As a health professional who strives to model optimum health for her patients, why was it so hard for me to implement healthy habits into my own daily life? I spent years unsuccessfully trying to lose weight. Forty unhealthy, uncomfortable pounds had crept up on me over time. But, hard as I tried, or thought I tried, the excess weight stayed with me. Like most adults, I knew what to do. My problem was getting myself to actually do it.
What Does It Mean to “Be Healthy”?
I had a general idea of what it meant to “be healthy”. In other words, I tried to eat vegetables and lean proteins, and generally avoid what I considered “unhealthy foods”. As a pharmacist, I probably understand medical issues and the complex science behind them better than most. I was aware that factors like childbirth, decreased metabolism, and increased life stress contributed to my weight gain. However, I also knew I ate my emotions rather than deal with them, and, as a working mom, did not regularly make time to practice the healthy lifestyle habits I preached to my patients.
Take Care of Yourself to Better Care for Others
This year, I made a decision to commit to make time for myself. In the past, I put family, work, and friends first, as many of us do. After all, we each have a finite amount of time and emotional energy, so we tend to prioritize the needs of others over our own.
I needed to make a life change when it came to me and to my health. Everything I did to take care of others was important, but I could no longer put myself last. How could I pour into them from an empty cup? I felt I could be a better wife, mother, pharmacist and friend if I were in better health.
Making Lifestyle Changes: My “Aha” Moment
A friend of mine, Dr. Kent Zieser, shared his personal life-transformation with me. He told me he learned how to live a really healthy life, and, as a result, shed almost 120 lbs (WOW!!). He opened my eyes to the fact that true optimal health is possible with simple lifestyle changes.
Dr. Ziesser believes that living a healthy life, including weight management, comes from both the implementation of healthy habits and a change in mindset. He shared that physical transformations like weight loss, increased energy, and even decreased adverse effects of obesity (i.e. high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes), are natural side effects of healthy living and those healthy habits. How amazing is that??
Slowly, I worked toward better health with Dr. Ziesser as my coach. I love that I wasn’t thrown into this lifestyle overnight, but eased into it. Optimum health and weight loss does not happen quickly. However, with the right tools, habits and mindset, you can keep weight off and live healthy for life.
8 Tips for Better Health and Weight Loss
- Work with a coach for guidance and accountability
- Surround yourself with some kind of support system/community
- Learn how healthy lifestyle changes can improve your life
- Obtain an easy-to-follow nutrition plan
- Nurture a healthy mindset
- Make lifestyle changes slowly so they stick
- Implement daily habits that make sense for you
- Set reasonable goals
The Bottom Line
These training wheels will do more than help you improve your health and get your weight under control. They provide the tools, habits, and mindset necessary to make lifestyle changes and achieve your long-term wellness goals. It’s not about weight loss, it’s about taking your life back. The weight comes off as a result.
As I am now a health professional empowered to practice better life choices, I decided to become certified as a health coach myself. This new role is a perfect fit for my mission and calling with Allen Pharmacy & Wellness as I help people get off medications that do more harm than good.
About the Author: Dr. Deepa Pattani
Deepa Pattani, PharmD is a certified health coach and the Pharmacist-in-charge/Owner at Allen Pharmacy & Wellness, a full-service retail pharmacy providing individualized patient care. She helps those in need find true health and transformation, and to break the cycle of yo-yo dieting. Contact Dr. Pattani at 972-372-9775 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Allen Pharmacy and Wellness is located at 945 W Stacy Rd, Suite 110, Allen, Tx 75013.
The opinions expressed in this article belong expressly to the author. The content is not intended as medical advice. Please obtain approval from your doctor before starting a new health program.
FAQs About Self-Care
Here are some commonly asked questions about the importance of taking care of yourself so you can take care of others
Why is it essential to take care of yourself when you’re responsible for caring for others?
Taking care of yourself is essential because it ensures that you have the physical, emotional, and mental resources needed to provide effective care to others. Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout and reduced caregiving capacity, whether you care for your children or an older adult.
Is it selfish to prioritize self-care when others depend on you?
Prioritizing self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary. By taking care of yourself, you ensure that you can continue to meet the needs of others in a sustainable and compassionate manner.
What if I feel guilty about taking time for myself when others need my care?
It’s common to feel guilty about taking time for yourself, but it’s essential to recognize that self-care is not selfish. Remind yourself that you are better able to provide quality care when you are well-rested and emotionally balanced.
How can I communicate my need for self-care to those I care for and my family?
Open and honest communication is key. Explain the importance of self-care for your well-being and your ability to continue providing care. Encourage family members and those you care for to understand and support your self-care efforts.