I'm not vegan, I don't practice yoga, and I am still not sure about oils - so I can't be healthy - or can I?
I'm calling bullsh*t!
It's so easy to become overwhelmed by feeling you need to follow one specific way of eating, moving and thinking to have weight loss success when all you really need is to be open and willing to embrace change.
Thanks to social and mainstream media it can be quite overwhelming to determine which lifestyle is the right one to "choose" when striving for improved health. There isn't a hard line in the sand that states you must be 100% vegan or paleo to be "healthy", attending yoga classes every day isn't mandatory to be "healthy" and you surely don't have to apply massive amounts of essential oils to be deemed "healthy".
In fact, as a wellness advocate and someone who has been on this journey for five years and counting - my yoga pants have never been to a yoga class, I support those who embrace a vegan lifestyle, but this girl won't give up her love for BBQ, and let's just say I am dipping my toes into this idea of essential oils. I'm more into lifting heavy, making sweat angels on our home gym floor and dropping an f-bomb right after I finish meditating or journaling.
When I first enrolled and began attending online classes at IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) I felt that only path to being a successful coach and have success in my own personal journey was to become a plant-eating green juice drinking yogi who bathed in patchouli oil. The IIN community leaned toward plant-based lifestyles, but it wasn't a requirement merely a suggestion and until I learned the concept of bio-individuality I thought my days of BBQ were numbered.
One of the biggest issues I have surrounding certain diets and fitness communities is that if you don't embrace the lifestyle to a T you are always waiting for the internet trolls to find you and burn you at the stake. To be honest, there isn't ONE perfect diet or lifestyle on the planet and if a coach or product advocate is trying to tell you that their way is the only way... run!
My theory has always been and will always be to do the best you can with what you have access to, what you can afford, and what brings you the most happiness.
As a coach, it's my job to help you uncover what works best for you; your lifestyle and your goals. It's about designing a blueprint or a foundation that works FOR you - not against you. Using bio-individuality principles provides freedom and flexibility to pull from different "diets", lifestyles, forms of movement and spirituality to create a foundation that you can always call "home".
My lifestyle or bio-individuality foundation is a combination of several different practices and I don't feel any less healthy or connected to my wellness than if I were to lean toward a vegan - green juice drinking yogi lifestyle. Instead of feeling the need to go 100% in any particular direction -I've pulled what works and left what doesn't for someone else.
MY FOUNDATION LOOKS A LITTLE LIKE THIS:
- My body thrives on protein and healthy fats - leaving out grains and legumes has improved my digestion and I stopped feeling sluggish. One could say I am paleo or primal
- I am dabbling in my spiritual path - I was born into a household that wasn't overly religious but would consider myself a Christian but strives to connect with the universe on a daily basis.
- I love cold brew coffee with heavy cream just as much as I love a green smoothie or acai berry bowl.
- Movement for me is a stress reliever and a way to challenge myself to push beyond the limitations I often oppose on myself. I enjoy throwing around weights, making sweat angels and celebrating PR's with colorful adjectives!
- Personal development has become a cornerstone for my personal growth and understanding of who I want to be.
Am I healthy - your damn right I am!
Oh, I almost forgot - I am falling in love with essential oils so I sort of smell like a hippie from time to time.
When I begin working with a new client we spend a lot of time becoming crystal clear on what healthy looks like, feels like and means to them. Two clients can have a radically different vision of what healthy means to them and it's my job to help bring together all of the wellness puzzle pieces and create a foundation that will always be "home".
Some of my clients have been SAD (Standard American Diet) eaters of fast and processed foods with little to no movement that want to clean up their diet and kiss the couch goodbye, then I have others who want to incorporate more plant-based eating and gentle movements like barre or yoga into their lifestyle because lifting heavy weights and leaning toward a paleo lifestyle isn't of interest. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you label a diet or a lifestyle as long as you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
I do however only have one lifestyle that I REFUSE to get behind and will not support. That is a lifestyle centered around highly processed nutrient lacking foods, excessive couch surfing, and a negativity mindset. This lifestyle is often brought on due to overwhelm, stress, confusion, and hopelessness -- but fear not, if this you or someone you love and care about - their lifestyle isn't an ultimatum, it's a choice and with a little hand-holding and a kick in the a$$ they can be healthy too.
Don't sit on the sidelines and let your health and wellness slip away because you feel like you need to have it all figured out. Instead, try a new style of eating or a workout for a few weeks and keep what works and ditch what doesn't. Find support, hire a coach (shameless plug), but remember you just have to willing to embrace change.