This week has been a trying week for me personally. I had several clients put their sessions on hold due to financial constraints and several more were either sick or too exhausted to train. Being the empathetic person I am, I feel for my clients, I really do. I don't want them to have financial stress, illness, or be too spent to get a workout in.
At the same time, however, this made me really wonder how many of us (generally speaking) are truly taking the time for self care. Our lives seem to be getting crazier every minute, we're constantly working to either get ahead or just stay afloat, and - because of these things - our health and fitness go on the back burner...ALOT. Eating healthy, working out and being fit is seen as a LUXURY rather than the NECESSITY it actually is. And, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure I'm getting this idea through to anyone I talk to, regardless of whether they are clients, family, friends, or strangers. I think we all, on the surface, understand this concept of being healthy and exercising. We all have the best of intentions, but when the going gets tough, it health/fitness seems to be the first thing to go; something people will do without because things are just too crazy.
I don't say all of this to judge people for their decisions or put them down so please do not misunderstand. I say all of this because I hope, through writing posts like this, I can maybe start to cause a shift in our actions or at least get people really thinking. Fitness and health are not and should not be luxuries; they should not be something we do if/when we have the energy, money, time. Instead, they need to be our top priority. Some may be asking themselves - where does Mariah get off on telling us how to live our lives? And, if you feel like that, it is a totally legitimate feeling. You have every right to think this.
But, still, I ask that you hear me out. I feel like I can speak on this subject because there was a time in my life when exercise, nutrition, and overall wellness were not even on my radar. I was busy, I was stressed, I was eating quickly due to lack of time, I was eating unhealthy....and working out? Forget about it. And guess what happened? My physical (and emotional) health took a real hit. I was on a hamster wheel I couldn't seem to get off of. There were a few times during this period of my life when I did try to eat healthy or get in a workout, but it never lasted long because I fell right back into old patterns. It is easier - in the short run - to pick up fast food and eat in the car on your way to whatever is next on your never ending to do list. It is easier - in the short run - to put off a gym membership or training because you are low on funds. It is easier - in the short run - to say I'm too tired today, I can't work out. And, I know that because I've said and done all of these things myself. I know exactly where people are coming from. Believe me, I do.
But, there comes a time in your life when you need to decide that you come first and you're going to do whatever you need to so you can ensure you come first - self care is your #1 priority. Your health, your wellness, you...come first. Everything is tied together - you eat better, you get sick less often, you have more energy to do what you need to, you can accomplish more at work, you FEEL better. And, yes, it means making time to prep healthy meals, go the gym, see your trainer, whatever the case may be. It takes effort and planning, but I promise you it is worth it.
There have been plenty of days, especially recently due to my pregnancy and continuing to build this company by myself that I felt I didn't have the time or I was too tired. That little voice crept inside my head for just a brief moment. You know what I've done each and every time that's happened? I've shut it down, picked on my workout gear, grabbed a class of water, cut up some fruits/veggies, and still made it happen. I've had to really learn the importance of consistency, self-discipline, time management, and...you guessed it, self care. Let's face it - the less we take care of ourselves, the less time we will probably get to live on this earth as we know it. There are a plethora of research studies out there to prove that AND to prove the direct link between stress, eating poorly, not getting enough exercise, and chronic illness which all leads down one path - premature death. The facts are there and cannot be denied.
The good news? It is never too late to turn things around. It is never too late to develop new, healthier, long lasting habits. It is never too late to say enough is enough, my health and well being comes first. Trust me when I say - you'll improve in all facets of your life when you make this switch and make it stick.
And, as always, I'm here for you! We can do this together.