Yours truly, Wendy Battles, The Clean Eating Coach, is focused on one idea these days — PREVENTION. Chalk it up to the fact that as I hit my mid-40s, I can’t help but notice subtle changes in my body — I’m storing a bit more fat and I don’t lose weight as quickly as I used to. It feels like the beginning of my hormones slowing down just a bit – it’s little stuff in the big scheme of things yet I’ve still taken note so I can be proactive and preventative.
For me, that translates into increased awareness about what I’m putting into my body and how I’m taking care of it. I think before I eat something, weigh whether I want it or need it (seriously, who’s ever needed a cupcake?), and if I do want it and it’s perhaps not such a clean eating food, I weigh what I’m willing to do to balance it out…like more time at the gym. Simply becoming more self-aware goes a long way toward preventing chronic disease — increased self-knowledge leads to better choices and avoiding unhealthy behaviors.
Having recently lost a friend to pancreatic cancer who was only 50, I regularly think about how fortunate I am to be healthy with no major medical problems. My friend Pam’s death was such a wake up call. Before she got sick, she had a healthy lifestyle doing all the right things yet she still got sick. Really, any of us can be susceptible. When I step back and get some perspective, my slightly creaky joints, sometimes sore foot from doing too much cardio and little aches and pains are nothing compared to the several friends I have who are currently dealing with cancer or other illnesses, or who have sadly passed away.
I really believe that how we treat ourselves today, especially those of us in or nearing middle age, has everything to do with how our older years will manifest. Do you want to age vibrantly and be energized or can you see yourself burdened with health problems that cause regret about your past self-care efforts (or lack thereof)? Needless to say, I’m all about being preventative, eating clean foods, getting plenty of exercise and rest and taking the best care of myself that I can.
Last week I opened up my friend Ginny’s bi-weekly newsletter and was struck by the content. Ginny, a life coach, is a pro at helping people shift perspective to get new insights into challenges they may be facing. She mentioned how helpful it is to think about what you’re willing to do to solve a problem and why that’s so important.
I read her newsletter and immediately wrote back and said, “I’m willing to do a strength training workout 3 times per week so I feel great in a bathing suit this summer.” I was struck by what an easy shift I had when I was able to articulate both what I’d be willing to do and why it was so important. It’s only mid-April and I’m already focused on a summertime goal and excited about it (especially since I joined a new gym that’s motivating me). I can already feel how I’ll feel when I’m on the beach this summer and feeling great in my bathing suit and about my body. And truth be told, in the end, it’s less about the physical manifestation (looking great in the suit) and more about how I’m taking care of myself that really matters.
I find that when there’s a larger reason that’s inspiring me, it’s so much easier to get started on a goal and stick to it. In fact, it doesn’t have to be so hard at all.
I’m curious to know what you’re willing to do to prevent chronic disease and feel your best as you age. What’s your spark of inspiration to help you feel your best as your body changes?