When people hear the word "health," the first thing that comes to mind is body, diet, food, and weight. Over the past few years as a growing and maturing young woman, I have come realise that our health is so much more than that.
I can admit that I have had weight issues that I never ever anticipated facing in my younger ignorant days. I’ve tipped the scales to numbers I never thought possible, have had to buy clothes in unimaginable sizes and had to face the harsh reality of the aging process. Being really passionate about food, and married to an extremely talented chef didn’t make my plight easier.
Being a newly married couple, to family, work and life pressures, career disappointments and overall dissatisfaction with my life, meant that the weight piled on even more. I tried dieting, “gyming,” boot camping, and even weight loss programs (that I never ever thought I would join in my life!) to just about anything I could lay my hands on.
And that’s when it dawned on me - I not only looked unhealthy, I felt it on the inside too! I felt dead and uninspired, unhappy and almost on the verge of a depression… This is not how my life was meant to look in my early 30’s! And suddenly I realised, I had to make changes. Always being a giver in life, I was constantly giving of my time, knowledge, resources and myself in ways that were stripping me of who I was… and so I signed up to be mentored. I realised that I was important enough to need help too, and for once, to be a receiver rather than a giver.
This lightbulb, or aha moment as I like to call it, was born out of desperation – that we need to go through dark and challenging times, so we can grow through them and realise we need and want more for our lives and ourselves. Being inspired and motivated on the inside, my life slowly started to transform on the outside. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy or quick overnight process, but a period of over 2 years of changing who I am fully – from building a healthy mindset, then allowing that to filter into all other areas of my life.
I now find myself living in a different country, in a different career, 10 kilograms (22 pounds) lighter than when I left home, and still losing more – just because being happier and more fulfilled and less stressed has allowed me to realise the importance of taking better care of myself. From being mindful of what I eat, to regular activity (at least 20 minutes of walking or jumping around like crazy with the kids I teach), to drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, meditating, journaling, putting myself first and ensuring that I’m mentally healthy makes me healthy inside out. Small steps taken daily and consistently to create a better version of ME.
Some action points:
The most important thing, is to remember that nothing worth having comes easy, or quickly.
Be kind and gentle to yourself.
Take baby steps and just keep going even when you really don’t feel like it.
Every step is one step closer to your goal, and will be worth every moment – put up a picture or quote to motivate you to your desired outcome.
If you "cheat" every now and then, don’t give up and throw in the towel – set a realistic expectation when you can restart and just
By: Poonam Harry-Nana
My name is Poonam, meaning "full-moon" in the Hindu culture, my dream is to shine my light on the world and turn that into action. A small-town girl from South Africa. I am passionate about purposeful living, travel, art, history, and motivating & inspiring women. Through my journal site, I share my experiences in my quest for the love of wisdom, as I journey into the unknown. I am currently living in China, having given up a "normal" life to seek my true-life purpose. Three things I love: 1. Good food. 2. Travel. 3. Inspiring & motivating people.