesus, this meant understanding and applying Jesus’s teachings on love, forgiveness and grace to my life and my relationships in a more intentional way.
I began to explore and better understand how I am “wired”, my strengths, weaknesses and what I believed was God’s purposes for my life.
Having spent much of my life ignoring my emotions, I began to acknowledge my feelings, both good and bad and recognize that they affect my spirit. This was done through consistent journaling, and sharing my heart with a counselor and those closest to me.
In vulnerability, I learned to identify and be okay with my needs and to invite people into my life who would help support me, encourage me and challenge me to figure out how to make sure my needs are being met.
I am not, by any means perfect, I am definitely not super woman…I still get occasionally tired, sick, my asthma can still be a struggle and I have days where I am grumpy. I haven’t “arrived” and I still have a lot of growing to do! However, this process of learning to live more holistically has brought healthy rhythms into my life. I am physically very healthy, feeling the best I have ever felt, happy and content with my physical appearance. I consistently am able to find joy in what can often be the mundane “grind” of life. My stress and anxiety rarely “hijacks” my thinking and I have developed great resilience in dealing with what life throw my way. I know without a doubt, what I believe and who I am! I am walking confidently in the purposes and calling laid out before me. I am fully known and fully loved by a community of people, which has given me the courage to acknowledge my needs as a human being and make sure they are met.
What was once a passion for physical that I lived out in my profession as a fitness instructor, and was once a passion for the mind and spirit that I lived out as a mentor and leader in my church, has now been integrated into a passion and calling to help others live in a more holistic manner, experiencing lifelong growth and transformation as a Health Coach! I can’t wait to work with you and begin this journey!
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