I am an Island of Health.
I heard this term at the Ollis & Company Wellness Conference last month. Dr. Steven Aldana, founder and CEO of Wellsteps, used the term to describe those of us who have “checked out” of the status quo when it comes to how we live life in relation to our health. I do things differently than your average American when it comes to food or fitness.
I am not perfect. I do not say this to try to make myself sound better than anyone else. I simply stand firm in my own values. When recently asked to list the 10 most important things in my life my top 5 where as follows:
- My Health and Fitness
- My Nephews
- My Clients
My Island of Health is created out of rules I’ve made to live my life in line with the things I value. My rules are not complicated:
- Move often every day.
- Get others moving with me as often as possible.
- Eat mostly things that come off the farm, out of the ground or off a tree.
- Provide these same foods to those I care about.
- Educate myself so I can make the best decisions about exercise, food and life in general.
- Don’t be afraid to say no if it will mean saying yes to more important things.
The execution is not always easy. Sometimes I can feel alone on my island. I have friends who I don’t see as much because food is no longer a form of recreation. I would rather be working out than hitting happy hour. When I bring my own food to a luncheon or meeting I stand out like a green oasis in sea of processed food and sugary snacks. Some days I would rather sink into the couch then go outside into the cold world. But then I remember how good I feel when I am done. I remember how I will feel if I don’t get moving. I love that feeling too much to abandon it. I care too much about myself and my family to wander too far off my path.
I don’t mind standing out in the crowd. I hope I can be a beacon of what can be. I hope that I glow with health and energy most days, pulling people towards safety. I want to encourage people to create their own islands, not necessarily living on mine. Each of us has to determine what works for us and what doesn’t, but we should not be afraid to live firmly in our truth even if it does make us the odd (wo)man out.
Are you an island of health? What are your rules for living a healthy life?