Hello, friends! My name is Shannon Sargent, I am the voice behind Instagram account @cleaneats_cleantreats. I’m a wife to one hunky man; a mother of three healthy, active children; and a lover of nutritious, real food.
My love affair with healthy food began over a decade ago, when I was diagnosed with a serious digestive disorder that forced me to rethink the food I put in my body. I learned the hard way that I needed to fuel my body properly for it to function optimally. I healed my body from within by focusing on proper diet and nutrition and eating delicious whole foods.
I’m passionate about teaching others what I’ve learned. I want everyone to feel his or her best and live illness free. That’s why I spend my free time teaching others about the life-changing benefits of a diet rich in natural foods. I share my mouth-watering recipes on Instagram and on my blog: cleaneatsandtreats.com. I recently co-authored an eBook called “Clean Eating. Simplified.” to show others how to get started and make healthy eating a sustainable lifestyle. You can find it here.
I’ve spent a majority of the last ten years focusing on my nutritional health, my family, my work, and my other responsibilities. Physical fitness has always been part of my health journey but never at the top of my priority list. In 2002, I was involved in a head-on collision that left me with a debilitating lower-back injury and forced me to put physical fitness on hold. When you’re in pain, you’re always looking for an excuse to “sit this one out.” With each year came more excuses. But this year, a slightly higher number on the bathroom scale reminded me that, despite my physical limitations, I have done myself a disservice by not prioritizing exercise at the same level as my nutritional health.
As a working mother, balancing my responsibilities while finding more time for self-care has been the hardest obstacle to sticking with a fitness program. I often feel that, when I’m focusing on one area of my life, I’m failing in another. My family has always been and will always be at the top of my priority list. Balancing the rest is the test. With that said, in 2016, I’m committing to find better balance and to make time for consistent physical activity.
What is balance? To me, balance means you have a handle on the various elements in your life and don’t feel your heart or mind is being pulled too hard in any direction. You feel calm, grounded, clear-headed, and motivated. So how do you achieve balance? Here are a few things I’m working on:
1. Acknowledge. Take time to really look at your life, your state of mind, and how you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself, and notice areas of your life that you’re neglecting.
2. Prioritize. We’re all pressed for time, yet we all have time for our highest priorities. Before taking on additional tasks, consider how important they are to you. What sacrifices are you willing to make or not make?
3. Set Goals. Make a list. Organize according to your priorities. Make a plan for pursuing each goal. Decide how you will balance your goals and your life.
4. Plan Tasks. Take time to make a plan for achieving each goal. Break the goal into smaller steps. What have you tried in the past? Did it work? If not, what can you do differently?
5. Prepare. What will prevent you from staying on track and following through? Take time to identify the inner thoughts that will throw you off track. For example: “I will work out tomorrow; I have too much to do today.”
6. Involve. Is there someone who can help you stay focused and motivated during moments of weakness? For me, that person is my hubby. We’ve agreed to help each other achieve better balance in our lives so that we can feel stronger individually and as a couple.
7. Stick it out. It takes time and effort to overcome bad habits and create better ones. If you stay on track for three months, there’s a good chance you’ll create new habits that will stick and help you move toward you goals.
So cheers to 2016—a year of making commitments and following through! What are you committing to this year? I wish you the best of luck on your journey ahead!