Top 2 Ways Your Lifestyle Choices Are Hurting Your Wellness

Stressed woman with head in her hands at a desk

We all want more energy in our days, to look and feel better in our bodies, and to go into the world feeling like our best selves, ready to crush the day. However, despite our best efforts, sometimes we lack confidence or feel like we’re at war with our bodies when our jeans don’t zip as easily. So, we shrink our calories, go for another intense workout at the gym, and still don’t feel great. Maybe this approach worked for you in your 20s and 30s to “get back into shape,” but it’s not going to work now, in midlife. It’s actually going to HURT your wellness.

If feeling better, or good, in your body is the ultimate goal and you want to ditch the “punishment-style” road to fitness and wellness of the past, read on…

I spent the better part of last year traveling more than usual for work.

Over the course of my travels, after speeches, in meetings, on trains, at lunches and dinners, and in my courses, I found one common thread. Our food and exercise choices continue to “consume” us. The message that our choices in our 20s and 30s are going to somehow behoove us magically isn’t something only members of our Alexandria Wellness community share. It is truly universal.

You are not alone!

The human body at 20 turns into a different body for men and women starting as early as 30.

In fact, for most of history, women only lived until their 40’s or early 50’s and never had to deal with midlife or menopause. Their health focused only on reproduction.

For men, in 1900, the average life expectancy in the US was 46. In 1970, the average life expectancy increased to 67 for men and 75 for women. If born today, men in American are expected to live to 74 and a women to 80.

We have come a very long way! Let’s continue the trend!

We know so much more about how to take care of our precious bodies. Medical science has blossomed, and we may even be defying evolution. What?!

We know more about what helps us live longer, with fewer doctor’s visits and with a level of confidence about the health we all want. So, with all this new science and our increased longevity we should be focusing on wellness for life. We are living longer and more abundant lives! It’s no longer all about cutting calories and seeing a lower number on the scale, we should strive for wellness that keeps us strong, mobile, agile and confident.

We cannot continue to con ourselves into focusing 99.9% of our attention on diet and exercise and leave only 0.1% for the rest.

Alexandria Wellness Wellness Wheel Graphic

When we hyper focus on what we are eating and if we are doing ENOUGH of the right exercise, we may be hindering our ability to feel as AMAZING as we can post 40. I did the same. I spent most of the 10,000 thoughts my brain has each day fretting. My little inner voice, whom I affectionately named “Pat”, would whisper:

  • “You are not doing enough. You never will.”
  • “You have big hips” (my mom’s words when I was 12)
  • “if you eat ‘better’ you will finally like yourself in, and out, of clothes”
  • “(fill in the blank friend or Hollywood star’s new program will get you looking like HER!”

I think you get the gist.

Sadly, I believed the negative voice of “Pat” until I told “Pat” that her voice is no longer welcome.

You can take back your power. I did, and so can you.

Where did I end up next? Once I stopped obsessing over food choices and calories burned, I was able to focus on other aspects of my life which needed just as much attention: calming my nervous system and prioritizing sleep. It may be time for you to do the same.

I realize this is a shift from what you’ve been focused on for a long time, and it requires a level of trust. I also know there are countless individuals reading this blog who KNOW their approach isn’t “working” to help them feel better.

Chronic stress and lack of quality sleep are drastically hurting our wellness.

These two foundational aspects of our wellness must be addressed if we want to look and feel our best.

So how do we reduce our stress and get more sleep?

Stressed woman with head in her hands at a desk

Calm your nervous system.

Take a baseline assessment of your stress. You can grab mine in my MASTER Menopause NOW! stress module for purchase now here. It may be eye-opening to know just how much stress you are carrying around without realizing it. Each little, medium, and large stressor adds up. Cumulatively. We were not meant nor built for the kind of chronic stress we assume is “normal.” This type of chronic stress, if left unaddressed, leads us to sleep less, eat more, put off exercise and frankly live “edgy.”

Who wants that?

Tip: Choose your stress resilience hacks. Our members have them, our corporate clients have them. Now, it’s time to develop yours. I have seven in my online program and teach many more in my concierge small group program and corporate wellness sessions. Take it as seriously as the things you do for others.

Mature woman sleeps in a bed with white bedding

Prioritize quality sleep.

Find your sleep baseline with my MASTER Menopause NOW! Mastering Sleep Module here. This will help you find where you can easily slide into improved sleep. We need 7-7.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night in order for our brain to do its job of recovering from yesterday and preparing for tomorrow. If we are waking up to use the restroom, we are not getting sufficient sleep.

Tip: Develop a consistent nighttime routine. Make the last fifteen minutes before bed restful, rote, and peaceful to prepare your body for its next job: sleep.

Thinking you may want to try a new way toward wellness? Reach out to me to see if our small group concierge program is for you or your team at work. Remember – a well you makes for a well team!

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