I really chose a tough one to tackle for my first post, but I think this an important place to start since I’m asking you to let me guide you through your own health changes. When I began thinking about starting this business, one of the first questions I felt I had to ask myself was, what does health mean to me?

As I mentioned in my bio, I grew up in an active household and because of this I spent much of my life believing that health was how often you worked out and whether the image in the mirror reflected that. Not actually very healthy, right? There are so many factors that contribute to our health: genes, our diet, exercise and movement frequency, career, relationships, stress levels, physical environment, the list goes on. Most of these factors are within our control to some degree, but that does not mean they are all easy to change.

Have you ever bailed on the gym because a work happy hour came up last minute? Have you deviated from your nutrition goals in favor of a night out with friends? Have you skipped your morning meditation due to a work call? I imagine anyone who reads this can answer yes to one of these questions (happy hour, am I right?) or to a similar one. We set goals and make plans and then life happens and those plans go out the window. That doesn’t mean we are terrible people and we will never reach our health goals.

To me, health is balance. It’s eating whole, nourishing foods most of the time, but still having a slice of birthday cake. It’s going to the gym most days after work, but making time for that happy hour to celebrate your co-worker’s birthday. It’s meditating most mornings, but not beating yourself up if you have to skip it one day. Health is not rigidity. If we don’t learn to be flexible and live with some of the grey areas, we won’t be able to reach our goals because we’ll be stuck in a world that’s too black and white: you either do it right all of the time or it’s a failure.

Health also means learning to prioritize. If you haven’t met your gym goal for the week but you really don’t want to miss happy hour, can you wake up early and squeeze in a workout before work? If you had an indulgent day yesterday, can you prioritize healthier foods the next day? If you have an early meeting, can you get ten minutes of meditation in at lunch? Learning to fit your goals into your schedule takes practice and forethought. It takes Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.

Finally, to me health is NOT perfection. I spent years in a terrible cycle of beating myself up because I didn’t look the way I thought I should (and I will share this experience with you all at some point). You do not have to look a certain way to be healthy. Strive to feel your best, to avoid sickness and disease, and to enjoy your life. Reach for the things that will better and improve you, but build in some kindness for those times that you fail because you will fail. Yes, I said it and I’ll say it again. You will fail. And guess what? That’s ok. It’s rare to get it right the first time (or the second or third) when we’re chasing a new goal. Approach every failure as an opportunity to practice self-compassion and introspection. You only truly fail if you refuse to learn.

So, there you have it. What does health mean to me? Balance, prioritization, and imperfection. I’d be interested to learn, what does health mean to you?