“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.”
When I was trying to get pregnant the first time I discovered that I had a condition called PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. As it turns out, many women have this condition. This is considered a pre-diabetic condition so blood sugar maintenance is an important component to healing from PCOS and resolving its symptoms.
My journey since my diagnosis 17 years ago is a story for another blog. But I’ve been thinking about health lately as it pertains to the influence of family and upbringing on the choices we make and the habits we develop. I’ve recently been very intentional about taking charge of my physical health by following a structured plan to stabilize my blood sugar and bring my body back to its “happy weight” where it functions optimally.
Being the mom to two daughters, ages 15 and 12, I’ve always been very conscious to talk about feeding, hydrating, and exercising our bodies for health, not to reach a certain weight or pant size. I’ve had body image issues since elementary school and I don’t want that for my girls. I know it’s a real issue in the United States, and it feels like it’s a natural part of adolescence. Developmentally, it is–kids compare themselves to others in attempt to discover their own place in the world. But in our culture a belief is engrained that thinner is better, no matter how you get there. This is not a new conversation and again, I could write several other blog posts about this topic—and maybe I will.
But this month’s new theme is Health & Family so I’m pondering the influence of family on our health. There are a couple of components to consider with this theme:
~Nature: many diseases have a hereditary aspect to them so our health can be impacted by our genetic make-up, through the bloodline of the family into which we’re born.
~Nurture: undoubtedly the household in which we grow up will impact our health as far as habits that are supported and lifestyles that are modeled.
As women, the way our mothers treated and talked about their bodies were our first teachers of self-love or self-loathing (sometimes a combination of both). Now, as adults, we have the ability to challenge the beliefs we unconsciously developed as children and consciously model a lifestyle that will empower the next generation. We do this through close examination of the beliefs that might be hidden in our mindsets and writing a new story for ourselves. As a result we will experience a higher level of vitality than what we experience when we’re stuck in the trappings of the old cultural standard of health. Things are shifting, but we have to be the change we wish to see in the world…as always, it starts with us.
Today, I challenge you to spend some time with your journal around the following prompts:
• What were your parents’ views on living a healthy life? Is this something they talked about? Were you taught about healthy choices as a child and young adult? If so, what were you taught?
• Did the adults in your life model a healthy lifestyle while you were growing up? Yes or no, elaborate on the ways you emulate what was modeled for you in your life now.
• Consider the impact of culture on how you ate growing up. Styles of cooking, variety of food, food as celebration, etc. This can be a strong influence on the habits and rituals we bring into our adult lives and is important to look at.
Allow yourself to free-write about these topics, disregarding punctuation or proper sentence structure. Allow this to be a flowing right-brain activity (this is your creative brain) as opposed to a logical left-brain activity (this is your linear brain).
See if you can uncover any memories from childhood that stuck with you in regards to your body and how it should be treated. Be open to things you haven’t thought about before. Next week I’ll take you from the past to the present to look at the consciousness you bring to your health now in your day to day life.
Coaching is a beautiful way to get underneath the beliefs and mindset that unconsciously drive our actions, keeping us from creating lives that are abundantly healthy and free. Please visit my website to see how simple and affordable it is to work with me on writing a new script for the way you experience your life. The first session is free, so why not give it a shot? I’m here in service to the best version of you that you can dream up!