Sunday, February 04, 2018

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Valentine's Day is around the corner and many of us are feeling the love in the air and considering, if not planning, what to do for our loved ones. But what have we been doing for your most important person, you? If you are not the healthiest version of yourself, for yourself, you cannot be the best for anyone else. Not putting yourself first, or at least equal, is a precursor to wellness issues and, at times, emotional issues as well.

Put yourself first for your health.

When you are perpetually burning the candle at both ends and not finding the time or energy needed to take care of your specific needs, there will be no possibility of fulfilling your wellness goals. To maintain a proper healthy lifestyle, there are certain things you must do.

1. Plan and schedule your own activities and exercise times. After an intense rush to leave the house in the morning, an equally intense rush and traffic for pickups then ending the day, not to mention finally getting to the weekends' demanding hours and road chores, you will never be able to find the time for yourself unless you plan and schedule your activities. Even if it is five minutes of exercise each morning or afternoon, that is your time.

2. Take time for silence. Can you look at all the activity above and your stress level doesn't increase? Living it is much more stressful, even if you have pushed that stress down. It will be just a matter of time that it will present itself in some physical, emotional or socially damaging way. Just stop and breathe.

3. Listen to music; your favourite genre, artists or songs. It has been shown that music can relieve stress and bring you back from the edge, allowing your mind to brush off that “last straw”.

4. Ask for help. We were designed to be social creatures. You may be surprised to realise you can easily begin to feel alone in a crowd if you have simply adopted a role, even worse, a per functionary role even in your own household. That, weight of loneliness may begin to press on you.

5. Teach others how you want to be treated. You can only really teach by example. If you want to be treated well, treat yourself well. In so doing you will also be helping your own family and loved ones. The goodness and sacrifice you developed considering their needs can now also be cultivated in them as they consider your basic needs.

6. Balance is everything. If you have said that you put your family first then you have disrupted this equation. Your own “variable” should have an equal strength or no one will fully benefit from a stressed, wired, uptight, possible overweight version of you, who is quite likely cultivating a chronic illness or worse.

7. What else can you do?

i. Get six to eight hours sleep as your body, mental, immune (and cancer fighting) systems require rest.

ii. Make time for friends. Have sex. This will do wonders for your general health, endocrine system, stress levels, and relationship.

iii. Laugh

iv. Practise gratitude

v. Keep relighting your motivations

From an ITK wellness and diet perspective, I have to single out giving yourself time to plan and prepare your own meals. This may fall in line with your family, but if you have special goals make time for these and lead by example; you don't have to preach. I have seen many parents put their dietary needs on the front burner, and without any prompting, have influenced their children to take up practices which will likely ensure what all parents pray for — that their children will live long, fruitful and healthy lives. This was accomplished by putting themselves first, setting an example of self-value which can last for generations, and remembering that preparing is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.

Intekai Academy is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 968-8238 or visit their website at

Contributed by Fitz-George Rattray

Director of Intekai Academy

968-8238 or 581-8964




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