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How Badly Do You Want to Create a More Active and Resilient Lifestyle?

This past weekend, my youngest daughter and my husband and I were blessed to be able to get out of town for a couple of nights, to explore the active and gorgeous town of Salida, which is situated along the Arkansas River in Colorado.  We badly needed an early summer break after the rigors of 11th grade high school, advanced placement history, final exams, and high school drama.  My main goal was to find an outdoor heated pool and hot tub in a pretty Colorado town with sunny weather, where my main duty was to watch the colored lights change in the hot tub.

You ask me, how does that goal match up with the title of your blog article today?

Exactly.  It does not.

But I noticed that after I got in a couple of evenings in the hot tub and outdoor heated pool and I had been around active folks near the park by the river, that I was starting to want to get a bit more active.

Hence the new goal for the weekend evolved:  Climb up Salida Mountain with my 17 year old….yes, the big mountain labeled “S” that is in your face no matter where you go in Salida.

Now this was quite a lofty (no pun intended) goal for me.  You see, I have some chronic health conditions that slow me down when it comes to exercise.

But we dutifully applied our sunscreen and headed up S Mountain.  Turns out the trails are quite narrow as they circle round and round the mountain, while you gradually ascend 800 to 1000 feet up into the air. Each time I stood aside for a mountain biker or faster walker, I would smile and say, “You go ahead. I am slower than you.” And each time, I received a positive and often encouraging reply.

I started to realize, “Wow, we are all in this together.  This trail is often just about 18 inches wide, and has lots of rocks.  Any one of us could take a topple and not have a good day.  No one is judging me by my speed here.  My goal is just that:  my goal.  Each person ascending this mountain has a personal goal, but we are all encouraging each other without side looks or drama.”
I also realized as it got harder and harder to get up the mountain, that I badly wanted to be in better shape so that I could more fully enjoy this type of active lifestyle.  I know that after the feeling of achievement subsided once we reached the “S” and carefully made our way back down those same narrow and winding trails, I made a better eating decision right away and chose tasty light tacos with veggies instead of a huge cheeseburger and fries.  When we got back home later that evening, I was so fatigued that I took a hot epsom salts bath and went to bed very early…..and I realized that I also badly wanted to be more resilient, so that I can tackle a more active lifestyle.

I challenge you to do the following as summer approaches:

  1. Respect your inner need to rest, and find a genuinely restful place to be quiet in.
  2. Seek out at least one person whom shares your desire to improve his or her well-being, and let that person inspire and challenge you.
  3. Make one small, healthy change in your eating pattern–generally it is best to focus on a healthy item to add into your daily eating, rather than to focus on what you are going to eliminate.  Keep up that small, healthy change every day…but if you “mess up” one day, don’t condemn yourself; rather, just consider the next day a fresh start.
  4. Think of what you can do to be more resilient………in other words, what helps you to recover quickly from a challenge and bounce back?  I know that living at a high altitude in Colorado challenges my resiliency every day, and that when I miss a day of being physically active, I will pay for it in terms of shortness of breath and reduced energy.  If I don’t maintain a regular quiet time of prayer and meditation, I will not be spiritually resilient.  And if I don’t have a phone call with a good friend on a regular basis, I will quickly feel isolated in my battles with life.

Plan your wellness out for summer, and see what happens.  Please write and let me know what kinds of challenges and successes you have….we are all in this together.

Planyourwellness.com…………because your well-being deserves your attention!

Julie

 

 

Why “planyourwellness”???

I have had some people ask me why I named this website and my wellness coaching business “planyourwellness.com”.

Well, the dot.com idea is just to reflect today’s modern high tech world, computers, etc.

Looking back a few hundred years from today’s computer age, Benjamin Franklin is well known for saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.

I learned the hard way that if I don’t take time to plan out a healthy eating and exercising regimen, it just ain’t going to happen, folks.  And I also finally realized that I had to love myself and value myself enough to WANT to plan out some sort of regimen.  If you read my personal story, you will see that it took me a long time to get to that point.

I firmly believe that if we come to the realization that our bodies both crave and deserve better treatment,  AND if we show our bodies love by cherishing them enough to take time to figure out a plan to be as well as possible………..then amazing things WILL happen.  I call this the “love and cherish yourself” moment.

Your wellness plan can and probably should involve SIMPLE steps to improve your wellness.  For example, let’s say you have arrived at the “love and cherish yourself” point in your life, and now you are looking around at things that you do everyday, and you realize, “Wow, I drink 4 diet Cokes a day.”  Notwithstanding the fact that numerous scientific articles have stated that diet drinks actually are linked to weight gain rather than weight loss, you realize that your body deserves basic clean water several times a day.   So you make a conscious decision, “I will replace 2 of the diet Cokes a day with 2 glasses of cool, sparkling water.  To do that, I will buy less diet Cokes, and I will stock my fridge with water in some attractive form (like bottled water or a pretty pitcher)” .

