Sorry that I haven’t been able to post as much as I would have liked to this week!!!! The conference has been great, but we don’t have internet access unless we make the trip into town. For now, I’ll keep this post quick, but I should have a decent-sized post up on Friday or Saturday! Sorry for abandoning ya’ll! =P
Anyway, I wrote this article for a class recently, and wanted to know what you think about it, so here it is:
What is True Wellness?
Wellness is a very interesting subject. It doesn’t necessarily mean “eat only non-processed foods” or “workout twice a day, every day”. Really, it’s more about finding your individual balance in regards to fueling yourself and to exercise. We’re all different, each one of us is a unique creation of God. There is no plan that works for every single one of us. We all need a different balance of nutrients in our diets and enjoy different activities. It is literally impossible to apply one person’s “healthy lifestyle” to another person’s. Some people feel their best on a vegetarian/vegan diet, some need to eat gluten-free foods, and some need higher-fat meals. Some of us are runners, others prefer team sports, and others enjoy yoga or Pilates. Wellness not only encompasses our diets or our exercise but also our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. How then can there be a single plan that all of us should follow exactly?
I am considering becoming a personal trainer. Because of this, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the matter of wellness. Over some time, I’ve realized that what is trying to be sold as a “fitness plan” or a “diet that will change your life forever” isn’t really the best way to achieve wellness. These plans are definitely helpful, especially when put together by professionals, but no single plan works for everyone. And, in my opinion, a life spent following a specific, inflexible workout/diet regime doesn’t exactly sound like something that would bring about well-being. What do you enjoy doing? What are your favorite foods? What is your favorite way to get exercise? What makes you feel your best? Where is your balance? These are questions that we should ask ourselves more frequently, and are questions that I plan to ask of my future clients. When has denying yourself your favorite treat or forcing yourself to complete workouts that you hate on a daily basis ever brought wellness? I’ve been there, and still am tempted to go back at times. I can say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that what works for me will probably not work for you. We’re all different, have different needs, and enjoy different things. I truly enjoy difficult cardiovascular workouts. Kickboxing and running are some of my favorite ways to get my exercise. I want to run half- and full-marathons someday. You may have no interest whatsoever in either of those things. So how can I say that my way is the best for everyone? My sister enjoys dancing. I can’t dance without falling down at least once. Its what works for her, not for me. Find something that you want to do and I can guarantee that you’ll enjoy exercise so much more than if you were being forced to do something.
As for nutrition, we all enjoy different foods. We all need some of each food group daily, but that doesn’t mean that we have to eat the exact same things. Everyone needs different fuel. I love fruit and greens, in pretty much any shape or form. Huge salads,apples, plums, bananas, green monster smoothies (smoothie with spinach or kale blended in), kale chips and roasted vegetables are all things I love. I don’t really have to work hard to get my fruit/veggie servings in every day. I actually probably have to work harder at getting my protein and fats. This is something that I know about myself, and I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to not fill my plate up with salad, but to add some meat as well. I love whole-grains, and could probably eat rice and beans on a daily basis, but I have to make sure that I have better-rounded meals so that I feel my best. I may have to work at eating a lot of meat, but I definitely feel better when I do. It is all about balance. We really do feel our best when we include some of every food group into our daily meals. Everyone has different areas that they need to work on nutrition-wise, and enjoying vegetables more than most people doesn’t make me any better than them. Once again, we’re all different. We operate best on well-rounded meals, because our bodies need nutrients from each of the food groups. Its amazing how much better we feel on days when we’re fueling ourselves properly. Also, to “fuel yourself properly” doesn’t mean to never again eat foods labeled as “fattening”. This is another difficult area for me personally. Honestly though, how can we call a meal plan without our favorite indulgences a “wellness plan”? Flexibility is also an important part of our well-being.
Wellness isn’t only about how we exercise or what we eat. It also involves our emotional and spiritual sides. If we eat well, but have a negative self image, that’s not wellness. If we neglect our walk with God, we won’t have wellness regardless of whether or not we’re doing exercise activities that we enjoy. When we aren’t fueling ourselves well, it is even harder to focus on life and we feel physically weak, and maybe even spiritually weak. Exercising can improve so many of our physical conditions, and sometimes, even improve our self image. Our walk with God, our nutrition, exercise and our emotions are all fundamental to our well-being. We need to nourish each one of these aspects. If even one of these areas is lacking, it will most definitely affect every single one of the others. I’ve been there, and I know what I’m talking about. Not only will we feel worse, we’ll make those around us feel worse. Wellness is not about following strict diet plans or exercise regimes, its about us nourishing every aspect of ourselves, from our nourishment and exercise to our Christian lives and our emotions. Wellness is brought about by balance, and because we’re all different, we need to work on different things so that we can feel our personal best.
Sorry for the long-ish and impersonal post…..=P
How have ya’ll been this week?????
Gotta run! See ya soon!!! =D
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