Health Before Hustle: How to Balance Fitness & the Grind
72 million. This number represents the amount of working women in America. What's not included in this statistical data: Feelings. Emotions. Stress. Pressure. An overwhelming desire to accomplish it all without a sign of fatigue. This can be a daunting task.
While wearing our many hats, it is becoming all too common that many of us habitually neglect our health and well-being. The pressure to uphold the invisible "S" on our chests can consume us. Balancing careers, a love life, motherhood, and various obligations often leaves us spent without a penny to spare. How many times have you forgotten to eat? Grabbed something unhealthy because you were pressed for time? When was the last time you had a full nights rest? How many times in the last month were you "too busy" to exercise?
Putting yourself last for the sake of "the grind" is essentially hustling backwards. Yes, being an entrepreneur/mommy/wife/student requires an incredible amount of time and sacrifice, but if you aren't taking care of YOU while playing these roles, you are running the risk of not only a burnout, but detrimental damage to your mind, body and soul.
The following advice has helped me a great deal over the years; I've managed to maintain a 50 pound weight loss! This renewed sense of self-worth that I now possess makes me feel invincible in every area of my life, and has me going harder than ever before:
STAY READY, SO THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET READY.
Proper nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Many working women barely have the time to grab a sandwich from Starbucks, so cooking regularly seems out of the question.
Guess what? It's not.
Prepping my healthy meals for the week has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. Since I don't technically "have time" to pack my breakfast or lunch every day, I prepare a majority of my meals and snacks on Sunday's. The small sacrifice of a few hours of my time in the kitchen pays off. I'm able to grab and go without feeling forced to purchase foods that don't match my goals. Having portable and healthy foods gives me control over what I consume, helps me save my coins that would have otherwise been spent on takeout, and plays a huge part in my weight loss management.
TAKE BACK YOUR 4%.
There are 24 hours in a day. When you are busy with life, this doesn't seem like enough. One excuse that I often hear from women that want to lose weight: "I don't have time!" I have to strongly disagree. We make time for what is important, and what could possibly be more important than your health and well-being? Honestly speaking, it's not that you don't have time, you just aren't willing to make the sacrifice of being uncomfortable.
Are you willing to dedicate just one hour, which is 4% of your day, to exercise? You wouldn't dare miss a business meeting, so why do you feel so comfortable canceling such an important meeting with yourself?
We greatly benefit from working out in more ways than one. Exercise helps to reduce stress, gain clarity, boosts your energyand self-esteem levels, annnnnnd gives your booty more definition in that fitted skirt! (Ha ha.)
Instead of convincing yourself that you don't have time, make time. From personal experience, I can assure you that that there is always a window of time in your day or evening that can be dedicated to fitness. It won't always be desirable, but it will always be a necessity. I can recall coming home from a 10 hour work day, followed by a 3 hour night class, and still making a commitment to exercise before I went to bed. Was I tired? No doubt. Did I feel like it? Nope. But I couldn't dare no show on an appointment with myself, especially after making everything and everyone else a priority in my day.
Your career, your family, and friends are important. But absolutely nothing trumps you and your health. Without your health, everything that you work so hard to maintain will suffer greatly. We cannot continue to put our health in the backseat and allowing everything else to ride shotgun. Make yourself a priority, it's the best investment you will ever make.