Talking with a lot of my friends over the past couple months concerning the topic of wellness, one major theme we've discussed is the reasons why we choose to exercise and eat right. I can't count the number of times I've heard reasons of wanting to fit into a certain dress or wanting to look good for an upcoming event. Most of the reasons were temporary point "A" to point "B" goals. At first, my idea of being healthy was this perception that someone wasn't happy with something about themselves so they set to reach a particular weight loss goal to be happier. I often thought to myself, "Well what then? What happens after the goal is met? is that the time to stop working toward health & go back to our old habits?"
It wasn't until April of last year that I felt I really began to understand health and why it would be important in someone's life besides just reaching a particular goal. I began to realize that my body is a vessel and I should seek to love myself by giving my body the good things it needs; not to reach a certain goal, but to live a lifestyle of health. We are always told to be good stewards of our possessions and money, but what about being good stewards of ourselves? Is that being self-centered or is that striving towards being the "best you" so we can go out and live fully, do the things we are passionate about, and be a fantastic sibling, child, spouse, partner, and parent? I would argue striving to be our best selves is a way in which we can LOVE and DO more fully.
As the new year begins and as many of us make resolutions for health, I would challenge you to ask yourself what your intentions are for your wellness journey. Let's seek after lives where wellness is a "forever" journey, where we want to build habits that last a lifetime and that inspires those around us. Where we are willing to keep promises to ourselves and love ourselves enough to steward something so precious.
While reading one of my favorite books on health, Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr, I came across her thoughts on self-stewardship and loved how she inspired me to think about it:
“Picture yourself when you were five. In fact, dig out a photo of little you at that time and tape it to your mirror. How would you treat her, love her, feed her? How would you nurture her if you were the mother of little you? I bet you would protect her fiercely while giving her space to spread her itty-bitty wings. She’d get naps, healthy food, imagination time, and adventures into the wild. If playground bullies hurt her feelings, you’d hug her tears away and give her perspective. When tantrums or meltdowns turned her into a poltergeist, you’d demand a loving time-out in the naughty chair. From this day forward I want you to extend that same compassion to your adult self.” - Kris Carr
So, let's do this thing! Let's care about and love our bodies. Let's be compassionate and caring to ourselves. Let's encourage ourselves with truth and seek to live BIG and fully.
Photo found here and edited by me.