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Caldwell: Without health, wealth and success mean little

You can have all of the success in the world, but if you do not have the health you want, you don’t have anything.

Poor health is a drain on your career, business, finances, coworkers, clients, family and, of course, you. I know this first hand. Four years ago, I was faced with the fact that not only had my weight escalated to an all time high, but my triglycerides, LDL and blood pressure were approaching unhealthy levels. For several years, I put my attention on building a successful business and family life, but the focus on my health fell by the wayside. When faced with the reality of my declining health, I took on improving my health with vigor and passion and have maintained a 35-pound weight loss for three years. This wouldn’t have happened without focus, dedication and a health success plan.

To gain the knowledge to help myself and others enjoy abundant health, I enrolled in the prestigious health-coaching program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. The school’s faculty includes such medical experts as Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Susan Blum and many others who are authorities in the field of health and wellness. In the past year, I have learned making a commitment to health, energy and vitality are essential to enjoying the fruits of a successful career, business and life.

Just as you wouldn’t run your business without a plan, each person should have a plan for abundant health and vitality. Here are some strategies for health success:

• Eat real food in the right portions. In high school science, we learned our physical bodies become everything we eat and drink. At a cellular level, food is assimilated and absorbed in our blood and organs. Get back to the basics with nutrient-rich foods and clean water. Part of my health-coaching curriculum is studying more than 100 dietary plans and it’s clear there is no one right way to eat that works for everyone. However, I have yet to find one healthy eating plan that promotes eating highly processed foods and sugary drinks as a pathway to good health. Enjoy wholesome “one ingredient foods” from the produce section of your grocery or farmers market. Consider creating a game of trying one new fruit or vegetable each week for a year. Your life will never be the same.

• Know your numbers. Get a complete physical to understand your current medical condition. As every fine luxury automobile needs regular tune ups, when was the last time you took your most valuable machine – your body – into the shop for a checkup? You can’t operate your healthy business or your healthy body without the facts. And in order to become the healthiest version of yourself you need to know your vital numbers and take positive action. 

• Get moving. Commit to exercising and moving daily. You will find the fountain of youth when your athletic shoes meet the pavement. I have at least 10 fitness activities I love so I never become bored or have an excuse to not move due to inclement weather. Develop a menu of activities you enjoy by yourself or with a group. The more exercise choices and variety you have the more compelling and fun it will be to get moving.

• Recharge your energy reserves. Take time each day to renew and rejuvenate yourself by stopping and reflecting on your priorities and progress. If you are living the “super busy” lifestyle, you will ultimately drain your energy, kill your spirit and impact every aspect of your health, career and life. Enjoy as many family meals at the table as possible and share what you learned and appreciate from the day. Your life demands high energy, focus and performance and that is only possible by making a commitment to yourself and your vitality.

• Goodness and success take time. Building a successful, sustainable business and career take commitment and time. So does creating abundant health. Ralph Waldo Emerson once advised “adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.” Keep committed to your health success plan and celebrate the victories along the way.

Just as sickness doesn’t happen overnight, wellness doesn’t happen overnight either. 

Commit to living your own health success plan by eating nutrient-rich foods, exercising and moving daily, enjoying restorative sleep and reflection time. Become a high energy, inspirational leader by prioritizing and investing in your health and vitality. It’s the best investment you will ever make.

• Kathleen Caldwell is president of Caldwell Consulting Group and the founder of the WHEE Institute (Wealthy, Healthy, Energetic Edge) of Woodstock. She can be reached at www.caldwellconsulting.biz, Kathleen@caldwellconsulting.biz or by phone at 815-206-4014.

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