Prioritizing health not perfection...
What is perfection anyway? Does perfection mean you have "shredded" abs? Is it building bulk and gaining muscle? Is it fitting into a certain pair of jeans?
Everyone has their own goals and everyone has their own "If only this happened then I'd be happy" thoughts....in fact, I fell into that dirty trap last night. I am sore ALL OVER from the body Beast workout I just started on Monday and I looked in the mirror and told my husband that if the soreness "get's rid of this" (pinching my self proclaimed trouble area) then I'd be happy.....I caught myself quickly and said "No. that's not true. Your body doesn't make you happy, your attitude makes you happy."
I've been opening up more and more over the past year about my struggles with hormones and adrenal fatigue (more correctly know as Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis dysfunction now). The really short and simplified version is this: Stress in my life has caused stress in my body which results in stress on certain parts of the body that produce and balance hormones. This is also supported by, or hindered by, gut health. I've worked really hard on my gut health ( and continue doing so) while also taking some supplementation to help my body do it's job better.
I've made tremendous progress in the past year and have been really happy that my digestion, my moods, and my energy have all improved. I really like to be busy, get things done, engage with others and feel productive at the end of each day. But sometimes life wears me out and I have to take my own coaching advice and go slow to avoid taking a few steps back with my health. Since I believe many of you may struggle with similar issues I wanted to share some key things that really help your body thrive and deal with stress appropriately.
3 ways you can prioritize your
health and not perfection:
1) Ditch the processed foods and COMMIT to eating a whole foods diet filled with nutritious veggies, meats, and the right healthy fats and carbs. Forget counting calories, portion control or counting macros...If it's processed skip it - if it's a whole food - enjoy it! If this isn't a step you've fully committed to yet, I would encourage you to start here. Every bite of food = communication to your cells on how to work and function. If you are fueling them with sugar and chemicals then your body responds accordingly. If you fuel it with micronutrients, vitamins, healthy fats etc....then your body begins to thrive, your skin glows, your energy increases, etc etc.... If you need encouragement and help along the way you can always message me or join one of my monthly challenges where I provide meal plans, workouts that are appropriate for you and encouragement. You can find out more HERE. If you're interested in working with me 1:1 check out my nutrition page HERE. I just heard from a client yesterday who I have been working with for only 3 weeks or so and she happily reported that she has seen increased energy, better digestion AND improved sleep in that short amount of time! I couldn't be happier!
2) Be willing to take a day off. Whether you take a day off work to just relax, or you skip a day in your workout routine, listening to your body when it needs a break is CRUCIAL. Don't let your mind play games with you and tell you that 1 day will mess with your progress. You know what will mess with your progress? Pushing yourself when your body is too tired--> this releases your stress hormone cortisol and guess what stores fat? Excess cortisol. Let's keep that baby in check and rest as needed!
3) Speaking of rest, prioritizing quality sleep is paramount. If you are someone who wakes up multiple times a night, has to go to the bathroom at 3am, or just generally wakes up fatigued, you may really want to start thinking about how you can prioritize getting deep quality sleep. Sleep is when your body repairs itself and skimping on that (whether you feel like you need it or not) is not ok! For some awesome tips on getting better rest, visit the king of sleep Shawn Stevenson and his article on getting better zzs HERE!
Basically - don't kill yourself trying to be perfect! Too much exercise, too little sleep, and too much stress can counter all the hard work you put into your workouts and your nutrition. So kick your feet up, get a massage, and prioritize your own health FIRST! Your healthy weight, lean muscles, and increased energy will be a side effect.
I'm passionate about helping YOU achieve optimum health and balance in your life. For more information on my journey to balanced hormones, and/or to get on my waitlist so that I can begin helping you on YOUR journey, sign up for my newsletter HERE. I will be a certified FDN practitioner in a few months and I can't wait to be your health detective and support you on your way to better health!