I wasn’t always this keen or knowledgeable about health and fitness.
Before being diagnosed with MS, working out and eating a good diet was cast in the superficial light of losing weight. My focus was on looking a certain way. It was never about how fit I was, how I managed my stress or how amazing I felt having a fit body that could do anything. Self-love and care wasn’t a priority. I was too busy eating my emotions, being young and taking my health for granted.
Living with MS, my thoughts around health changed dramatically. They absolutely had to so I could face and fight my daily challenges. But change doesn’t happen overnight and the challenges never take a day off. I take baby steps daily to discover what healthy looks like on that particular day.
When mobility and fatigue play a major role in what I’m able to do in a day, my main focus is on how to fuel my body. You are what you eat, and boy do I love sugar. It took me a while to go Gluten free, processed sugar free (I do my best….) and eat as lean and green as possible.
What about a healthy mind? Stress makes a regular appearance and must be dealt with so it doesn’t derail my day. Mindfulness and meditation are finally taking centre stage in the zeitgeist, helping us slow down and get off the hamster wheel. I meditate to manage, rest and relax all of that energy. Dedication to this practice has changed my life.
Over the years, MS has taught me health isn’t purely about our physical bodies. It’s a beautiful balance of self-love and care for the body, mind and spirit. I listen to my body now and ask what it needs. Where am I neglecting myself and what can I do to feel better? Do I need rest? Am I able to do a yoga session or perhaps it’s a cardio day? Is today about seated exercise or can I do ten squats at the kitchen counter followed by arm circles while strolling around my home?
No matter how big or small your actions – physical, intellectual or spiritual – it’s about showing up for yourself every day. When it comes to your health and life, you must be your own cheerleader and medical advocate. You are worth it!
Hope, Happiness and Hard Work.