“What does health and wellness mean to you?” That’s the question we asked Emily van der Kamp, one of the people featured in this issue (see pages 10 and 66). I emailed her the question late one night and first thing the next morning her answer was waiting in my inbox. It seemed to come so easily to her, with eloquent wording such as: “To me health and wellness means having the mental and physical fortitude to withstand the challenges of life that I think are worth taking on.” Emily succinctly put into words what, for some of us, doesn’t come so simply.
I admit with regret that I have never been very concered about my health. Exercise doesn’t come naturally to me and I tend to love food that falls into the “junk” category: not a great combo.
But as I get older, and especially since I had my daughter three years ago, I’ve come to realize that my health can’t take a backseat any longer. I’ve gotten serious about not just eating better, but also really thinking about what I’m putting in my body. My sister-in-law is staying with us, and she has inspired me to explore the world of coconut oil, maple syrup, whole wheat flour and grass-fed beef. In addition to changing the way I think about food, I’ve finally found an exercise plan I may just be able to keep up long-term. 30-Minute Hit is a kickboxing exercise circuit that squeezes lots of high intensity moves into its very manageable time. Perfect for the working mom and something I actually find fun; a requirement for me if an exercise regime is going to last beyond the honeymoon stage!
So, healthy eating – check; exercise – check. Is that enough to be well? Not quite. I’ve come to understand that being “healthy” is more than eating nutritious food and exercising.
For me, the final piece of the puzzle is being mentally well, and taking time for myself. An avid reader in the past, I’ve only recently started to read a lot again, thanks to the book club a friend and I started. Hobbies that fell by the wayside as social media pushed its way to front and centre years ago are starting to appeal again, as is cooking for pleasure and not just as a means to provide sustenance. Some days, there isn’t space for more than a few minutes of quiet time to myself, but it’s enough to re-energize me and keep me feeling both healthy and well.