The first time I saw the illness-wellness Continuum at a CrossFit seminar years ago it impacted me greatly. It was information that I knew in my gut, but hadn’t seen articulated before. Today I want to share this with you in hopes that you’ll also remember it for years to come. Macro Counting, and the habit work we do with our clients every single day, is doing so much more for your body than shrinking your waistline and helping you to reach your aesthetic goals. We are building your hedge of protection against sickness and disease. On the days when the scale is bobbling and you might feel tempted to go back to your sub 1200 calorie diet of desperation or throw in the towel completely with macro counting, please remember this and revisit it often.
The Illness-Wellness Continuum is a concept from the National Wellness Institute that proposes that well-being is more than just whether or not you have symptoms of an illness. Instead, the continuum is a sliding scale that we are constantly moving back and forth on.
To the right of the continuum we see optimum health and wellness and the the left we see illness and premature death. So many people live in the neutral zone, symptom free with a false sense of stability. Many people consider themselves “healthy” if they don’t have to go see a doctor, but as you can see from the spectrum above, neutral is just one step away from poor health. The real way to build a hedge of protection against sickness and disease is to push yourself out of your comfort zone to pursue high level wellness. Sitting on the right side of the spectrum doesn’t ensure that you’ll never get sick. In fact, there are many situations completely out of our control that can move us to the left (cancer, accident, injury, etc), but if you are actively developing the habits to move yourself to the right, you will weather those storms better. Building yourself this hedge of protection can reduce sickness and help you to recover quicker when you do inevitably get sick.
Neutrality, your comfort zone, is FASLE WELLNESS. “Good Health” includes regular exercise, nutrition intentionality and stress management. “Optimal Health,” one step further to the right of the spectrum is our biggest hedge of protection. If we choose to pursue optimal health we are committed to the continuous development of our health. We are actively participating in a wellness lifestyle when it comes both to our nutrition and fitness.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Stay Fit Mom is in the business of preventative healthcare. We are committed to pushing our clients towards high level wellness on this continuum. When we track our macros along with sleep, steps, vegetable intake, water intake, alcohol consumption, training schedule and other biofeedback markers we take our knowledge to the next level and become active participants in our wellness lifestyle.
Ask your coach about what specific steps you can take to move towards optimal health. For some that might mean hitting 5/7 days within range on your macros. For others, that might mean adding in weight lifting or resistance training. It might mean committing to hit your fiber goal regularly. It might mean setting a goal to hit 10,000 steps every day or increase sleep from 6 hours regularly to 8 hours. Remember that all of your efforts will carry you so much further than size 6 jeans. Becoming an active participant in your health and wellness is an ongoing pursuit that will give you your very best chance at the best quality of life available to you.