I’ve been conscious of my health since I graduated high school. This was the time I realized how eating well, sleeping soundly, and being active made me feel. This lifestyle gave me more energy to live life. I felt ten times better. It was a secret I couldn’t wait to share with others, which is why I became a dietitian in the first place.
Throughout the years my relationship with health has been challenged, whether it was the stress of a cross country move, new jobs (I had 10 after college!), or the life-changing experiencing of having kids. In many ways, it’s grown much richer and deeper. But like any relationship, it can get stale and taken for granted. It’s all too easy to forget the whys of the healthy habits we hold so dear. When I do, it can feel like an obligation that is anything but inspiring.
When I get in a rut, as I recently have, I realize that good health is not meant to consume me or be an afterthought. Making my health a priority simply allows me to do everything better: work, play, and relationships. It truly is a gift. But here’s the thing: It’s not so much about what I do, but how I feel about what I do. When the passion is gone, so is the will.
So I focus on the feeling instead of the doing. I realize I want to go to bed early to be ready to attack the day. I want to make my lunch in the morning so I get a hearty, balanced meal when my body seems to be its hungriest. I want to take that walk break from my desk, instead of checking Facebook, because I come back more focused. I run stronger and stay for the whole fitness class because those feel-good endorphins stay with me a bit longer. I make time for daily meditation because it makes me patient, happier, and less reactive.
It’s simple really. When I focus on how much my healthy habits give me, they instantly shift from a should to a want. And sure enough, it happens. I find myself falling in love with health all over again.