Mental Health · wellness

Wellness Wednesday

I’ve only been to the gym once this year, y’all. My daughter just left to go back to college on Monday, and I tried to spend all of the time I could with her. However, I’ve managed to lose 4 pounds of my holiday weight by going back to work and focusing on portion control and taking a loose approach to meal planning (cleaning up my intake). On Monday, I started a new ab/squat challenge and I planned on meeting my exercise/movement goals 5 days this week until I purchased some fish (thinking I’d help my husband and son on the healthy meal train) and things went downhill. I don’t know if it was the seafood or a bug, but I woke up Tuesday morning and I couldn’t drink my coffee; in the interest of not being too specific, my body decided it was time to purge. This kind of purge is never pleasant, but it happens naturally to remove toxins from our bodies and keep us well. As a result, I’m a little behind on my fitness goals, but my overall wellness goals for 2019 are progressing. What exactly is wellness and how can we get there?

According to, wellness is a “conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.” Wellness is a “holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being”…it is “positive and affirming.” Disclaimer: I’ve always been a big picture person. Thus, I feel it is important for us to pause a moment here and distinguish between fitness and wellness. While fitness – the condition of being physically fit and healthy – is an important and worthwhile goal – it isn’t the big picture. Wellness is all-encompassing – it consists of six areas: the body, the mind, the emotions, the spirit, your work, and your interactions with others. Keep in mind, toxicity can apply to any of these six dimensions. In order to be holistically well, we must start with our hearts.

The path to self-improvement (aka overall happiness and feeling good about life) begins with an undivided heart. After all, it is not what goes into a man (or woman) that defiles him or her, but what comes out. Folks, it all starts with the heart and a desire to be better. Many of us need serious heart help in order to move forward and be “well”. This is a nuanced and complicated issue; too large, in fact, for one blog post. Therefore, we’ll lay a foundation here…one that I hope will lead us forward into 2019 and beyond. Here is the bottom line – for 2019, let’s purge. Let us purge everything that is not beneficial to being well. If it looks like anger, wrath, offense, unforgiveness, mockery, malice, resentment, jealousy, evil speaking etc. get rid of it. These are the things that come out of our hearts that are toxic to us and those around us.

This is the time of year that folks often engage in fasts and detoxes. I’m no expert on these topics, but I do know any type of cleansing completed in moderation is good for the soul. If the heart is the source of our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical wellness, we can’t be well in any area of our lives with a sick heart. What makes the heart sick? It stands to reason we cannot disregard the importance of our words. Speaking from personal experience, there is a direct correlation between our words (including the things we tweet or post on social media) and how we feel. I have often said or done the wrong thing in a moment of “venting” and frustration and brought myself (and sadly, others) down. I have ruined what was an otherwise good day by saying or posting the wrong thing…something of no profit that was not beneficial. Sometimes this falls under the guise of humor; even here (especially here?) we must ask ourselves if it is bringing harm to others. I am working on this in 2019! What could we accomplish and who might we encourage if we counted our complaints like we count our carbs?

I have yet to view Marie Kondo on Netflix or read her book, but I have begun the process of cleaning up my heart and my environment in a quest for overall wellness. Let’s borrow one of her principles for 2019: let’s take a good look at our “box” – both inside and out. Start with the inside and remove everything that does not bring joy. Start clean in 2019.

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