Kaboom—-you have just planned your wellness!  Or you have planned at least a small step to become more healthy.  Now, you just need to follow up with yourself to see how you do at accomplishing this goal.

What I do to help persons to plan their wellness involves more than the above, but the above example is a great starting point in the conversation about well-being.

Why plan your wellness?  Because your well-being deserves your attention.

 

 

 

Blinkers

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Blinkers…………yes, it is a weird title, I know.

The left turn blinker on my vehicle got messed up when the car service folks were working on the brake lights a few weeks ago.  My husband noticed it, and we talked  a few times about him fixing it.

In the meantime, I was getting a bit antsy about the risk of getting a traffic ticket.  My 17 year old reminded me last week that I could use hand signals (yes, I know that sounds too surreal to be true, but it happened…..and yes, I had forgotten about hand signals).

So I started using hand signals for turning left.  In.all.kinds.of.weather.

As is common in Colorado, we have had intermittent snows which will continue through Memorial Day.  Each time it snowed and I drove,  I sighed and put my left arm out in the snow to signal my left turns.  The Sunday after our last severe snowstorm, my husband drove us to church and I reminded him to signal his left turn with his hand to avoid a ticket.

“What do you mean?” he asked.  “I already fixed it.”

“What?  Really?  When did you do that? I did not know that.  I have been putting my left arm out in these snows for the last week, whenever I turn.  Well, thank you!” I said.  We both chuckled about it a bit, although I was actually thinking  and stewing inwardly about how uncomfortable that it had been to stick my left arm out the window in snowy weather. Oh well, I had obviously missed hearing him say that he had fixed it.

I was thinking this morning about that, as I almost put my left arm out the window again during a left turn in 40 degree weather.   Then I turned on the left blinker, and smiled.

Wow.  So many object lessons here to be learned.  I love object lessons.

The object lesson that applies the most to this planyourwellness.com web site is this:

Are you doing something unnecessary to promote your wellness, when there is already something out there that can help you with your overall well-being?  Are you expending unnecessary energy to do things that actually are not proven to improve your well-being, such as fad diets?  Are you spending lots of money for a personal trainer?  Are you forgetting your wellness goals, or are you even making any?  Do you understand the importance of small steps in your goals, and the process of making changes in your life?

If you read my story elsewhere on this website, you will find that I actually learned about the Wellness Inventory and got all of the training done to become certified as a Wellness Inventory Coach…………and I really believed in its effectiveness, but I let life/illness/etc. get in the way for a long time before I ever finished my portfolio and got my certification done.  I expended energy and money in an inconsistent manner to work inconsistently on my health, especially during unpredictable flareups  (see the trend of the word “inconsistent” ?), when all I needed to do was to rely on what had already been provided for me in the online Wellness Inventory tool.

And what was provided for me in the nationally recognized Wellness Inventory tool  is the same thing that can be provided for you.  I use this Wellness Inventory tool as my primary tool when doing wellness coaching because I believe in it, but I let whomever I am coaching know that they don’t have to buy it.  That being said, why re-invent the wheel for yourself  or spin your wheels or buy unnecessary wheels or change your wheel in the snow,  if you want to improve your overall well-being?

Please Google the Wellness Inventory and Wellness Wheel of the 12 dimensions of health, and just see for yourself what a user friendly, interactive, and effective online tool it is.   Read about Dr. John Travis who invented it.   I can send you information on how many different organizations have used it, with successful outcomes.  I can get a personal account authorized for you to use as often as you want for one year for $40.  It has volumes of information on the 12 dimensions of wellness, and it offers you the opportunity to do 2 self-exploratory assessments in 12 months to see how well balanced the 12 dimensions of wellness are for you.  The results will be on your personal site for you to review in words,  as well as in a colorful Wellness Wheel portrayal of your 12 dimensions.  A perfectly balanced Wellness Wheel looks like the picture below…..but no one has a perfectly balanced Wellness Wheel.  There are no wrong answers and no shame/blame games involved with the Wellness Inventory.

 

12-dimensoes-do-coaching-de-saude-e-bem-estar_wellness

Based on the assessment mentioned above, you can make your action plan and goals based on the assessment, and get e-mail reminders of your goals.  You can use it all by yourself as your only tool,  or you can contact me  (via this website or via e-mailing me at planyourwellness@gmail.com) for information on rates for using additional tools of individual/group wellness coaching, or for Wellness Workshops to support/supplement/enrich what you are learning through the online tool.  If you want another level of support, you can sign up for free interactive wellness webinars throughout the 12 months of your subscription.

If you decide that you want wellness coaching also, I can adapt wellness coaching on the 12 dimensions of wellness to any person or group.  I have a special heart for helping students, healthcare professionals, caregivers, stay at home mom angels, teachers, faith facility members and staff, military spouses,  and persons transitioning from foster care to independent life.  I love working with anyone, so please ask me for information whether you fit into this category or not.

