This title has a lot of different meanings, but what I am referring to here specifically is overall health. I have driven myself nuts in the last year to ensure everything my family eats and does is healthy. I figured if I were to become a health coach then I couldn’t just talk the talk, I had to walk the walk. But then I realized something. I was telling people that perfection didn’t exist and yet I was striving for perfection.
I was coaching folks to make small changes here and there. Do what they could to incorporate healthy habits, but not feel like they had to change everything. Buy organic when it’s available. Give up soda/alcohol/ice cream/red meat/whatever three times a week. Exercise every other day. Yet I wasn’t listening to my own advice. I would stress out when I didn’t exercise five or six times a week or drink three full Nalgene water bottles a day. I felt like having a glass of wine or cup of coffee each day was too much and I needed to cut it out. I would get on my kids if they didn’t have at least three fruits or vegetables a day or barely consume any water. I freaked out when the kids went to bed late and got up early. I’ve been stressing myself out making sure I cooked a healthy dinner. Every. Single. Night. Luckily my husband is happy to eat just about anything (sans eggplant and zucchini), but the endless complaining about the dinner time selection from my children was putting me over the edge. They might as well have started a riot. “No more quinoa! No more zucchini muffins! No more black bean burgers.” Not that I am going to cut out all that healthy goodness, but I will stop forcing it down their throats so often. It didn’t help that I became vegetarian a few years ago and would only cook those types of meals. I’m not entirely sure incorporating meat back into our diet will lessen my angst much, but dinner planning has got to be somewhat easier than I’ve been making it. Involving the family in meal planning might just be the best idea I’ve had yet! Although while looking at cook books last night around the dinner table, and making suggestions, my daughter whimpered “I can’t do this. It’s just too stressful!” Welcome to my world, kid!
I haven’t worked out on a consistent basis since April and I stress about it every day. I’m not so worried about the physical deterioration, but the mental deterioration. My depression and anxiety have certainly resurfaced. The days I do workout I definitely feel better mentally. I would exercise every day except I am still nursing an injury and my way of dealing is to just work out every other day for thirty to forty-five minutes instead of the last year’s five or six days a week for an hour or two. My body pushed back and let me have it, and now I’m paying the price. Getting old sucks.
Variety. Balance. Moderation. I educate others on those three words when it comes to all health aspects. Exercise. Foods. Sunscreen. Alcohol. Etc. I had no problem seeking variety and moderation, but the balance wasn’t there. Part of my tag line for my health coaching practice is: Start small. Start simple. Start somewhere. I realize now I was trying to: Go BIG. Go COMPLEX. Go EVERYWHERE! I need to: Simplify. Slow down. And STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT! How many people with anxiety know that is such a hard lesson? We tend to spend excessive amounts of time worrying about the future, which is not the same as planning for the future.
Friends and family tell me to, “Lighten up. Relax.” It’s easier said then done for someone with anxiety. I realize that I am driving myself batty and need to lighten up. Just getting there is the hard part. I’m not sure what the best path is and maybe once again that’s the problem. I’m taking it day by day and doing my best to live in the present moment. It’s important to remember that the perfection of health doesn’t exist. You do what you can, and you move on. Life is too short to stress about every aspect of health. My children are the epitome of health and I think I’ve taught them well. My aim is for my children to make healthy decisions on their own now and later on in life. Their journey towards a healthy life may take some turns, but that’s alright. As long as they know there are choices, and they make healthier ones more often than not.