Pop Princess Katy Perry’s song “Roar” was nominated at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for the 2013 Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. The song is about self-empowerment. We’re not here to talk about whether or not you’re familiar with the song. We’re here to focus on one of the song’s verses: “I stood for nothing so I fell for everything.” Most women can identify with feeling this way at some point in life. We have all experienced times when we find ourselves falling for anything and everything. The chaos of our indecisiveness can become so intense that we reevaluate our personal beliefs.
Our belief systems have become synonymous with our “personal brand,” aka how we project ourselves to the outside world. We typically think of our careers, clothes, hairstyle and social media presence as components of our personal brand; however, wellness is a huge, oftentimes forgotten, piece of the equation. When it comes to wellness, what do you stand for? What do your food choices, exercise patterns, self-confidence, and health say about you? Are they consistent with the “you” you want to be?
When I started working full-time in the fitness industry I found myself trying to take on one too many personas. I was struggling to figure out what I stood for and to find my own brand. I was determined to be a hard core boot camp instructor, an intelligent personal trainer, a peaceful yogi, a thoughtful Pilates instructor, a powerful cyclist and an avid marathon runner all at once. At the same time, I was overindulging on the weekends, enjoying lavish parties and DC’s fine dining. I barely got any sleep during this time because I was living out the cliché phrase “burning the candle at both ends” and as a result, my health was suffering.
After trial and error, I found balance. I decided that I stand for and believe in moderation. I will always love diverse exercise formats and I will always love food (between the two sides of my family there are bread and wine makers!) but taking any of these things to the extreme is moving away from the path of wellness and balance.
The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” This means that wellness is not a static state, it is an evolving one.
As we grow and age we have greater potential to evolve into the best versions of ourselves. We can establish a meaningful existence and anchor our personal brand. Scared of aging? Don’t be! Time and experience help us become aware of the positive and negative consequences that different decisions have on our wellness. Wellness is a journey.
A journey takes place daily, one small decision after the next. It’s not a quick sprint or a linear path. Often we become more in tune with what we believe, and how we want to act, after moments of tension and regression. These moments act like slingshots, pulling us backwards to the point of maximum tension before we are catapulted forward a greater distance than we would have achieved without such strain.
My days of overindulgence didn’t actually pull me backwards. They catapulted me into a love of helping people live in moderation and balance. The decision to change was not instantaneous. The progress was not always linear. But I evolved and so can you.
Consider another example of non-linear change: Melanie tries to lose weight via crash diets and daily exercise but finds that every time she reaches her goal weight she rebounds and quickly regains every single pound. Fed up and frustrated, she decides to follow the advice of a respected nutritionist who counsels her to make modest adjustments to the portions of her meals instead of drastically cutting calories or surviving on detox, juice-only diets. The nutritionist also advises Melanie to work out four times a week instead of seven. Melanie initially gains a few pounds following this system; however, at the end of six months she has lost more than her goal weight! She feels that she is in a healthy routine that is easy to maintain.
Melanie’s weight loss proves that change does not happen overnight. It also does not come without mistakes and resistance; however, over time, positive decisions add up. They become so great in number that they start to define you. They begin to anchor you in a more harmonious existence and your brand becomes a reflection of your beliefs.
One simple decision. That’s how we change. Go try it out. Try today!
Yours in health and wellness,