By Tonye Barango-Tariah
Making Your Fitness and Health a Priority
Every year, millions of women look forward to Valentine’s Day (at least in their heads) as a time to be appreciated, pampered and just fabulous! We start some new diet (usually accompanied by some unrealistic expectations, etc), renew our New Year’s resolutions, and sit back with bated breath as we wait to see what the universe will deliver on! As the days roll by, reality begins to creep in and the fake glitter of Valentine’s Day marketing fades away.
Fast forward to the middle of the month, and I’m wondering if we’re going to stick to our vision and commitment to a healthy lifestyle?
January 2017 is long gone, and we are midway through February, but some of the same problems of 2016 are still at the forefront of our minds. While getting fit and healthy is the ultimate objective, too often we forget that this is a process, and with all of that comes a whole new set challenges.
First of all, how do you stay motivated? Next, how do you stay focused (i.e. multitasking for work, family, etc) and find the time to get all of this done?It’s all about priorities and recognizing that your health (i.e. mind, body, soul) is central to your life.
The bottom line is this: if YOU are not healthy there is very little you can do (from a standpoint of sustainability) in terms of meeting the needs of both yourself and your family.
We live in an age where high stress, insufficient sleep, and poor diet are becoming the new normal, while at the same time, chronic illness, obesity, etc continue to rise. Add to that the issue of our unsustainable and corporatized healthcare system, and you have the makings of a perfect storm of everything that can go wrong!
My goal here is not to scare the crap out of anyone; it is simply to encourage us all to make our health the main priority, and recognize that health and balance are central to life. At the most basic level, balance is key to any sustainable system (our bodies included) and requires work and commitment in order to continue. In simple terms, you should not be living to work (i.e. job, career, etc) but working to live! In other words, your job or career should not overtake all other aspects of your life in the same way that your personal life should not overshadow your professional or public arena.
So how do you STILL fit in a healthy eating and fitness plan, restore balance to your life, etc?
Well, you simply stick to the P.L.A.N. and remain focused on your goals (i.e. living a balanced and healthy lifestyle, etc). I’m not saying there are no challenges in maintaining your health and fitness goals, but it is more than possible to be aware of what you’re eating, finding and using your “me” time to work out (it’s also an excellent way to deal with stress), and staying balanced in all (or most) areas of your life.
Experience has taught me that the best way to do this, is by taking a step back and finding joy in the little things – a crisp sunny Fall day, an invigorating walk along the trails, or simply enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee on the front porch (backyard, on the veranda, in front of your balcony, etc). For the everyday woman, whose life is at the crossroads and who feels like she needs not just her health and fitness in balance, but life in general, I say, WELCOME!
I have found that every woman is unique in terms of her story and her needs, especially at the crossroads.
The answer is relatively simple.
The needs of a woman who is already stressed, out of balance both physically and mentally (i.e. overweight, frustrated, overwhelmed) is different from one who has her career, obligations, and family on track etc, but just needs “some” help losing a few pounds and learning how to eat healthy!
The sad truth is that most of us women (especially if you haven’t seen 30 in a long while) struggle with a chaotic and unhealthy life, but rather than valuing ourselves enough to change it, we choose for one reason or another, to stay on that hamster wheel going nowhere!
We need to admit and own our truth when it comes to our relationship with food and by extension, how we relate and perceive ourselves as well as others. we seem to be ignorant of the fact that FOOD plays an important role in our lives and an important aspect of culture.
I guess like so many other things in this high-tech age, this is just one more thing that has become lost in the matrix of” sameness” perpetuated by a media that serves itself rather than the welfare of society at large.
I’m not saying we bear no responsibility in own health, but I AM saying is that, the media bares some responsibility in terms of pushing “unhealthy” images and ideals of what constitutes beauty, a “healthy weight”, “healthy” foods (i.e. so called fat-free, zero calorie) etc. Our current mainstream media has in large part become the mouthpiece of big Agra-business and corporations more interested in their bottomless than the wellbeing of society.
This is why I do what I do! I decided to get active and advocate for women’s health and to empower other women to fight back and reclaim their health, fitness. My goal is for women in my zone of influence to become knowledgeable about their food sources and equip them with the necessary tools to gain control of their health and nutrition.
I’ll always remember these wise words of my mom, “knowledge is power” and “the gates of the school-house are still open”!
If You are tired of unhealthy crap being packaged and marketed to you as healthy, “low” in fat, etc, then get involved and educated about who controls your food- you are what you eat folks! The hard truth is that, if after all that hard work of getting fit and adopting a healthy lifestyle you’re still depending on big Agra-business and the fast food / packaged food industrial machine to give you good (derived from sustainably grown, mostly pesticide free or organic) quality food,dream on.
An educated public is an empowered one, and too often that empowerment is in conflict with the bottom line of these corporations.
So what do I do to cut out the crazy and NOT break the bank? I keep it simple. I stick to mostly seasonal produce, buy my produce from local farms, buy organic where necessary (avoid the “dirty dozen”) and get involved in a local or community farm if at all possible. At the end of the day you, and your family are worth the time and effort, believe me!
About the Author
Tonye Barango-Tariah is a fitness and health strategist dedicated to helping women who are stuck at the crossroads of their lives achieve fitness, health, and freedom! Her passion is to help women gain the freedom to pursue their passion as they embark on their unique journey to fitness, health and balance.
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