Hello Sweet Friend:
Sure, we all know that a creating a lifestyle that supports our health is kind of a big deal.
But are healthy lifestyles even sustainable?
I mean, nothing lasts forever right? But, since it takes a ton of time and effort to create a routine that makes you feel awesome, is there a way to make it work long term?
Heck yes there is! But it’s not what you might think.
So let’s talk about it sweet friend! Because you definitely deserve a life that makes you feel fan-freaking-tastic. And I’m here to help!
I Talk A Lot About Thriving With Graves Disease
And maintaining a healthy lifestyle has a ton to do with that.
I changed everything to best support my well-being. I’ve created a self-care routine that would have baffled me pre-Graves. Trust me, past-Sara was not hitting the yoga mat, meditating or hanging out with tons of veggies. Things changed a lot.
It’s something I’m sure many of you can relate to. Embracing your health leads to a ton of awesome changes. Trying out new self-care activities. Testing new recipes. Eating new vegetables (that was a strange experience. I mean, the first time I tried romanesco was life changing! Food with a fractal pattern… how freaky is that?!)
My healthy lifestyle revamp, coupled with an awesome medical team, allowed me to regain my sense of well-being. I will never look back.
Everyone has the ability to create a healthy lifestyle that makes them feel awesome! But does that work in the long term?
Is Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle Even Possible
My honest answer here is yes and no.
I know you’re probably thinking: “Hey… Sara, you kind of have to pick one answer!”
And I feel you! But I can explain!
Yes, a lifestyle that is built on a foundation of self-love and respect is totally sustainable. Because, if you love yourself enough to live in a way that allows you to be well you’ll make choices that help to sustain that.
Personally, feeling good and supporting my well-being are two incredibly important things, and prioritizing that allows me to have the energy and joy needed for all of the other wonders in my life.
Those priorities will not change because they stem from a deep sense of compassion and respect for myself. That’s one of the wonders of self-love baby! You need and deserve that goodness too!
However, even with self-love at the foundation of your healthy lifestyle, the answer is also no. Because change is inevitable.
The State of Your Health Will Never Be Set In Stone
Graves Disease has taught me many things, and a very big part of that lesson is to embrace change. Because change is truly the only constant in life.
I admit that this can be really hard. But in order to create a lifestyle that best supports your well-being you need to embrace change.
It took change to get you here after all. And it’s going to continue to take change to keep it going.
It’s important to make sure that you aren’t holding on to a lifestyle ideal and instead continue to listen to your body as you grow and your needs change. You will likely have to make tons of adjustments as you go.
A lifestyle that flexes and changes with you is one that’s truly healthy and sustainable.
A Permanent Daily To-DO List Doesn’t Work
Your wellness doesn’t depend on you doing yoga 5 days a week, eating salad once a day, meditating every morning… yes, those are all awesome things. But they’re only truly awesome if they’re working for you. And even if you adore them, they won’t work for you every single day forever.
Some days the healthiest thing you can do for yourself might be resting. It might be avoiding that yoga class and going for a walk instead. Or maybe the usual salad just doesn’t sound right and your body is trying to tell you that it needs something else.
You see what I mean? Yes, lots of activities are great building blocks when it comes to creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But so is flexibility! Flexibility allows you to listen to yourself, respond to your needs and, most importantly, change when you need to.
It’s ok to change. In the long term and in the short term. In fact, it’s necessary. And the only way to create something that’s sustainable is to allow room for all of that change. That’s the real secret to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What Happens When You Don’t Let Your Healthy Lifestyle Change With You
In short, it stops working for you. And, if it conflicts enough with your needs, it may eventually become a not-so-healthy lifestyle.
I may have a little experience in this area…
When I first set out to do everything in my power to be well, I was overjoyed at the improvements I experienced.
I started to eat in a way that made me feel good. And I created a stellar self-care routine full of good things like daily yoga, meditation, gratitude journaling and more. It all supported my health in such an incredible way.
I was amazed and I was hooked. And who could blame me? After experiencing over a year of poor health and feeling like crap, things were finally starting to look up. Within 6 months of making these changes I hit remission for the first time.
I’d like to note that this was thanks to medical care and self-care. I can never stress enough how important it is to couple those two things together.
In my mind’s eye, I had found the perfect lifestyle for me and it was set in stone. But that idea failed. Miserably.
A year later I relapsed. There were definitely a lot of factors that went into this, but a stressful “self-care” routine wasn’t helping anything!
My life had changed, but I made absolutely no lifestyle adjustments. I was stressed, I was taking on more than I could possibly handle at a new job, and yet I held on to the expectation that I had to achieve every single thing on my self-care list. Every day. No excuses. It was exhausting.
Kind of takes the care out of self-care, doesn’t it? #nothankyou
I pushed myself and I cut myself no slack. I thought that I was doing all the “right” things, but I forgot to be gentle with myself and to reassess and address my changing needs.
When I crashed, I crashed hard and it was a HUGE wake up call. I was being way too stubborn and holding on to something because it had worked so well for me in the past… but I realized that if I wanted this to work long term then I needed to be flexible.
Why am I sharing this?
Because your life changes, your health changes and you change. Constantly. There has to be plenty of room for adjustments in your lifestyle to respond to all of that change.
Over the years, I’ve had to make plenty of adjustments. I still eat in a way that makes me feel good, but I’ve been listening to my body and making choices that make sense in the moment.
I continue to do yoga, but if I need a day (or two or three) of rest, I take it.
And I still believe in trying to accomplish what I can every day, but if I need a lazy day that is spent mostly in pajamas, huddled under blankets with a good book then I provide. Because that’s an act of self-care too. Which counts as an accomplishment in my books. The list goes on.
The only thing set in stone is the desire to support my well-being and the love required to make that happen. Everything else falls into place around those ideals.
And that’s exactly what you need when you’re creating or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
You deserve a foundation of self love that promotes a desire to care for and protect your well-being (even if it means being flexible sometimes). If your intentions exist from a deep sense of love and respect for yourself, your actions and choices will come from a loving place. And your flexible healthy lifestyle will always have your best interests at heart. Even when your best interests are changing. And that’s truly what it’s all about.
I’ll never claim to have discovered the perfect lifestyle for you to copy; there’s no such thing. The next best thing is one that suits your individual needs and changes and grows with you.
When you’re open to discovering new ways to thrive and making adjustments as needed then you’ve truly created a lifestyle built on self-love and respect. That’s what sustainability looks like. And you really deserve that!
How has your healthy lifestyle grown and changed over time? Have you struggled to embrace this kind of change? Share your goodness with us in the comments below.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: Be patient and kind to yourself.
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