I've been thinking more and more about healthy living and thought I'd mention it as part of my ongoing series of Blog Tip posts on decor8. What does healthy living have to do with blogging? Everything! Becoming a blogger definitely made me more sedentary than ever before and with sites like Pinterest showing tons of cupcakes, brownies and carb and sugar-loaded foods everyday, I have to say the eye candy hasn't just been on my screen - I've felt compelled to indulge more than I should and it's just not the lifestyle I want to live anymore. And it has nothing to do with being thin - I know lots of thin people who aren't healthy and who look 10 years older than they are because of poor nutrition. It's not about what the scale says, it's all in your complexion, your level of fitness (can you run up the stairs without heaving?), it is in your eyes (are your eyes glassy and tired or bright and radiant?), etc. One of my new year's resolutions for 2013 was to become more healthy and active but I got off on a bad start. Then I decided to change that. So I did.
One downside to blogging and book authorship is that you do a lot of it sitting down and this can definitely impact overall health, back health and even emotional health if you are not balanced. People who are active tend to battle less with negative feelings, too. I personally just want to glow. I want to radiant health and energy. I want to feel great as often as a I can. So I recently hired a nutritionist and life coach who is working with me to change my lifestyle around and who is coaching me with my career plans, too. For instance, after writing this post, I'll go do something that requires standing - I'll make a healthy juice smoothie with protein powder, drink it (not sitting, standing), and go use some hand weights for 15 minutes (also standing), then stretch a little, and finally return to my desk to work on some emails.
For my own resolve to live healthier, I've started walking regularly again (not strolling, covering 12 miles a weekend- really walking) and have plans to get into running eventually and I want to start spinning classes. I don't need to be perfect but I want to be my personal best, whatever that "best" will ultimately be, I'll have to decide that. Each of us has a personal best - the size we looked and felt the best at, the weight we felt the best at, the number of miles we could run comfortably, the amount of time we can swim laps before exhaustion, etc. No one can tell you what your best is and no one can tell me. And no one can do this for us - it has to be something motivated by the individual. We have to want to feel better and really live life instead of just existing, moving from project to project like a hamster in a wheel, and making money but not making a life.
For me personally, due to food allergies and sensitivities, I've been making lots of changes to my diet which includes adding only healthy food choices, salads, smoothies, loads of veggies, lean protein... I replaced milk and soy milk with almond milk, replaced my 2 daily coffees with 1-2 coffees per week and am avoiding fatty snacks, sugary foods and "comfort" food. I also only eat out once weekly - we started this months ago and it's been great for our budget but also our health (my husband and I). In the summer, I'll eat out more because we tend to do a lot with our friends and we have tons of festivals here in Germany in the summer, but that's not a problem because their are always salads and grilled meats and other things to choose from without going for the fried or fatty stuff. I've allowed myself one indulgence a week (within reason of course), but ice cream or something like that, just to keep it real because sometimes your out with friends and you really want the mojito right? Or you're at your parents home and you want to enjoy the nice home cooked meal. I'm trying to approach this with a view to HEALTH and HAPPINESS. I'm already seeing results and the great part is, I'm not stressing out over any of it. It's funny how your body can change from bad habits to good in such a short period of time. We can easily get out of ruts - it's the beauty of being human and having mind body control.
I hope that bloggers everywhere will start to think more about healthy living. I already feel so much better and it's not even been a month yet since I embraced being more conscious of my health. I hope together we can raise awareness when it comes to healthy living for writers, bloggers, graphic designers and others who primarily use their computers for work. We do so much good in the world through our work, but we need to do good for ourselves too. I have some friends who work morning, noon and night and can barely chase their kids on the playground without getting irritated and tired because they're just not active anymore. I know the feeling - it's so easy to fall into your desk chair and grow roots and live through the pages of the internet and Pinterest without consciously thinking about LIFE, as in YOUR life.
How would YOU and YOUR life look on a Pinterest page? Would it inspire you? For me, just eating a bit healthier and taking frequent standing/walking breaks, and incorporating mini workouts into my work day (if you are writing a book like I currently am it's so important), try to stand up and stretch every 15 minutes or get on the floor and do some crunches or a few yoga moves and then go back to writing. It's all really good and every little bit adds up.
We don't really know what the "after" will be for those of us always working online because most of us haven't been doing it for long enough to really see how it has impacted our health. But for me, I've been blogging for over 7 years and definitely can see that it really does affect your vision, your emotional health and your back health - not to mention numbers on the scale, if you aren't active physically throughout the day. Thankfully, I have no major health issues or nothing prompting my lifestyle change - just the will to feel great and vibrant and of course, to have a better quality of life. We only live once, right?
What are your thoughts on healthy living? How do you maintain good health if you are doing a job that requires a lot of sitting? Any eating tips, exercise tips, etc. are welcome below!
(images: holly becker)