When I approach every decade of my life, I ask myself “What will my next 10 years look like”?
My answer each time, which I quietly say in my head, is “Never neglect your health, prioritize your self care and life will be great. Life will be whatever you create for yourself, based on the hard decisions that you may have to make throughout this next decade”
It sounds serious and even slightly boring, however it has rung true as I approached my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. When I look back at life decisions that I have made, I realize that they have all had an effect on the “Big Picture” of my life. I could not have made them if I was not in optimal health. I have been required to exert a lot of energy into my family life and business over the last 30 years. I could never have done that if I had not made an effort to look after myself along the way.
One things that I will never compromise on is my desire to live a healthy lifestyle and I continue to reap the benefits of what that decision has brought me. I have chosen to prioritize my health, even at some of the most busy and stressful times of my life. I have exercised and eaten well though out all of my 3 pregnancies and had easy, quick labours. I had a baby at 18, 29 & 34, so have proudly been pregnant in each decade!
I have delivered healthy, alert baby girls by choosing to have no pain relief throughout any of my labor & deliveries. My oldest child is 15 years older than my youngest and I was back at the gym 10 days later as I was energized and ready to go each time.
I did not sprint on the treadmill or life heavy weights, but committed to getting back to the place that I have fondly called “my happy place” since I was 17 years old.
I ate healthy and exercised 6 days a week and was feeling back to what my definition of “normal” after 9 months of working out at the gym and outdoors.
When my third daughter was born in the Summer of 2007, I started the new school year with a child in Grade 12, Kindergarten and a brand new baby in a car seat!
This was one of busiest times of my life, but I still managed to prioritize my health and fitness and I was able to maintain my energy and positive attitude thought the day and sometimes half the night!
In 2010, a year after my husband and I decide to moved provinces from Alberta to British Columbia, my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I left Canada to go back to England to look after her. I left my 2 older children with my husband and took the baby with me. I was in the middle of building a house, growing a business and had big family commitments. However, I still knew that I had to re-prioritize things so that I could go look after my mother back in England..
I managed to take care of my nutrition and exercise daily when I was caring for my mother. Everyday she would ask, “have you been to the gym today or did you go for a run” ? and “ do you only eat chicken salads and eggs”?!
She understood that my energy was needed not just to care for her, but for my father who was at home while my mother was hospitalized. My mother passed away 4 months after her diagnosis and my father died unexpectedly 2 weeks after my mother's funeral.
I would say that this has been my worst tragedy in my life to date as I had a wonderful relationship with them both. I had maintained daily phones calls with them after I moved to Canada, so our relationships remained tight. As I planned both funerals, I still maintained good nutrition and continued to exercise daily, even though my body ached from head to toe from the loss.
I have a reputation of being a happy, positive, energetic, enthusiastic person. I post everyday about positivity, health & fitness and talk a lot about “Creating A Life You Love”.
So why did I decide to write about my busy life as a mother and wife and the death of my parents?
As we get older we have many things that come into our life and unless we put systems into place that benefit us, then our physical and mental health will be compromised. I refuse to listen to the naysayers that say “well you are getting older and you can’t expect to be energetic everyday”
Some days I still feel 28 years old and on some days I know I am 46, but I will not let my age stop me from showing enthusiasm in everything that I do.
I have had a good life so far and am extremely grateful. I have met some amazing people in my life, some are still here making an impact on me and some have been lost, but never forgotten.
It is a privilege to be alive and we need to be happy that we are still here to “tell the tale”... whatever that happens to be. Will it be amazing everyday? Likely not, because things happen that are often out of our control. How we deal with those situations will be reflected in our “big picture”.
I want to encourage you to prioritize your self care routine and think about living your life with a “glass is full” attitude. Don't use your age as an excuse to slow down too much. Take the time to think about what “self care”means to you and engage it in with a smile a few days a week.
Your glass will be full and you will be a pleasure to be around!
Sarah Shakespeare has always lived her life with a “Glass is Full” attitude. She believes that we are lucky to have a glass! As a Personal Trainer and Coach for nearly 25 years she loves to help people enrich their life through creating a healthy lifestyle.
As someone who is goal driven, she has come to know that success really comes from first sculpting a positive mindset. Sarah’s Glass Full method has proved to work for hundreds of people, by encouraging them to focus on their ‘Big Picture’.
Born and raised in England, Sarah is a wife, mother of three daughters and a good friend to many. She now lives in beautiful British Columbia and feels lucky to live in her dream destination.
For more information or to work with Sarah, please visit her website www.sarahshakespeare.com
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