You may find this hard to believe, but:
Fitness saved me.
And I don’t share this to cause a stir or make anyone feel bad about their lack of activity in the exercise department.
I share it because I want to be 100% honest with you about my journey – the ups and downs and twists and turns 100% of the time.
Because the road I’ve traveled has rarely been a straight one. In fact, I’ve become a pro at noticing when I hit a low point in my life. Mainly because that moment tells me – loudly and clearly so that I cannot ignore it – that something has to change.
Take earlier this year, for example.
I wasn’t doing well. I had launched a new site which was draining me financially, and it was causing me to fall into deep stages of depression. I felt so low on energy that I could barely yank myself out of bed in the mornings.
I wasn’t my usual, happy self – and found it almost impossible to go about my day and accomplish all the tasks on my to-do list.
I knew I had to do SOMEthing, but what?
For me, the answer was exercise.
I went all in. I hired a personal trainer. I even started training for a fitness competition to help take my mind off things.
I started to eat better. I had to work out every morning – no excuses.
And so, not only was I nourishing my mind AND my body, but all those exercise-induced endorphins left me feeling less stressed and more able to mentally prepare for the day ahead.
As my body grew into a stronger and more powerful version of itself, I grew into a stronger and more powerful businesswoman.
I found I had more energy to get me through the day, and I could more clearly see where I needed to spend my time, and what I needed to prioritize.
I’m not the only one who’s experienced such dramatic results – just from working out.
A while back, I read an Entrepreneur article entitled “Why exercise is a higher priority than my career.”
My heart stopped when I read the following paragraph, because it is the exact moment I realized how fitness had played a huge part in my ability to push forward:
“If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.”
Many days, my fitness goals are the only things that get me out of bed – especially if I’m lacking clarity around a particular situation, business-related or otherwise.
The way I see it, my body is the most expensive home I’ll never buy.
The least I can do is take good care of it.
Today, I’m in the best health of my life – and I’ve never looked better. That’s in stark contrast to two years ago, when I was so malnourished that my doctor couldn’t even take my heart rate. (Seriously.)
I remember her calling me and leaving messages every day asking me to come into the office so she could discuss my blood work with me. I found out later that most of my vitamin levels were so low that it’s almost a miracle I’m still alive to type this.
As a busy entrepreneur, it’s not unusual to lose track of time and often forget to eat. When you aren’t punching the clock every morning, or have designated lunch breaks, you sometimes have no sense of breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. If anything, I had to mentally force myself to take a break.
That wasn’t healthy.
Today, I keep myself healthy. Because when my body – and my mind – is working for me, I feel my best, I look my best, and I actually have a chance of accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.
Are you giving yourself what you need to thrive?
If the answer’s “no”, then it may be time to schedule in some regular exercise.
You don’t HAVE to sign up for a fitness competition. You just have to figure out what you can stick to, over time, and do that.
Move your body. Clear your head.
And start to notice how everything else begins to fall into place.
Your dreams will wait, but your health comes first.