Welcome to the latest 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 live a healthier life. My aunt, Mia Wiltse is one of those women. Mia believes in making the right choices with nutrition and well-being in small ways, and that this is ultimately how to help your family live healthier lives, too.
It’s Not Always Easy to Make Time for Exercise
When I asked Mia if she has a regular exercise routine, she was so honest, and her explanation was something that I know so many women can relate to. She explained that goes through stages where she has a routine, and then stages where she doesn’t, but it’s all very dependent on finding something that fits her schedule and preferences.
As someone who doesn’t like the gym atmosphere, she tries to find alternative exercise options, like walking in the parking garage at work during her lunch hour (it was well-ventilated and safe). When her office was moved to a different building that had a gym, she tried out the treadmill. But then her lunch hour was shortened to 30 minutes, which made exercising during lunch more challenging.
This led to a phase of no exercise, but she was determined to make something work. So, not being a morning person, she tried rising early to ride a stationary bike at home, but found that she was too exhausted to keep that up. Next, she is going to try on-demand yoga. If she loves it, I might give that a try too!
I think at some point we’ve all been through the struggle to find a way to fit exercise into our lives in a way that is sustainable, enjoyable, and not too time consuming. It’s always frustrating when you’ve finally found something that works, only to have another aspect of your life change in such a way that it affects this exercise routine you’ve finally made work in your life.
Pay Attention to Ingredients
“I have never been on a diet. I tried once and failed miserably!”Mia Wiltse
I wish I could say the same. There are some diets that do add incredible value to some people’s lives, so I try not to knock them too bad. That said, I’ve found in my own life that diets lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. These days, I’m working to keep a healthier attitude around food like Mia does. She tries to be conscious of what she’s buying and eating (is she really enjoying a treat enough for it to be worth the calories?). She is intentional about reading the ingredients before buying, and splurges on “not-so-good-for-you” treats only occasionally.
By paying attention to the ingredients, she is able to find healthier versions of foods she and her family enjoy that don’t contain preservatives, artificial coloring, and various other “bad ingredients,” and she focuses on organic and non-GMO. What a wonderful example of how to help your family live healthier lives!
One of the ways she accomplishes this is that her husband and sons would prefer she buy a certain brand of potato chips, but that brand is on that “only occasionally” list. Instead, she’s switched to a brand that doesn’t contain the “bad stuff,” but still tastes good. They may not be exactly the same, but they’re pretty darn good, and she reminds the boys that she buys that kind because she loves them and wants them to live long, healthy lives.
Mia says that if she could start her journey with wellness over again, she would not eat as much sugar, and she wouldn’t take for granted being able to eat anything she wanted like she could when she was younger. This makes it very difficult to change your ways later on in life.
In regards to the sugar, she says that she feels it is truly addictive. Even once you’ve consciously begun to cut back on it, once you’ve developed that sweet tooth, it sticks with you.
I totally agree. Personally, I’ve even found that I can do really well with avoiding sugar, but once I get just a tiny taste of something sugary and sweet, all my good intentions go out the window and I can’t get enough! (Just one slice of pie on Thanksgiving isn’t enough, I need to “try” every pie offered). It’s tough to get rid of that sweet tooth.
Draw Inspiration from Family
Mia draws her inspiration from her mom and her aunts (yes, Auntie Wanda is Mia’s aunt!). She says, “Their strength, kindness and work ethic are nothing short of amazing and they have instilled in me what it takes to be a woman who can take care of herself and give 110% to her family as well.”
What I don’t think she realizes is that she has perfectly embodied the lessons they’ve instilled and has gone on to set that same incredible example for me and my cousins, too. Mia is the kind of person you can’t help but look up to and aspire to be more like. She takes her roles as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and of course aunt, very seriously and does a beautiful job at each of them. I can only hope to be as flawless as she is in my roles someday, too.
How to Help Your Family Live a Healthier Life
From a young age, Mia has been a huge influence on me and the way that I live my life. She sets a beautiful example of what it means to be a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Part of that is her efforts to care for her family by preparing nutritious yet tasty meals and going out of her way on a regular basis to show that she cares. She sets a wonderful example of how to help your family live a healthier life.
Health isn’t about crazy workout routines and counting calories. It’s about doing your best to care for yourself and your loved ones, and it’s not always easy. Mia says that the most important lesson she’s learned since beginning her journey toward a healthier lifestyle is that trying and not succeeding at something is not failing. It’s learning.
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