May is mental health awareness month, and as we’ve discussed, mental health and overall physical wellness are closely linked. We asked each member of our team to share their biggest (and ongoing) weight and wellness struggles – whether nutrition, exercise, or mental concerns. Maybe you can relate to some of what they’ve shared, and just maybe, understanding that everybody faces their own issues and that there are options available to help you address what plagues you will take away any guilt, stress, or shame that might come with those struggles.
My own mental health! Mental health is definitely effected by your food , exercise, sleep, and how you handle your stress ( both good and bad)! I have always considered myself a health nut, my mom raised me on tons of veggies and organic foods and I even did research in college on sleep and it’s effects on athletes! Somehow I find myself becoming a perfectionist and dealing with anxiety, where I get overwhelmed if I don’t do everything “just right” according to my “healthy ways”. Even though my habits may seem healthy and I pretend that everything is okay on social media, the constant nagging in my head gets tiring and overwhelming to the point where I shut down. I notice my mental health gets more negative as I turn to social media or TV as a coping mechanism for my stress instead of exercising or spending time with positive friends. In my mental health journey, I’ve found the most helpful way to improve is surround myself with positive and supportive friends who are able to speak truth and honesty into the way I am feeling! Who are you surrounding yourself with? Do they help you along with your mental health? What other ways can you take care of your mind, body, and soul on your wellness journey?
Maintaining wellness has its struggles for every individual. As a Registered Dietician, I am equipped with the knowledge of which choices to make and what foods I need to properly fuel my body. But, sticking to a routine and staying accountable can be difficult. Making the right decisions when given the choice to veer away from the one that is best for my wellness is hard. In order to stay successful and on the right path, an accountability partner is crucial. By keeping me motivated, encouraging the right decisions, and going to workout classes with me for fun, I find a partner helps me make the best, and sometimes hardest, choice to be much easier.
My biggest wellness battle is consistency. Sometimes convenience seems so much easier – i.e. take out or fast food – but I know that it isn’t worth it. Meal prepping and planning in advance helps simplify things and keep me consistent. Consistency really is key for me at this point since I am focused on maintaining a healthy weight. I have a difficult time being consistent during busy weeks when I don’t meal prep. There was a point in my weight loss journey when I stopped being consistent – I had hit my goal weight (wedding day) and decided that I was fine and I would stop keeping a food diary. Ending my consistent habit of journaling my food and resulted in a weight GAIN of 10 lbs!! That was when I realized that accountability and consistency are key for me.
ElizabethMy struggle has always been coming from very active life in the military to working a 9-5 office job. I struggled and continue to struggle with adjusting the amount of food I eat and maintain an active life. In the military our life is scheduled for us, we have specific time slots for everything and once I left that full-time job I found myself lost in my own life and asking myself what to do when to eat? I gained weight after leaving the military, but since have adapted to the change and am able to accurately schedule my days out and function in a 9-5 job just as I did in the military.
The bottom line – whatever your personal weight and wellness struggles may be, know that EVERYONE struggles. And, you don’t have to struggle alone. We can help.