By Kim Lake

August is National Wellness Month! We encourage all types of wellness – so I was asked to share some of my story. 

I am 50 years old, and for about 15 years, I have been on a quest to feel better and be healthier. It started with just wanting to eat better and exercise to control my weight, help my mood, and increase my energy. At that time, I was working in healthcare in a fairly physical job. To others, I seemed like I was doing well, but on the inside, I was hurting. I was taking pain medication to get through my workday even though I was NOT OK with this. And worse, I was losing my desire to exercise because it seemed to just cause more problems. 

After a couple of years of trial and error, I found someone who made a difference: a Pilates instructor who helped me discover what was going wrong physically and, most importantly, showed me how to listen to my body. This was a major breakthrough! I began to feel more in control of my health and wanted to get even better. 

I started to recognize the physical and emotional stress I was experiencing at work and how it was contributing to my pain. I knew if I truly wanted a better quality of life, I needed to make a major change. It took a few years to gain the courage, but eventually, I left my job.

As my journey continued, I gained knowledge and surrounded myself with others who also sought to be healthier. I focus on what I eat. I listen to my body and notice when certain foods cause inflammation or other discomforts. As part of eating healthier, I avoid processed food as much as possible. What we eat doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive but does need to include consistently smart choices.  

We all have different challenges, and foods can affect us differently, but a diet rich in a variety of nutrient-dense foods can not only extend our lives but make them so much better. We only get one body, so let’s treat it well!

I’ll leave you with a few tips I learned along the way in hopes they will inspire your wellness journey:

  • You CAN take control of your health, but it takes commitment. Seek health professionals who want to help you find answers and get to the root of the problem.
  • You deserve to feel awesome! Learn to listen to your body and recognize when something isn’t right.  
  • Learn ways to manage stress and have the courage to make big changes if needed. 
  • Keep moving! Find something you enjoy and just do it.
  • Pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth – is it nourishing or full of harmful additives? I sometimes ask myself, “Did my grandparents eat this?”
  • Love yourself! You deserve to be your best.

We can help you thrive. Start today.