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Are you making healthy choices in your life?
If you’re like me, you probably improve in one area for a while and then regress. Then, you try to pick up the slack in another area only to regress again. It’s a vicious cycle.
And, dammit, it’s down right annoying and frustrating. Why is it that we can work our butts off to lose 10 pounds for a weeks on end … only to put it all back on over a holiday weekend with the family?
It’s questions like this that plague us with over fitness levels. But, it’s not just our physical health that suffers. We need to be making healthy choices in other areas of our lives like our finances, the food we put into our bodies, and even the fun we have that allows us to escape our work lives.
This is why I’m glad I had the privilege to speak with Amy from Life Zemplified. She’s dealt with these issues in her own life and has empowered others in making healthy choices on a daily basis.
Amy was kind enough to answer some of my questions and I’m sharing those with you below. As you will see, Amy has a real passion for this and it comes across in her answers. She shows us how making healthy choices in four key areas in our lives will help us maintain a healthy equilibrium.Take it away, Amy!
Making Healthy Choices with Amy Blacklock from Life Zemplified
Amy, can you provide the readers a brief introduction of who you are?
Hi, David and readers of Run The Money. My name is Amy Blacklock. I’m a Gen X’er who’s figured a few things out in life that I like to share with others, but I’m also a forever student striving to learn something new all the time.
I’ve been involved in the fitness industry, initially full-time and then part-time, for almost twenty years. Formerly, I was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, and now I’m a nutrition and health coach. My current day job is in the automotive industry where I’m involved in project and office management, and employee wellness. I blog and coach online at LifeZemplified.com.
Tell us about your site, Life Zemplified. How did it come about? What’s your goal with it?
I officially launched the site early this year to share my knowledge on exercise and nutrition, as well as personal finance, and to explore all areas of wellness. Being happy and healthy is more than just being physically fit and sound. It also involves achieving financial, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual well-being.
My goal is to get others paying attention to their overall wellness, particularly their physical and financial health before it’s too late. I’m concerned that people aren’t saving enough for retirement and that they won’t be healthy enough to enjoy it if and when they get there.
What are the “4 Fs” and why are you focused on them?
Finance, Fitness, Food, and Fun are four of my favorite F-words because they are great places to make improvements for your health. Miss any one of these, and you likely will not be in balance, and your overall healthy may be suffering. Focusing on one too much may also affect the others negatively.
Exercising without eating right won’t fuel your body properly for the things you are asking it to do. If you don’t have fun with exercise, you won’t be apt to stick with it. Being deep in debt will likely cause you stress, affecting your health and limiting your fun. Overeating will not only affect your fitness level and physical wellbeing but your wallet too as your health deteriorates and the doctor bills increase.
There is no exact perfect balance we need to achieve, but there is a healthy equilibrium we can all obtain so that we thrive in life instead of staying stuck or spiraling down in stress and poor health. While these are not the only areas of well-being I write about, they are the ones I’m most passionate about.
Is there a common theme between the 4 that explains why we struggle in these areas?
I think it’s just being human. Too often, we try and control things instead of just letting stuff happen. We compare ourselves to others way too much. We believe something is wrong with us and that no one else feels the same way. Then, we try to do everything ‘they’ say we should. We are too hard on ourselves when things don’t go right. Bottom line, we are human but often get caught up in trying to be perfect superheroes.
What do you help people with in your work as a nutritional coach?
I help people find a way of eating that is right for them. That may be helping them understand that restrictive fad diets don’t work, or aiding them in the search for the right balance of foods to achieve muscle gain or fat loss.
My clients and I explore food options, meal planning and preparation, eating habits and lifestyle behaviors, attitudes and views on food, stress and sleep as it relates to food, mindset and more. We also work on discovering any nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, or food sensitivities they may have, which may involve working with a registered dietitian or doctor.
The goal is to find solutions to their health and weight issues by aiding them in finding what’s in their way. It isn’t just about food, eating, and exercise. It’s also about all the little details and lifestyle habits that impact what we choose to eat, how much we eat, and how active we are each day.
Can you share one of the more remarkable success stories you had with a client?
The most wonderful stories to me are when a client feels they’ve gotten their life back. I had a male client who was overweight, on high blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and generally in poor health. Complaints included no energy, insomnia, joint pain, lower back pain, shortness of breath, heartburn, and other assorted digestive issues.
After 12 months of working together, he was able to eliminate his medications (with the approval of his doctor) and is no longer in danger of diabetes. His energy level increased substantially, his digestion improved remarkably, and he no longer has nagging back or joint pain. He’s now active with his kids on a daily basis and has very few sleeping issues. He got his life back. I love that.
What issues in your own life were you forced to overcome and battle? How has this prepared you in your work with Life Zemplified?
Phew, this could be a long answer, so I’ll just discuss my battle with migraines. I experienced symptoms of migraine for over 25 years. Headaches, nausea, minor lightheadedness to extreme vertigo, neck pain, light sensitivity, auras, etc.
Through much trial and error, I eliminated many foods from my diet until I found my root triggers – foods I was sensitive too that were causing me those symptoms and pain.
As a result, I not only eliminated almost all of my migraine symptoms (I still am sensitive to weather changes) but I also lost over twenty pounds. This made me so aware of the dangers of ingesting foods we may like but that don’t like us.
It helped me understand that foods behave differently in seemingly similar individuals. It affirmed that food could cause tremendous amounts of havoc in one’s body, but with careful attention and diligence, we can usually find the source and eventually eliminate the issue.
My journey also showed me that weight loss could be more involved than just calories in and calories burned. I’m a problem solver by nature. Thus I enjoy helping others find the cause of their issues so that they can feel better and improve their health.
What’s one important lesson you want people to take away from this interview?
I want everyone to remember that his or her health – physical, financial, and emotional – is precious. You need to take care of it today so that you have a tomorrow to look forward too.
It’s human nature to think we have the time or that we are too young to worry about our health, aging, and retirement. The truth is time passes way to fast and tomorrow is here before you know it.
Take a step every day toward greater well-being.
One more question. How can readers get in touch with you?
Please visit me at LifeZemplified.com
Email me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Or connect with me on:
- Twitter – @LifeZemplified
- Facebook – Life Zemplified
- Instagram – lifezemplified
- Pinterest – Life Zemplified
Thanks for having me here today and allowing me to share a bit about myself and my story.
Dave’s Take: Making healthy choices is a daily decision we all must make.
I get that life is hard. My wife and I were just discussing this the other day actually. How hard is it to make progress in life?
It’s incredibly difficult. Marriage is difficult. Paying off student loans is difficult. Having to scrap together cash for a down payment is difficult. Maintaining a healthy weight and proper fitness level is difficult as well. Oh, and raising kids? So difficult.
What are we to do? How can we start making healthy choices in all of these areas at the same time?
Of all the great things that Amy shared with us, I think this is the most important — “Take a step every day toward greater well-being.” Baby steps. Yes, baby steps. Like the Bill Murray movie.
Take baby steps in making healthy choices in your life. Working out marriage problems? Baby steps. Financial difficulty? Baby steps. Trying to figure out the whole parenting and adulting thing? Baby steps, baby steps, and then more baby steps.
The quickest way to sabotage ourselves while making healthy choices is to take on too much. It fosters overwhelm and you will likely quit.
Taking one step every day toward healthier choices in your life is the key. And it all starts with taking that first baby step.
Are you making healthy choices in your life? If so, what are they? What are areas where you can improve? Please tell us in the comments below or on Facebook.
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