What Are Health and Wellness?
“I think that health and wellness are more of a feeling. Wellness is all about how you feel, not always what you think the scale should say or even what the doctor says the scale should say. For example, you know when you are walking up a hill and out of breath? Or when you have been eating food that is causing your skin to flare up. I definitely think that it is important to pay attention to health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. But it is also just as important to be aware of how you are feeling.”
Bianca at this point in my life is more like a sister than a friend. I have known her since first grade as we attend the same church, and we actually have only gone to the same school once. After graduating from the University of South Carolina, she now lives in D.C. where she works at a law office in Georgetown. Bianca is the friend that you go to when you need a good laugh, but also who you can lean on when life is really hard. She is the one constantly reminding us all that we should never idolize someone else’s journey more than we focus on our own.
“Your journey will always be that, your journey. Period. If you feel like you are surrounded by friends who make you feel as if you are in constant competition with them, you might need to find some new friends to surround yourself with. I know firsthand how hard it can be to open up to people about the journey that you are on, but it is important to let the people in your life love you and cheer you on. Your friends will be the people who help you through on your hardest days”.
Grace and Patience are Game Changers.
As we talked and discussed what was different this time around for Bianca on her weight loss journey, she said that she emphasized the importance of grace and patience. In a society that breeds this mindset that things happen overnight, it was important for her to remind herself that that is not always the case for everyone.
“I had to go through and purge my Instagram. It can be hard when you are on your journey and constantly looking at everyone around you who has had these quick results when you feel so far from your own goal. I started following pages that preached mindfulness and wholeness, and that has made all the difference.”
And as helpful as it is to filter what you are letting cross your mind on your weight loss journey, it is also important to remind yourself that you are not going to be motivated to workout or eat healthy every day. None of us want to even do our jobs every day. But even on days when you would rather not think about health and wellness, Bianca emphasizes that it is important to show yourself grace.
“I typically try to work out in the morning when I first wake up, but yesterday I was not feeling it. So instead of beating myself up about it, I just decided to take a walk that afternoon to get some fresh air and at least get my body moving a little bit. I told myself that this time around on my wellness journey, I was going to make sure that I was staying consistent and being kind to myself. I wanted to make sure that I pushed through on my hard days so I did not have to start over.”
Progress, not perfection.
We all hold ourselves to such a high standard and it is important to remind ourselves that just because we have high hopes does not mean that if we fall short one or two days (or a week) that we have missed the mark completely. The truth is that sometimes the journey to get back on track teaches us more than we thought it would, and even fuels us for the road ahead. We are always progressing towards our goals, even when it takes longer or looks different than what we thought.
“I had to stop buying food that I knew I would binge eat in my apartment. Not in a super restrictive way because I still believe in having reward meals every now and then. But I knew if I was trying to break my habit of binge eating, I had to stop buying the foods that gave me the greatest temptation to do so.”
And it has paid off – Bianca is down 20 pounds this year.
Wellness is not one size fits all.
Bianca’s story is incredible, not because of the amount of weight she lost. Her worth never changed whether she lost 20 pounds or not. It is more powerful because she took the time on her journey to truly learn what worked well for her and capitalized off of that. The danger of capitalizing off of someone else’s journey is that we take their playbook and apply it to our own life, without assessing if that is the game plan we need to be using. You think that if you follow exactly what they did down to the wire you’ll receive the same results. You may not, but that doesn’t mean you have failed.
That is why it is so important to not get caught up in who lost what amount of weight, in what amount of time, even the number on the scale at all. It is more important to cultivate a healthy relationship with the food that you are putting into your body. When you do that, the weight loss just becomes an added bonus.
Below are some of the Instagram pages that Bianca recommends following that promote mindfulness and intuitive eating:
-Evelyn Tribole, @evenlyntribole
-Kathleen Meehan, @therdnutritionist
-Dr. Nicole LaPera, @the.holistic.psychologist
Keep Watering Your Garden today,