My Philosophy on Health & Wellness
I am pretty sure it comes as no surprise to most of my readers that I try to live a pretty healthy lifestyle. However, this comes after years of struggling to truly understand what “healthy” means. I was never truly introduced to healthy until I was well into my 20s. Prior to that healthy meant skinny. It wasn’t until I stopped focusing on skinny and learned how to live a balanced life that I discovered wellness. Wellness is living life at my happiest and healthiest—it does not mean a certain number on a scale or only eating a certain way or even the amount of times I exercise in a week.
“the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.”
The dictionary defines wellness as “the state of being on good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” It’s a process that takes and changes as the seasons of my life change. For me it’s about prioritizing rest to avoid sickness and stress, indulging in dessert on date night and sometimes feeding my kid whatever she will eat.
True, if I had millions of dollars, worked for myself and time, I would hire a chef to prepare all my meals, practice yoga daily and only buy organic and chemical free products. But let’s face it, I am not living like that on our salary.
So, here is how I approach health and wellness. It may not look the same as your definition or even work for you, and that’s ok! The key is focusing on living your best life to the best of your ability (and don’t judge others who live differently.)
I used to have a bad relationship with food. Growing up while my father was still in the picture, the weekly grocery run was a family event. My mom pushed the cart, my father walked in front and my brother and I stood behind my mom (silent). We only got the things that my father put in the cart unless I asked for something. And if my brother or mom wanted something it turned into them telling me so I could in turn ask my father. Let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience. We also ate a lot of pre-made TV dinners, canned veggies and fruits and things that came out of boxes.
Then after my father left, the grocery store became an every night event. We would get staples, but then each night head to the store to pick up food for the next day (because we lived day-to-day with our finances). I hated these trips and began eating at my boyfriend’s house to avoid them.
So, when I got to college and then living on my own, I followed these principles. I ate what tasted good and what I could afford.
Then I met my first husband and decided to compete in Miss Texas. He taught me how to eat to live, lose weight and maintain muscle. I learned about the need for lean proteins, lots of veggies, fresh fruits. I learned not to eat after 7pm and to leave carbs for earlier in the day. I lost weight and I became obsessed. In law school I counted every calorie and ate the exact same things every day so I knew exactly how many calories I was consuming. I also learned to bake or cook things in every low fat, low cal way imaginable. I sustained that diet for years. I gave up alcohol, sugar, dairy… ya’ll it was crazy.
And then I met my husband now and we had a kiddo. And I wanted to be happy and not miserable. I wanted to eat a cookie or drink a soda and not feel guilty and then go run 4 miles or find other way to dispel it from my system. I learned to live an 80/20 lifestyle when it comes to food. I eat clean 80% of the time and let it goes the other 20%. If you try to be perfect all day every day, you can turn into a cranky (and very annoying) person, and that’s not who I wanted to be. When it’s hot out, we’ll get ice cream, on summer weekends we make burgers and fries.. you get my drift.
Processed Foods: We try to stay away from them when possible, but we live in America in 2017 so we’re realistic. The 80/20 rule applies here too.
I was not concerned at all with beauty products until I had Evie. Suddenly, I was hyper aware of anything that touched her. I educated myself and allowed myself to become educated about cleaner beauty. But as with food, my strategy is to go for the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I (try) to use natural and organic products, and 20% of the time, I use other products that help with skin or hair issues that I’m having or that make me feel good.
For example, I utilize a ton of Beauty Counter products for Evie and myself. I use the shampoo, conditioner and body wash for her. I use the charcoal cleansing bar, many of the face oils as well as face masks. I also LOVE their moisturizer. I have also substituted some of my makeup. I love their eyeshadows and eyeliners. The pigment is lush and vibrant and stays in place. I also recently switched to their concealer as well and have been highly pleased. I also use Dew Skin on the weekend instead of my heavier foundation.
As with beauty, we live by the same rule when it comes to cleaning supplies. We keep the chemicals to a minimum as much as possible, but I find that the toilet and shower never really get as clean without a little extra power. So every other week, we use a product with bleach. I also switched laundry detergent and dish soap for something that was more gentle and safe.
I have a love/hate relationship with exercise… I love the way it makes me feel, and not like oh I am skinny, but literally the rush of endorphins that flood my body post-workout. And I admit there are morning that I do not want to get out bed and move my body, but once I start, I always feel better.
And on the flip side, I hate the stigma attached to exercise. Like you have to exercise to be healthy or if you exercise too then you are vain, etc… So, when I restarted my fitness journey in January of last year I decided it would never be hard on myself about it, and I think that’s what makes my relationship with working out healthier. If I miss a workout, it’s not a big deal! If I miss a week or more, then I start to feel bad physically, so I’m motivated to get back on the wagon. And, I have a whole group of women who count on me to show up and motivate them.
Ok, so when it comes to health, there is where I draw the line. Yes, I love me some essential oils, elderberry syrup, etc… But at the end of the day, when I am sick I go to the doctor. When I have a headache, I try water first and then Excedrin it is. When E is sick, we head to the pedi.
What about you? What is your idea on health & wellness?