Welcome to another installment of Women Who Inspire Wellness! The idea behind this series is to share some insight into the health and wellness journeys of some of the women in my life who inspire me to keep going. One of these women has been a huge influence in my life from a young age and has one of the healthiest approaches to nutrition and overall wellness of anyone I know. Since she wishes to remain anonymous, we’ll call her “Layla.”
Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Intense
Layla doesn’t currently have a specific exercise routine. She goes in phases where she enjoys walking on a more regular basis, but she doesn’t stress over getting a HIIT workout or strength training completed each day.
I also happen to know that she participates in her employer’s wellness program, which includes “mini challenges” to keep on track with healthy habits. These challenges will include activities like completing 10 calf-raises per day, getting 8 hours of sleep each night, or eating an orange vegetable every day. They typically last anywhere from a week to a month.
As I’ve been learning more about the differences in men’s and women’s health over the past couple of years, I’ve learned that too intense of an exercise routine can actually be detrimental to women’s health and that walking really is one of the best ways for women who inspire wellness to get their exercise.
As these conversations have opened up, I’ve found it interesting that most of the women I’ve spoken with do believe that health and wellness go above and beyond the physical. But, everyone includes different aspects in their definition of whole or holistic health.
Layla focuses on nutrition, sleep, rest, keeping active, emotional health and financial health., very much in line with my own focuses. Sleep, rest and financial health are often overlooked aspects of our general wellbeing, so it’s a great reminder to pay attention to these areas as we journey with wellness.
One of the Healthiest Approaches to Nutrition: Moderation
Just like her exercise, Layla practices moderation rather than restriction with her food. She doesn’t believe in restrictive diets, but is also grateful for taste buds that enjoy healthier foods. She doesn’t count calories or fat, and instead focuses on whole, quality foods.
As I mentioned before, this is a woman who had major influence on me growing up and in my adult life. With such a positive example of one of the healthiest approaches to nutrition right in front of me, it amazes today how the voices of the media, kids at school and other acquaintances could be loud enough in my life that I wound up going down a path of restriction and calorie counting, just to wind up right back here, focusing on whole, quality foods and everything in moderation.
I wasn’t kidding when I said Layla has one of the healthiest mindsets around health of anyone I know.
When asked what the most important lesson she has learned is since beginning her journey toward a healthier lifestyle, Layla said “Kumbaya, it will all be okay.”
She does her best at each moment and doesn’t dwell on past choices or beat herself up, because it doesn’t serve any purpose. She maintains the healthy mindset that you don’t need to fit into a certain size, and concerns herself more with an overall healthy lifestyle that will help her live a long, healthy life.
Women Who Inspire Wellness by Leading by Example
While she is always, always supportive of everything I do, Layla also leads a healthy mindset around food and health by example. She never judges anything I may be doing for my health, and just seeing what she is doing to care for herself reminds me to keep it all in Perspective. Kumbaya.
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