It is now week fourteen of the series, Women of Intention! This is the second last post and I'm so very glad you've come along as we interview Women of Intention! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE.
THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:
Today, we are going to meet the sweet Keila of Veggie-Fit Keila!
Keila is a health and fitness coach with a passion for sharing her lifestyle with others in order to help them better their lives. I won't say too much because I would rather let her tell you herself!
After reading this post, be sure to check out Kelia's blog and share this post :)
Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?
My passion above all passions is helping others. This takes many forms, but my greatest love in helping others is in the area of health and fitness. My initial exposure to this line of work was with the elderly. I worked in nursing homes, taking care of the sweetest of people in the final stages of life. I loved listening to them tell stories while I cared for their physical and social needs. I would have to help them move and encourage them to get their exercise whenever possible. Some had so greatly neglected this part of their health for so many years that they could not move their joints and had horrible muscle atrophy. While I loved the people I worked with, I felt that this wasn't my calling, and I sought to determine where God wanted me to be.
I next worked with children in the hospital setting. As a patient care tech and phlebotomist, I worked with the greatest kids. From newborns to young adults, I saw kids suffering from all kinds of ailments, some even lost their battles with illness. I worked hard to make their time in the hospital as comfortable as it could be, building relationships and sharing smiles, I knew that this work was important and very rewarding, but God wasn't through with me yet.
Fast forward several years. I now have two children, a husband, and a new outlook on a lifelong passion. I now work as a health and fitness coach, teaching people the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This started first with me. I have made very intentional changes in my personal health and fitness habits, to facilitate the changes in me that I am encouraging others to make. This has allowed me to greater understand the struggles that exist in going against the flow of society and its outlook on food, drink, and exercise. I gain so much joy from helping others and seeing their lives transformed from making simple changes to their daily routines. I have made so many new friends and feel an absolute sense of certainty that I am living out God's will and plan for my life. The health message is a message of hope and one that is empowering. At this point in life I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
What does intentionality in health look like and mean to you?
One of the first areas of intentionality that I address with people is meal planning and goal setting. So many people look at health and fitness as short term diet binges to reach small, insignificant goals. I look at health as a lifestyle. When we take a look at it from a wider view, we can create much bigger longterm goals that can be accomplished one small goal at a time. It all starts with understanding and establishing your "Why." The temptations and social trends are too strong and conflicting to the health message to just go at this willy nilly. You have to understand why you would choose to live andintentionally healthful lifestyle, internalize it, own it, and then align your life with this as the current that drives all of your decisions. It's really not so difficult on paper and in our heads we can understand this very easily. Day by day living can be much more challenging though. That's where the planning comes in. Once you know why you need to make the choices that you're going to make, the motivation is much easier to come by and planning to succeed will become a regular part of your routine. For example, I know that there are very few places out there where my family and I can eat out when we're on the road, so we always pack healthy food and take it with us. This helps avoid having to make the uncomfortable decision to go against our commitment to health and eat somewhere that compromises what we know to be best. On the same token, everyday life is so busy that many people just don't want to take time to fix healthy home cooked meals. However, intentional healthy eating requires that we do what needs to be done to eat healthy in our homes. This simply means planning out your meals for the week and doing the shopping and chopping on the weekends. Having the majority of the prep work done ahead of time makes all the difference in finding success with healthy living during busy workweeks.
The second piece of the health puzzle is exercise. I have to take time to exercise. It is part of my daily routine just like brushing my teeth and doing daily devotions. It's something that is pretty much non-negotiable. With this mindset, it's not about "finding time" to exercise, it's about "making time" to exercise by scheduling it into your day. I do short intense workouts that are designed to give me the greatest benefits in the least amount of time and I teach my clients how they can do the same and have great success in reaching their fitness goals. We waste so much time doing sedentary activities that serve no purpose in improving our quality of life. An intentional adjustment to make exercise a part of our day will have drastic positive effect on the life that you live.
In your work with coaching, what would you say are the negative effects of not being mindful about what one consumes?
Bad eating habits will sabotage even the most intense fitness plans. People gain weight and get frustrated very easily, giving up on their goals and losing sight of their "Why", because they can't manage what they put into their bodies. This is tragic in my eyes. Eating clean and healthy is so very simple and it's the easiest way to start the momentum towards a healthful life.
How does intentionality in this area affect the other the rest of your life?
I have gained so much confidence in who I am as a person through my intentional decisions to care for my body and the health of my family. I feel stronger because I am stronger. I am healthier inside which brings the natural affect of looking better on the outside. We are beautifully and wonderfully made, and as we care for our bodies, we can come closer to the health and strength within our bodies that God intended for us all along. I also find it so easy to make friends now. Everyone loves to talk about their health, good foods, and how they can improve on both, that conversation comes very easily and I am eager to share my loves with others.
What would say to encourage someone who is struggling in the area of intentional health in their life?
Start small. Set a short goal that you know you can succeed at in the area of your health. Do this day after day, until days become weeks. Baby steps will get it done. The other thing is to start with a reason and purpose for making the changes that seem to be alluding you. If you start with a big enough "why" (reason) for improving your health and making the changes that need to take place, holding yourself accountable is much easier. Also, get an accountability partner of group! I put all of my clients into accountability groups, surrounding them with others who are working at the same goals they are. I work as their coach, but they lift each other up as well. Finally, I would say, don't quit, don't beat yourself up over an indiscretion here and there. This is a long road, a journey, not a sprint quick fix. Stay the course, knowing that there will be moments that challenge you.
What about you? Were you inspired by this post? Are you intentional when it comes to your physical health? Do you perhaps want to work on it? Why don't you tell me about it in the comments, and connect with me on social media?
(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)