I used to think that coming out of college, I needed to have it all figured out. Questions like, what do you want to be when you grow up? What is your dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I never had a good answer because I didn't know! It isn’t until now, that I have found what truly lights me up. Helping people like you feel good in their bodies & guiding them to live a happy & balanced life.
If you had asked me when I was younger, hell even 5 years ago, where I would be in my 30s I would have never guessed here; launching my own business and pursuing a passion in health and wellness, supporting and coaching others to find balance in their lives & seeing sustainable changes in their health and happiness. & up until even a few weeks ago, life continues to throw me curves that will shape my future. As I head into a new chapter in my life of closing out my 20’s, and kicking off my 30th birthday by launching Balance Wellness, it feels important to reflect on where I came from and what I have learned to take with me in this next phase of my life (& hopefully you take away something too)!
Lesson #1: You can have your cake & eat it too!
Diet culture and society tell us that you can't have it all; that you can’t be healthy while eating desserts and carbs and that if you want to be successful that you have to drive yourself into the ground. But none of that is true.
When you ditch the diet and the socialized norms of being “good” about eating, working out to earn your food, or letting the number on the scale dictate how you feel, you can find that there is so much more in front of you than what you "can't" do. My own journey consisted of cutting out carbs, being “good” on the weekdays so I could “live” on the weekends, and working out to burn calories to avoid gaining weight. But after creating a healthy relationship with food, understanding what fuels my body, and shifting my mindset to understanding that food doesn’t have any morality so it can’t be good or bad, I have found that I can live a life filled with delicious food and fun with my family and friends without cutting out or feeling guilty.
The same goes for balancing work and life. Today they are so intertwined and the hustler lifestyle and wearing a badge of burnout continue to grow. There will always be seasons of hustle and heads-down focus, I know that! But I have learned and I’m sure you have experienced in your own way, that firing on all cylinders all of the time is not sustainable. There is such thing as a balance and after experiencing my own burnout and mentally checking out from careers, relationships, whatever it may be, I have learned that taking care of yourself, finding time to pause and rest, and finding the balance with work can truly level up and change your life.
Lesson 2: Nurture the relationships that bring you joy
Time is the one thing we can’t get back. So why spend it with people that bring you down or that hold you back, or that you just don’t feel connected with? At one point in my life, I was so focused on how many friends I had. This gave me lots to do, and people to constantly keep up with, and I gave my full self to all of it. But after a while, I started to notice how draining that was. Giving myself to everyone all the time when the same energy isn’t always returned caused me to notice a shift in how I spent my time. With some, our paths no longer aligned, others it was how I felt when I spent time with them, it wasn't serving me in a positive way. This might sound harsh to some but it isn’t a bad thing. As humans, we are meant to grow and evolve. As I have moved, changed jobs, grown as a person, and explored new interests there have been people that have come in and out of my life that were with me for a season. And then there are some that have stayed constant. Both are okay!
The truth is, the number doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of those relationships and the impact they bring in your life that makes the difference. Relationships are a key piece to the nourishment we give ourselves off of the plate. Working a full-time job, working part-time in the fitness world, and making time for my romantic relationship and family, there is limited time to spend! Notice where you are naturally pulled, who you enjoy spending time with, who you have common interests, and who aligns with you and your values. These relationships are the ones I have found I want to invest in because they bring me joy.
Lesson 3: Saying no to others, & yes to yourself.
And one of my favorite parts about this lesson is learning that saying no is a complete sentence. We often feel like we owe a drawn-out explanation when we say no to someone. Maybe it's because society has taught us it's rude? But saying no is a
practice of using boundaries. And boundaries are how we protect ourselves but also protect our sacred time. When we say yes to everything, we feel run down and leave little time for ourselves. If we say
yes to things that we don't want to be doing, it can lead to resentment or not being present in a moment because you wish you were doing something else. Saying no is okay and this has been huge for me the past few years in helping take back my time, my mental health, and creating space for my priorities. Saying no to others has allowed to me say yes more to myself, in what activities I want to do that support my growth (like launching this health coaching business) or doing things that light me up!
**So I challenge you, the next time you feel a sense of obligation but don't want to do something, say no… and don’t elaborate. You don't have to say why. Unfortunately not, I’m sorry I can’t make it, Maybe next time… are all enough!**
Lesson 4: Wellness is a journey, not a destination
I know I have said it in the past… “When I’m in better shape, I’ll do it”, “I can’t wait until I lose the weight, then I’ll feel good”. Or some many different variations like that. I used to think that once I got to a certain point, then I would achieve wellness, then I would be healthy and I would have made it. But wellness and being healthy isn’t a place you get to and throw your hand-ups. It’s a constant journey and something to work through as you go through life. When I was in college, healthy for me then looked very different than it does for me now. And what I need for my wellness right now will look different when I have a family of my own. And that is the best part of the journey, my friend. It is constantly changing and as you evolve and grow, what you need from physical wellness, mental health, nourishment from food and so much more is going to look different.
This is not me saying there is no point in having those health goals! Having goals help us stay focused and bring us back to our why when things get challenging or uncomfortable. Its important to remember that the goal is not a final destination. Its a milestone on your journey as you continue to grow into the next best version of yourself.
By no means am I saying I have it all figured out at 30.
I am far from it and I continue to learn and navigate my own health, happiness, and wellness journey every single day. Challenges will come up and new lessons will be learned. As I am writing this, I have just been laid off from my full-time job, one that gave me stability and was what I knew my entire working career. But now as I navigate this new chapter in my life, with new terrain and challenges of its own, it's these lessons this far in life that I have learned that will be my foundation for staying true to myself.
If any of this resonated with you, or you have your own lessons you want to share, drop some comments below! Or message me on IG as I would LOVE to connect more.