Why does it seem as though the moment you reach your mid-twenties your body and health alike feel as though they’re falling apart? No but really, FALLING APART. Long gone are the days where you could eat anything you wanted without facing the consequences (“pleaseee zip”, I would pray over my skinny jeans), or have the utmost energy from sun up to sun down. You know the saying “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”…well, my body literally felt as though it was deteriorating, and needed a little bit more than the occasional TLC. My body was begging for a full blown intervention.
I wish I could say it didn’t take a specific event to give me the wakeup call I needed, but of course it did. Growing up I was lucky enough to have two parents that were (and still are) extremely health conscious, passing their ideals and beliefs onto both my brother and I, and to the dinner table as well. You see, I grew up on healthy meals before tofu and green juices were cool, and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I experienced a Lunchable for the very first time (raise your hand if you’re a fan of the nachos box!). But naturally, college happened, unlimited meal plans kicked in, and I paid little to no attention to my health.
By the time I had graduated from college and transitioned to Atlanta, I began to add fitness classes such as yoga and barre to my work-life balance. But that’s the disillusion of health, because while you think you look and feel great, your body could be saying differently. With an array of mini health scares in my mid-late twenties, I decided it was time to reboot my health, beginning with the attention I gave it. No matter where you are in your wellness journey, it’s never too late to give your body the TLC it deserves. Below I share some tips that have helped me in putting my health at the forefront:
1. Schedule regular doctor visits.
I used to schedule doctor’s appointments if and only when something seemed to be wrong with me. If this is you, stop this, now. Sit down with your work calendar and prioritize time for checkups with your primary doctor, dentist, therapist, optometrist, gynecologist for your annual (ladies, please!), and everyone in-between. Early detection and awareness really and truly is key. Looking for the right doctor/s? Call your insurance company, as they can provide you with a list of specific options.
2. Change your eating habits.
Let me be clear, glazed doughnuts won’t be retiring from my diet anytime soon, but I have made some drastic changes to my eating habits over the years. Try challenging yourself to incorporate “Meatless Mondays” to your weekly menu, or experiment the elimination of dairy and foods containing gluten. It’s amazing what a difference minor food changes can have on your mind, body, and energy levels. See below for book suggestions to learn and read more:
3. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, and stick with it.
They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit, including exercise. Not only is exercise beneficial to you physically, but mentally as well. Whether it be the upbeat energy of a cycling class, or the zen of hot yoga, find a form of exercise that excites you and stick with it! Months ago my best friend and I made a pact to begin working out with a personal trainer and it’s been one of the best decisions I could have ever made.
4. Treat yourself.
Major key alert! You read that right, treat yo self. Make it a priority to receive monthly facials, massages, etc. Want to feel guilt-free about the additional expense? Cut down on the weekly happy hours (wink wink) and use those funds towards something that enhances not only your health, but your happiness too.