The first time I read the above statement by WHO (World Health Organisation), I was confused but enlightened. I was the type to recover from a cold and think I am healthy. But that’s not the case; most people think that if you don’t have a cold, a head ache or a stomach ache, then you are healthy. All those issues are physical. So we should ask ourselves, I am I mentally, emotionally and spiritually okay? If we are only physically ‘okay’ it doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. This is why the topic of wellness is something I thought would be helpful to talk about.
I won’t bore you guys with a lecture of why it is important to include some exercise into your busy routines, or that you should eat your 5 a day to stay healthy. I’ll show you the importance of wellness and the benefits it has both in this post and future posts. It will be brutally honest and most of it will also be from my personal experience and what I have seen to work and what doesn’t work.
Most people have asked me what wellness means; in all honesty, I also didn’t know what it meant until I enrolled in a Nutrition and Fitness Diploma at ACME Fitness Training Institute sometime in 2015. (Yes, I actually enrolled in this course!) I was at a point where I had some free time outside school and since I found this topic really interesting, I decided to learn about in detail! My parents were so shocked and they kept asking whether I am a lawyer, a personal trainer or a nutritionist. I would always respond with a positive smile and say I am a wellness enthusiast, which I couldn’t explain at the time, but now I can.
Wellness is the full integration of states of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being (don’t yawn just yet). Embarking on a wellness journey means that you are working towards balancing those three states. When you feel like you are in a state where all three are balanced, then you are on the right path to wellness. I look at wellness as a team made up of different players where I am the team captain in charge of managing the three states.
So what’s a wellness journey? I have found that if you look at it as a process as opposed to an end result, you will automatically start making healthier decisions. When I first entered a gym, I was completely clueless on where to start and the whole talk about wellness confused me even more (I only wanted to fit into bodycon dresses, Lipsy anyone?). I started reading a lot of magazines and books on this topic trying to understand it, and it later dawned on me that it all starts with one step.
As soon as I started taking the gym more seriously and eating right, I became more stress free and even when I would get upset at anyone, I was more stable in my reaction (not to say I am unstable, but the gym helps!). Once you start to feel the difference in your head space, you feel more obligated to maintain this serene space.
The minute you get off your wellness journey, I can guarantee you that you will feel the difference. You’ll start to feel guilty because you are not making time to work out, and you will start craving unhealthy snacks for a quick sugar rush that is supposed to make us feel better. This eventually takes us down a path where we will struggle to get back into shape, which makes us feel horrible and guilty (this happens to all of us!). The best thing that has worked for me is that I try to look at wellness as a lifestyle and I accepted that it will always be a journey in which I try to make better decisions today than I did yesterday.
"When 'I' is replaced with 'We', even illness becomes wellness"- Wellness Enthusiast
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