In 2010 I was filling out paperwork for my West Virginia Business License and needed to name my business; a slew of witty, fitness related themes ran through my mind but what kept popping up was “why”. Why did I choose to cram 200+ hours of education into 18 months on the coattails of completing a bachelors degree in a completely unrelated field?
The answer was simple: I was putting myself first and my mission was to help others do the same. Sound selfish? It’s just the opposite, putting myself first is still today one of the most generous things I’ve ever done. And so You First was born.
There is a reason that flight attendants adamantly explain that you must put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you, including children, because if you run out of oxygen you can’t help others. It’s not selfish, it’s essential. While this seems like an exaggerated metaphor for taking care of your body it is not far off. I understand that the people closest to you rely on you and it seems you should take care of that laundry list of items to help them but mismanaging your body is a disservice to them. Taking care of your relationship with self is the first step towards taking care of your relationship with others.
If you’re not taking care of yourself, your life is out of balance. Subsequently, your family’s life is out of balance. And that affects your children in ways that may not be obvious to you. Did you know that nearly 50% of ALL American children are overweight? Did you know that Type II Diabetes among children has increased 10-fold in the past five years? In the book How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy author Paul Chek explains: “It’s only when you are alive, fully present, self-fulfilled and happy that you are truly doing what counts. What good are you to your family if you burn out? Think of yourself as the sun and your friends and family as being dependent on your light. As the sun, it is your duty to care for yourself so that you never burn out.”
Unfortunately, it has become common for people to burn out while trying to be everywhere and do everything. This is not about being a mother (though we are bred to put ourselves last), this is a foundational truth that we can all stand on: you cannot truly take care of anyone or anything unless you take care of yourself. Whether you are single, married, 20-something or 80-something, the people around you depend on your support, energy, time, happiness and the list goes on.
Don’t you think they deserve the best version of you? Don’t you think you deserve the best version of you?
Sweat & Smiles,