The key to serving leadership is being here for others day in and day out. That means being there not just mentally, but physically as well. With all of the demands on your time and attention, how do you take care of yourself? How do you create a healthier life?
I work with many great serving leaders. Many of us are just starting to reach middle age. We live in an amazing time. We are at the beginning of a health and wellness revolution.
There are so many ways that we can live a healthier life. Considering that this is true, why do so many of us have less energy and focus? Why is it that over 40% of our age group is overweight or struggle to climb a set of stairs or chase our grandchildren around the yard? Why do so many of us need medications to stabilize our health? How can you create a healthier lifestyle?
I started asking questions after losing several friends my own age. Their doctors struggled to provide answers to their families. Before you ask, I’m 54. Three years ago, on a dare from several first responders and several former military buddies, I decided to get back in great shape for my college homecoming. I was a competitive runner in college and thought it would be easy to get back into shape. I owned my own business, I worked with several nonprofit boards, and, best of all, I controlled my own schedule. How hard could it be?
I started out strong, dedicated to reaching for clearly achievable goals. So I thought. Within several weeks I tore my rotator cuff. I hurt my back and, worse than that, I damaged my oversized pride.
My doctor decided to run a series of tests to discover what might have caused this to happen. Turns out my rotator cuff wasn’t the only issue I needed to watch out for. When I went to see my doctor she said she wanted me to consider taking medication to lower my LDL cholesterol, consider changing my diet and rethink my travel schedule. My doctor didn’t care if I could fit in my jean size from college. She didn’t care how much I could lift or how fast I could ride. I needed to learn a new way of taking care of myself. She told me I was a stroke waiting to happen.
She told me that if I didn’t start taking care of myself like an adult I would be on a number of medications for the rest of my life. I needed to learn how to eat better, get more rest, and, as importantly, learn how to take care of my health like a normal human being. I wasn’t twenty anymore and my body needed more time to recover from stress and exertion. I needed to find more productive ways of dealing with my stress. I had to get used to working at a desk for eight hours a day while reading reports and writing on a computer. I needed to stop eating unhealthy comfort food when I working on the road.
Because we need to be there for so many others, it makes it that much more important for you take care of yourself. With that in mind, I’ve asked another writer to join our team of regular writers. I think it’s the right time to introduce health and wellness into our serving leaders’ lifestyle.
My goals is not only to help you take better care of yourself. In some cases, I believe what you learn here can help you save your or a loved one’s life. I asked the person who helped me change my life to begin sharing her NO BS way of creating a healthier life. She is a great example of what we can achieve if we focus on creating a healthier lifestyle. As importantly, I know her practical ideas will help you enjoy your life more.
Tricia Braden will be joining our Developing Serving Leaders team sharing her insights on health and fitness. Tricia is a certified wellness coach, personal trainer, and Pilates instructor. She uses her background to focus on simple, natural tweaks you can make to your day to be healthier and happier. She doesn’t rely on hearsay or urban myth for health guidelines. She combines cutting edge research with a common sense approach.
Tricia’s interest in diet and fitness turned into a mission when her own health began to decline. Plagued by constant sinus headaches and migraines, unexplained weight gain, and several autoimmune disorders, Tricia was determined to get to the bottom of her symptoms and regain her health and vitality, without a drugstore of pharmaceuticals to mask the underlying problems.
I learned firsthand how she approaches diet and fitness. Although I’ve always been physically fit, I’ve noticed recently that it’s harder to maintain my weight. I have a harder time falling asleep. I struggle to read some of the longer reports my clients send me. The phrase “you can’t out exercise a bad diet” has new meaning for me. Trish has worked with me to clean up my diet, adding more vegetables, reducing sugar, and getting more vitamins and minerals.
Starting next week, Tricia will begin sharing some of the amazing information she’s uncovered in the course of her own road to recovery. Join us on Fitness Friday and start living your own healthy life every day!