I have known Dr Zelana Montminy for several years and have been blown away about her insight into becoming the best you possible. Her new book 21 Days to Resilience just came out this week and it’s a must read. I opened to chapter one thinking I would read a chapter and found myself not being able to stop into the wee hours of the night. Instead of me blabbing on about it I asked Zelana to introduce herself to you and tell you more about her principles and amazing philosophy. You can find Zelana on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
I’m so excited to be sharing a part of my book with you. I’m a huge fan of Weelicious and a mom of a three year old and one year old, so I use these tips daily! Keeping our kids healthy is paramount. But we obviously have to keep ourselves healthy too. Happy, healthy parents raise happy and healthy children. For this reason, I’m sharing with you a part of the chapter in my book dedicated to health.
I scratched my cornea the other day on a tree branch. The pain was brutal, and I wasn’t able to see through my left eye for more than a week. Living for a week with restricted vision was definitely an eye opener (no pun intended!). We all take basic abilities for granted. We take our health for granted. Only when we get sick do most of us vow to make long-term changes. Only when we lose our abilities do we really yearn for them.
Health is everything. But it’s a fundamental trait of resilience that people often forget about. When we think of the top five characteristics of resilient people, most of us would say things like they’re strong, courageous, confident, optimistic, successful . . . but does “healthy” come to mind? Probably not. We’ve been conditioned by our culture to write off health and wellness pursuits, but I would argue it’s one of the most critical aspects of resilient, happy people. They find time to exercise, they make healthy choices, and they do what they can to support their well-being.
So assuming we aren’t sick, how does making healthy choices actually support resilience? Eating the right nutrients and staying physically active help support a strong body, a strong immune system to help fight disease, and a strong digestive system, among many other things. Resilience relies on our health to function at its best. Otherwise stress eats away at us and we break down, literally and figuratively. At its most basic level, our body is a complex machine that needs clean fuel to function at its peak. For example, having a strong digestive system and eating the right balance of nutrients help detoxification of the body, which prevents infections. We have to maintain a healthy lifestyle to be able to withstand the stress that comes with challenges.
Stop quantifying health. Being healthy is not about counting calories, weighing ourselves, adding up meals, or tracking workouts. For many of us, stepping on a scale, for example, has the power to completely transform how we feel. Whatever numbers appear on the display inevitably change our emotion, our perspective, and our outlook. Quantifying our health does not provide positive results. Making lifestyle changes does. The restrictive and statistic-based approach that is often advocated actually works against our neurological wiring. It’s harder for our brain to help us accomplish our goals when we are constantly worrying about every morsel we eat and how much we’re exercising. When you have an accepting, positive approach to health, you will reap the benefits.
Be sure to read my book 21 Days to Resilience and connect with me for more actionable tools and takeaways! To your strength, Dr. Z XO