Healthy by Association (HBA) is a space for association and hospitality #GoalGetters to set goals, share workout accomplishments, exchange healthy recipes and, above all, stay motivated. Join the movement by clicking the Facebook icon below!
It’s no secret that event coordinator consistently ranks among the top 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S. This according to an annual report on job stress compiled by career and jobs information company CareerCast.com. Add to my chosen profession a depression-inducing breakup with my then fiancé, and you’ve got a perfect storm on your hands.
But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve also struggled with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping the extra weight off my entire life. I love food – and I’m a stress eater. So in early 2017 as my life was turned upside down – and I was about to embark on my sixth and busiest year as an association learning strategist and meetings coach – I knew it was time to make my health a priority.
Stress is no joke, my friends. Helpguide.org describes stress as your body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic and alert. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships and your quality of life.
And consider these statistics from The State of Obesity:
So as I took to the gym, I began posting miles logged and workouts completed. Originally intended to keep me motivated, the outpouring of support from my family, friends and the greater association community was incredible. And as I considered how I might better leverage this momentum to support others, Healthy by Association (HBA) was created.
Ultimately, the HBA Facebook group was established as a space for association and hospitality professionals to set goals, share their workout accomplishments, exchange healthy recipes and, above all, stay motivated. I serve as the group administrator and early HBA supporters Vince Coraci, Angela Keller Pelc and Ken Wood help moderate.
The tenets of Healthy by Association are simple:
But don’t take my word for it. HBA group members have weighed in with their insights about what it means to be “healthy.” They've also shared their recommendations for jumpstarting your personal journey.
Health is multi-faceted. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes beyond working out and eating “right.” It goes beyond hitting that goal weight or fitting into your dream size. In your journey you cannot lose sight of the other items that continue to affect your health (e.g., stress, lack of sleep, smoking, mental health and addiction). – Darlene
Weight is just a number. Don’t be too focused on one number – your health is a combination of a lot of numbers. The number on the scale isn’t the whole story. Measurements, the way your clothes fit and your energy levels are good indicators of health, too! – Vince and Angela
It’s a personal journey. To me, being healthy may mean long runs some days. It may also mean taking the day off after a busy conference and shopping or relaxing. It’s staying in shape physically, but also knowing when to take the day off from working out or eating healthy. – Emily
Just start already! Don’t get consumed about when, how and doing it all that you don't do anything. Just pick something and start. – Elyse
Set a specific goal. For example, I am going to lose X amount of pounds or inches by X date. And be sure to add: I am going to do this by working out X days per week, exercising for at least X minutes per day, practicing yoga X times per week, only eating out X times per week, eating a small salad with every meal and the like. – Stephanie
Celebrate the non-scale victories. Sometimes the number on the scale gets too much of the focus. I love the non-scale victories worth celebrating, too. For example, being able to cross my legs or sit in a lawn chair, auditorium seat or restaurant booth. – Audrey
There is power in numbers. Most in this group are strangers, yet we congratulate each other and thrive off of the positive energy each of us brings. I have had times where I didn’t want to lace up my shoes, but daily I have read such inspiring posts that gave me inspiration to dig deep, lace up and move it! – Carrie
Don’t underestimate restful sleep. I would add that sleep is one of the most underrated and challenging of the get-healthy pledges. Yes, losing weight is a super toughie, but I find getting restful sleep – without the worried to-do mind churn and with some type of regular go-to-bed time – to be at least equal. – Kristin
So, now what? Here are a few things you might consider as next steps:
In the meantime, please share in the comments what actions you plan to take as a result of this post.