“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 140 Lbs or there about
Age: 36 (ish)
The above stats were mine when I very first started my coaching course with Oola. This is what I thought fitness was all about. I knew that eating a balanced diet and taking your vitamins was a good idea as well. I figured I was fairly healthy and would probably score around seven on the Oola Wheel and could probably hit a 9 or 10 quickly if I made a few lifestyle changes.
I got a THREE. I checked my addition and read some of the questions again just to make sure I hadn't missed something. It started to sink in pretty quick that my knowledge in this area needed an overhaul.
Growing up I was always the skinny tall girl who could not seem to gain weight. We ate well, I was active and fairly healthy. As a child my knackety knees were not a concern. As a teenager it came with mixed messages. Peers would call me anorexic. I started to make a point of eating an excessive amount of food when I was around friends to prove that this skinny girl could eat! It became an unconscious habit of eating what I want, when I want and with large portions and no thought about nutrition. I developed a bad relationship with food.
I'm not sure why but I was surprised when mental health was included in a fitness category. As someone who has struggled with anxiety for many years, it makes sense to me now. When anxiety is at its peak I experience an upset stomach, migraines, tension headaches, dizziness and irritability, my ability to make decisions becomes disrupted. I don't eat because my stomach is in knots, my blood sugar drops, here comes the dizziness, irritability and nausea. I reach for something to fill the gap, overeat and then feel sick. I never reach for fruit or vegetables. My sleep was disrupted. 3am panic attacks are not fun. Anxiety can be exhausting. I am grateful for science. Having access to medication during this time helped me level out so I could sort out what was happening without catastrophizing minor events.
As I reviewed and learned more about what Fitness included, I made a list.
Get answers on hip and knee pain
Reduce anxiety med's
Get more exercise
Create healthy habits for Abigail
This area of my life that I always ignored has become a major focus for me. One year into my program and I am not exactly where I wanted to be but I am on the right track to reaching my goals. I quit smoking over four months ago. I am more intentional at including nutritious items into my daily meals and snacks. I have gained weight since quitting smoking and am now working on a plan to incorporate a proper exercise routine into my day. I have been able to wean off the medication I was on for over 7 years for anxiety. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. It has taken a lot of focus and learning what tools will help me through the panic and anxiety when it creeps up. I am working with a physiotherapist for my hip pain and am happy to say I am able to walk around the block without my leg stiffening up and I don't have to try 20 or more sleep positions before falling asleep anymore. My nights are pain free. With being able to get a handle on the top three items I am now able to shift more focus to the bottom two.
How does it all tie into the other areas of life?
Finance: I have not spent $1500 so far on smoking.
Family: I have more energy to get out and do fun things and can keep up with Abigail, well most days anyway (she's six - that energy is something else)
Friends: I say yes more when I'm invited on outings, I communicate more often with friends.
Fun: I no longer have to consider a smoking exit or break. I can keep up with a living room dance party without being laid up in pain the next day.
Field (Career) No more standing in the cold & rain for a quick smoke break. Mental clarity so I can focus more on my goals.
Fitness was always in last place on my list of priorities and it has shot right up into first place.