PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
According to the CDC, obesity affected 93.3 million adults in the U.S. in 2015-2016, with medical costs for those with obesity being $1,429 higher*. A vast majority of women attribute weight gain to not having enough time to work out and healthy food being too expensive or too time consuming to prepare often*. But these same women are also giving the majority of their time to other people, constantly saying yes to their significant other, their parents, their kids, their boss and putting their own health and happiness on the back burner.
Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults 18 and older. According to the ADAA, people with anxiety are 3-5 times more likely to see a doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders*. Women are diagnosed with anxiety disorder nearly twice as often as men.
According to Psychology Today, a CDC study found that 16 percent of women age 18 to 44 reported feeling “very tired,” “exhausted,” or otherwise worn out most days, compared with 9 percent of men in the same age range. The explanation for the exhaustion is women are now working longer at work, but also take on the majority of the work around the house, including cooking, cleaning and child care. So the last person they are taking care of is themselves.
You've heard the expression "you can't pour from an empty cup"?
We really need to start taking care of ourselves first, and the rest of the world second. Think of it this way, if you wake up in the morning and take care of the kids, make breakfast for your husband, take the dog for a walk and then only have 15 minutes to get ready for your day, you're already setting yourself up to have a stressful day. You won't feel confident in the way you look because you rushed getting ready. You won't have time to sit and enjoy your first meal of the day or maybe you rarely have time to eat at all. You'll most likely forget something you had to do or bring with you. How often are we already exhausted before we even get to work?
The same rings true for the rest of the day. We would feel like a jerk if we just cancelled plans with our best friend because we were a little tired. So why are we cancelling things on ourselves? I've skipped yoga or the gym countless times because I was tired, or because someone needed me to do something they could easily do themselves. It's not fair to ourselves, or to the people we love, if we are constantly tired and moody and unfulfilled.
Think of something you loved to do when you were younger. Painting, soccer, riding a bike, baking... whatever it is. Why don't you do that anymore? The answer is usually because we don't have time. That's not true. We just need to get in the habit of prioritizing our time to better fit what is best for us, not what works for the rest of the world.
Tips for making time for yourself
1. Plan your day and put aside time dedicated to you and taking care of yourself. Tell your family/boss/employees/etc that you need this time uninterrupted, no exceptions.
2. Have your health evaluated and make the effort to make necessary changes.
3. Find what makes you happy, truly happy and set time to do those things on a regular basis, whether it be an early Saturday morning or late Tuesday night, you can find the time if you try.
4. Understand that everyone has busy lives, there a million ways to make excuses, but you need to set this time aside to be best version of yourself or it could start to greatly impact your life (ie. divorce, depression, weight gain)
5. ASK FOR HELP. Women are notoriously known for not wanting to ask for help. But if you have a sister that's constantly saying she will babysit, SAY YES. Go for a run, get a massage, go buy new skincare. No one is going to think less of you for accepting an offer to help out.