As a mom your health is more than just a number on the scale. Learn about four health and wellness pillars moms shouldn't be ignoring to find your way to wellness.
Society has pushed us hard to believe that you aren't healthy until you are in a size 2 skinny jean and have a picture perfect number on the scale.
But have you considered there is more to health than a number on your jeans or scale? Mom's everywhere feel frustrated and fed up because they are ready to find something beyond a diet, they want a lifestyle change and need help doing it.
If you feel it is time to push back and look beyond weight loss as a method to health then follow along as we discuss four pillars of health and wellness moms shouldn't be ignoring.
Change your mindset
In order to truly make the changes you desire for your health, you have to be open to the fact that what you have tried in the past doesn't work for a reason. And to try the same thing over and over with the same results is the definition of insanity.
Before reading the rest of this post, I want to encourage you to shift your mindset. I want to instill in you that health is your entire body not bits and pieces. While weight loss may lead to better health, it is not the only way to better health. Furthermore, weight loss as a health goal is an outcome based goal and leads to the results being completely out of our control.
Health can be achieved when you focus on your body as a whole, not pieces you pick and choose to be healthy.
Being in a healthy weight range for your body is a step in the right direction but if you are lacking in the rest of your health you are likely still struggling. This is why you can lose weight but still have no energy. Or lose weight and then gain it back because there are other areas of your health and wellness you are neglecting.
So if you are still with me let's dive into the 4 pillars of health wellness that can radically change how you view your health and wellness goals.
What is a health pillar
Health pillars are figurative structures that support your body as a whole. It is a way of providing an organized approach to your health. If you think of your health as a house, the pillars are what support the house from falling down.
Four stable pillars will keep your house from crumbling. But the more pillars you neglect and weaken the more likely your house aka your health will crumble.
It is a support system that utilizes and leverages multiple areas of wellness to create a complete system.
If you do the old google search, you will find that some believe there are more pillars to health than 4. I don't disagree, but for the sake of keeping things simple and manageable we are focusing on four health pillars for moms and then sprinkling the other stuff in among the four main pillars.
Here at sweet rustic bakes, we believe in 4 health pillars, and base the information provided to you on these pillars.
The four health pillars we are focusing on today are Intake, Movement, Stress Management and Sleep.
Pillar One: Intake
Most of the time you will see "food" or "nutrition" as the first pillar of health. But I believe it needs to go further than what you eat.
The first pillar of health needs to be everything that is taken in or consumed by the body. Intake is defined as an amount of food, air, or another substance taken into the body. Intake encompasses the idea that what we eat, what we wear, and what we are exposed to are also taken in and absorbed by our body.
As a mom, we take in an endless amounts of "things". We consume the media we watch, we consume food (obviously), we are in-taking toxins from the ingredients in our beauty products, cleaning products, and environment.
We can even go as far to say that we consume and intake others emotions. I know as a mom you are rocking more than one role in your house and raising tiny humans requires you to take in and on emotions that are not just yours. But also taking a look at what social media intake does to your body and mental wellness is huge.
But why is intake important?
Improving what we take in reduces harmful checmicals and toxins that can affect our body.
Changing your nutrition can give you energy, heal chronic conditions, improve brain fog and eliminate gut issues.
Limiting the toxins and chemicals you are exposed to decreases the amount of endocrine disrupting chemicals you consume.
Learning to filter the emotions you are taking can help with your overall mental well-being.
The question really is what does intake do that is not important.
Pillar Two: Movement
Health pillar two is movement. In order to explore movement as a health and wellness goal you need to move past the notion that movement equates to exercise.
Exercise is movement, but movement means much more than exercise. Movement should be practiced as a health goal because if you do not have a functioning body as you age, you do not have anything.
Joseph Pilates said, "you are only as young as your spine is flexible".
Movement as a health goal is what will keep you active and able to perform your activities of daily living until the day you die.
I want you to read and repeat the following 3 times:
"Movement is a way to keep my body from getting old and decrepit. It is not a way for me to punish myself into exercising and trying to lose weight."
This is your movement mantra. Write it down on a post it and stick it where you see it all damn day.
I already love to exercise
If you love exercising and don't have trouble doing it on a regular basis you still aren't in the clear of mastering movement as a wellness pillar.
Movement should encompass all planes of motion. Make sure your joints have full range of motion and can move the way God intended them to move. Exploring ways to protect yourself in all planes of motion is what you should focus on next.
I don't have an exercise routine or don't like to exercise
Movement is the act of changing your position. This means movement is absolutely anything from marching in place, jumping on your bed, dancing to music, yoga, pilates, Cross Fit, stretching, jumping jacks, walking etc.
If you don't like to "exercise" then think of something you do like to do. If you love to garden, garden. But think of ways you can help your body to continue to garden the rest of your life.
Start really slow and start even when you don't feel like it.
Move for 5 minutes in a way that you feel like moving. 5 minutes. That is it. Then if it feels good go for 10. If 10 feels good go for 15.
The point of movement for your health and wellness is to keep your body from getting old. To keep the joints, muscles, fibers, bones and organs from deteriorating.
Movement as a health goal is important if you want to:
- grow old and and be able to get up off the floor if you fall down, get moving.
- release anxiety and get rid of that feeling of chest tightness move your body.
- feel better and have a clear head move your body.
- have full movement and functioning of your joints
I promise you that even just 5 minutes helps with all of those things.
Pillar Three: Stress Management
Stress management is a vast spectrum of techniques to help you better cope with what life throws at you.
You want to improve and implement stress management techniques so you function better as a human. And if you are human, you have stress. If you are a mom you have more stress.
Stress management includes things like mindset, mindfulness, mediation, organization, routines, getting outside and more. Basically anything that you can do to reduce cortisol in your life.
The point of focusing on stress managment and including it into your overall wellness plan as a mom is to keep yourself from going into a state of chronic stress.
Chronic stress can deteroirate your health, effect your relationsips, and seriously impact your quality of life.
If you find that you have very few or ineffective stress management techniques in practice you will most likely find it hard to work on the other pillars of your health.
Pillar Four: Sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in your health. Poor sleep can contribute to a myriad of health problems that affect your day to day living.
Here are a few of the body systems that are effected by lack of sleep:
Brain: Cognitive function, memory, concentration and creativity are all effected when sleep is lacking. It can also make you moody. Things like anxiety and depression tend to escalate the more sleep deprived you are.
Immune System: Cytokines are produced mostly when you sleep. Cytokines are responsible for fighting inflammation and infection. The less you sleep the less cytokines you make.
Increases risk of chronic conditions: Your risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke increase with sleep deprivation.
Weight: Lack of sleep can also cause unwanted weight gain. Your hormones have a lot of jobs to do when you sleep, the more you skip on sleep the more out of whack your hormones get.
What happens next?
The next step in your wellness journey might be the hardest part. It is time to take a deep dive into what you want out of your health and why you want it.
It is time to sit down and start brainstorming how you want to improve your health and write down the steps to get there.
To make this easier, I have developed a wellness formula to help making sticking to your health a lot easier. This formula is a wellness routine that helps you address all four pillars of health in your day to day activities. (coming in May! sign up for sweet rustic bakes emails so you don't miss a thing)
I am here to help and my suggestion is to start really small. Once you take a step back and evaluate where your attention should go first, start to take very small baby steps that are actionable and obtainable.
Your health is the only thing you truly have control over in this world. Don't let your health just happen to you. Take action today by moving away from weight loss as a goal and learn to focus on all four pillars of health and wellness.
Looking for some health recipes to get you started on your intake health pillar? Head over to recipes now!