Just wanted to pass this information on, in case you are tired of sticking your arm out in the snow and you want your own blinker.

Plan your wellness………….because your well-being deserves your attention.

Uncomfortable Questions

Uncomfortable questions…………that topic came up for me this morning for some reason.

Probably because I watched an episode of Criminal Minds on TV last night, and was amazed at how the persistent questions of one investigator to a suddenly sick colleague led to discomfort for the sick colleague, but totally changed the direction of the sick one’s care (and of course, helped solve a serial killer case…hey, it WAS a television show).

The sick colleague accepted the diagnosis of heart attack from his healthcare providers after he had a sudden collapse, despite the fact that he had run a marathon a few months before then, and had no history of health problems.  When his investigator friend persisted with questions and helped the sick person to remember that he did feel a prick in his back before he collapsed……. and made him uncomfortably turn over, the cause of the collapse was found:  an injection site in the back, which was found to be poison.

How often do we accept information from health care providers without asking the uncomfortable questions?

  • How often have you seen someone with this diagnosis?
  • What kinds of bad side effects can happen from this treatment?
  • What are other treatment options that are possible for me to try?
  • Can we repeat that test, to see if it was correct?
  • Are you okay with me getting a second opinion?

I am not always good with asking the uncomfortable questions, either.

But for your health, please start asking questions.  And if you don’t know what to ask or how to ask them, please check with a friend or family member.

And if your  healthcare provider does not like you asking the uncomfortable questions……..then find a new healthcare provider.

Your wellbeing is worth your attention, even if you have to ask the questions that might make the provider squirm.

Birthing!

mountains-lakeToday is the birthing day day of my website http://www.planyourwellness.com!  It is the compilation of 37 years of nursing, many years of case management, lots of personal ups and downs along the way, and the completion of my certification to become a Certified Wellness Inventory Coach.

I am so excited!  Thank you to my husband, 3 children, and my special professional mentor Gail Haun, who told me that I could do this.

I have envisioned for years now, how to empower others to look at their lives and health in a fresh way.  The Wellness Inventory is a great nationally recognized tool that I became certified to use as a Wellness Inventory Coach, to help you look at your life and health in 12 dimensions.  It will help you to develop insight into the reasons for your behavior, as well as help you to measure your motivation towards your own health goals that YOU develop.  It is a reflection of my own struggles and achievements in trying to become healthier the last few years.

My goal is to be authentic in my description of my own health journey, in hopes that you will be inspired to be authentic in your own health journey.

Please enjoy looking at my website.  It will continue to grow and blossom.

Happy Birthing Day, http://www.planyourwellness.com!

 

 

Magic in the Milky Way

Seeing the Milky Way stretch across the sky on a clear, starry night here in Colorado……..that was our goal.

My teenaged daughter and I camped out at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado this past June, and enjoyed sitting outside our tent to stare up at the sky and enjoy the quiet…………..no commercialization for miles to pollute the night sky………….no pinging of the cell phone to interrupt our thoughts.  That kind of quiet beauty can become instantly addictive.

So addictive in fact, that we continued our quest to stare at the Milky Way later on this past August, when she and her father and I went to Music Meadows Ranch in Westcliffe, Colorado for a few nights.  Westcliffe is one of only two designated “dark towns” in Colorado, where an unadulterated night sky literally packed with stars is a treasured commodity among residents and visitors alike.

We brought my daughter’s telescope to use, but the stars were already so “in our face” that all we had to do was lie on a blanket on the ground and stare upwards. Amazed at how many stars we could see as compared with the night sky’s appearance at home, we chatted excitedly for a bit before settling down to relax and “just be”.   The milky white band of stars was so mesmerizing that practicing deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation automatically took over.  Our nighttime reverie was interrupted only by nearby coyote howls and increasing cold, so we went inside with our memories and enjoyed hot chocolate before settling in for a rejuvenating night’s sleep punctuated by mountain breezes blowing through the open windows.

I encourage you to plan ahead for a periodic relaxing personal or family retreat to make memories to draw upon when you are having a busy, challenging day. It does not have to involve much cost or even a long period of time……you can pack your own picnic and go to a local park or even your own back yard,  and lie on a blanket in the early evening and listen to nature.  You can get out of bed a few minutes earlier than usual, and enjoy your hot coffee or tea to the sounds of some classical music you downloaded onto your cellphone.  You can even plan a long hot tub bath to stare at your toes.  I guarantee you there is nothing like being able to pull out a relaxing memory, to help calm down your nervous system.  You will probably feel your pulse and breathing slow down to a more relaxing rhythm, as you mentally return to a time with a slower pace.

It usually won’t happen unless you plan it, though…….not to say that some things don’t happen spontaneously.  So go ahead now and show love to yourself, and plan your wellness time.   If you want to share here on my blog how things went for you, that would be awesome!  I can’t wait to hear how it goes!