Seven days into the new year and it’s already starting: the groans about gym classes being sold out; favorite juice bars being crowded; the farmer’s markets have no more parking. Who are all these people in your favorite spots?!
It’s you, years ago.
The old you who had no energy and was ready for a change. That old you who decided you were tired of feeling tired. The old you who finally figured out your why.
It probably started slow…maybe it was your second or third try. Perhaps you signed up for a class at the gym and never looked back. Maybe you decided you could use more fruits and veggies in your life and ventured out to the farmer’s market only to become a Saturday regular. Perhaps the old-you morphed into now-you who loves juiced kale before work.
I don’t know what helped you find your health community, but as a pro, you may be feeling frustrated at the upheaval to your routine and the new throngs of people. But, I am here, as a part of those communities, as a peer, to REMIND you to welcome those new people with open arms because they were once all of us. If you’re here now in the wellness world, you know how life-changing it can all be and we have a duty to bring as many people as we can with us into feeling better, living longer, and thriving.
Let's get real....
It feels tough to admit that health and fitness were not always my passions. I didn’t worry about my go-to meal being plain cheeseburgers and fries. I didn’t have thoughts about my diet coke addiction. I didn’t notice that I was slowly putting on weight, sleeping more and more, had wild mood swings, or couldn’t find a healthy balance with weekend (ok, and after-work) drinks. When asked about eating veggies, I literally said once (ugh, this is painful), “what you eat doesn’t matter – it’s all just breaks down anyway”. Good. God. Who was that?! I share this in the spirit of understanding and transparency: health and wellness are my passions in life but they weren't always. I had to evolve. I had to learn. I had to want it. But most importantly, I had to be vulnerable and show up to the scary places: the gym, the farmers markets, the juice bars. To go back to school. To study what I thought was once nonsense. The same communities that I had secretly shunned and thought were full of zealots, I had to ask to accept me. And they did. The acceptance I found at my first gym (and every place after that) was the one that taught me that I did belong, and I was worth it. The rest is history.
I could go on and share – again – how finding my tribe was the number one thing that pivoted me into a healthy life but I want to keep it brief:
For the health newbies: you are welcome in the health and wellness spaces. Your efforts are valid and excellent. I want you to be there. We are your tribe. WELCOME.
To the gym rats, juice queens, and the veggie aficionados: I want to remind you to remember what it’s like to be new and scared. To remember that we are stronger together. Be kind, be patient, be excited.
If you’re reading this, share your journey! Where were you and where are you now? What are you working on? What are you hopeful for?