So sorry I missed you all last Sunday, but occasionally I just need to take a mental break from the weekly blog. If you do not get an update from me and you are concerned about the schedule, I always update mind body, so please check online.
Whether you are at the beginning or end of your Spring Break, I hope all of you are enjoying some time to recharge, connect with yourselves and loved ones, and hopefully get some exercise. I wanted to continue to expand on my takeaways from the Equinox High Performance Living Symposium I attended in NYC last month. So, here is number 2:
“Staying healthy is cheap, especially when compared to paying for sickness and the best investment you can make. What you put at the end of your fork is more powerful that any drug in a bottle. Quality matters. We should be focused on creating health instead of treating disease.To create health we need to remove toxins, allergens, microbes, stress, and poor diet. To thrive we need healthy foods, vitamins, light, water, air, movement, rhythm, love, connection,meaning and purpose.”
After I had graduated from college, I was interviewing for “management training” programs at a couple of local Nashville banks and teaching aerobics and doing corporate fitness assessments and training at several local Nashville businesses. This was in 1989, certainly before “corporate health and fitness programs” were even on the radar of most corporations. High energy and positivity were the hallmarks of my aerobics classes and I also was running a couple of weeks and for a 22 year old, ate a pretty healthy diet – I was a vegetarian at the time. However, my energy started to slowly decline over that year, I noticed an increase in the number of skin outbreaks (pimples) I had, an increase in digestive issues, and to be honest, by 2 or 3 pm each day I was so lethargic I just wanted to hang out on the couch. I was increasingly becoming frustrated and depressed as I did not feel like myself at all.
One day I happened to run into a friend and she started talking to me about good vs bad bacteria in our gut and how that impacts our overall health, she shared with me her story and I felt like I was listening to a carbon copy of my own. Yes, this was in 1989!!!! My ears perked up and I told her what had been happening to me. She asked if I had taken multiple rounds of antibiotics in the past and I realized that over the prior two or so years I had taken several rounds of very strong antibiotics for several pretty severe sinus infections. What she was telling me made sense with the symptoms I was experiencing. So, I made an appointment with her doctor, was put on what is now considered an “anti-inflammatory” diet, was given nystatin to kill off the bad bacteria in my gut, and started taking probiotic supplements. Within 3 weeks it felt like my health was almost completely restored. I often wonder what would have happened if I had not run into her that day. From that day forward, I started paying much more attention to what I was eating and how it impacted my health. I can assure you, I never wanted to fall back into that lethargic pit.
I know what it is like to experience symptoms of inflammation and poor gut health that can wreck havoc on our bodies. I cannot imagine how many doctors I would have gone to to try and figure out what was wrong with me. Most would have probably told me “nothing” and maybe I was experiencing hormonal fluctuations common in early 20’s. The cost of poor health is staggering. Until doctors are taught how to “create health” in medical school, we have to become our own health advocates. The more you can do to eat a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables, eliminate processed foods, reduce your stress, get plenty of sleep, move your bodies every day, get out and soak in some sunshine and fresh air, and just breathe – learn how to breath properly, the more your bodies will thank you. Plus, you will have a new baseline for what good health should feel like, so when something is out of whack, you will know immediately. The gift of good health is one gift we should ALL be giving ourselves.
I am so grateful for running into my friend Grace that day in 1989. By sharing her own health story with me, she paid it forward oh so many times. If I can pay it forward to one or more of you, then you can pay it forward and on and on it will go. Let’s all try to give the gift of health to ourselves, our children, and our many friends and loved ones. It really is the gift of life.
The only Perfectly Fit group class we will have this week will be Friday, April 8th at 9am at Stanford Hills Park. The week of April 11th we will be back to a full schedule.
Please check out my summer camp schedule online. I would love to have your kids join me this summer for a week of learning, working out, and fun!
Have a fantastic week!
Stella Bergan, MEd, NASM CPT
Health and Human Performance Coach