What the Heck is Wellness-Physical Wellness #1

>Introduction to Physical Wellness

The definition of physical wellness has to do with your physical health, both internal and external.  It involves eating well, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices.  These are all choices that affect your quality of life- they involve truly taking care of yourself and not abusing your body.  A healthy person seeks homeostasis, or a balance, within oneself.  This homeostasis can be achieved by receiving regular physicals from your doctor and understanding your numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, etc.  Avoiding things like tobacco, overconsumption of alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

Ashley’s Physically “Unwell” Past

I am sure you have heard the phrase: “My Body, My Temple.”  Well, my temple has suffered some internal and external structural damage in the past.  It wasn’t until I surpassed my mid-twenties that I began to understand that the things I had done would take a lot of time and dedication to reverse.  

As an athlete, I damaged my body at a very young age.  I was always visiting the orthopedics’ office thanks to the tendinitis in both of my hip flexors sparked by a Cross Country running career that was seriously cut short at just 16.  To this day, I still have issues that have prevented me from making it 100% through marathon training, despite my two attempts-I get to the 15th mile of the running and my hips get so tight, the lock up. Thanks to the 3 aspirin I took at every meal for over a year back in high school, as prescribed by my doctor, I now suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems.  The aspirin inflamed my small intestine-something I would not learn until my mid-twenties was actually the cause of my chronic stomach pain.

In high school I also developed a pension for what I call “disordered eating” that involved: serial dieting, obsessive exercising, and extreme caloric restriction.   It was my low self-esteem, pressure to be thin like those around me, and my dedication to athletics that I think pushed me over the edge of obsession when it came to the food I ate at that time in my life.  I can say that I know firsthand how much these quick fixes and emotionally fueled habits can destroy your body and metabolism.  

Fast forward to the present day and despite the fact that I wreaked havoc on my body at a young age and still suffer from GI issues, hip tendinitis, and a barrage of food allergies and intolerances, I have changed my lifestyle in order to remain healthy, physically active, and happy.

Join me on my journey these next 6 weeks as I work towards these main Physical Wellness Goals!

Ashley’s Physical Wellness Goals:

·      Increase resistance exercise

·      Drink less coffee and/or switch to green tea

·      Improve cardio performance

·      Workout variety added

·      Create a steady sleep schedule

·      Increase the variety in my diet à add more recipes to my repertoire

·      Control stress, learn better stress management:

o   Meditation practice begun

o   Schedule time to myself everyday

o   Nightly journaling

·      More cooking-I go through phases and need more consistency

·      Established a firm day of rest where I do not exercise àthis used to be difficult for me!

·      Get to the bottom of my current health issues


Do you need to be on a physical wellness journey with Ashley? 


Take the Physical Wellness Quiz to find out:

Answer Always (A), Sometimes (S), or Never (N)

1.     Do you workout 3 or more times per week for at least 30 minutes? ____

2.     Do you pay attention to the foods you eat? ____

3.     Do you eat at least 5 servings of vegetables per day? ____

4.     Do you make sure you are eating high quality grains? ____

5.     Do you consume alcohol in moderation (no more than 1-2 glasses per day) ____

6.     Do you get adequate sleep throughout the week? ____

7.     Do you have well-developed stress management skills? ____

8.     Do you maintain a healthy weight consistently? ____

9.     Do you consume at least half of your body weight in fluid ounces every day? ____

10.  Do you see your physician annually for a physical? ____

11.  Do you understand where your health is annually? (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and iron levels, blood pressure, et al.) ____



For every answer you put an A, give yourself 2 points. 

For every answer you put an S, give yourself 1 point.

For every answer you put an N, give yourself 0 points. 

 If you scored between 17-22 Points: you are in tune with your physical wellness and are doing an excellent job taking care of yourself.

If you scored between 10 and 16 Points: you have the ability to take a look at the things where you did not answer always and make some improvements. 

If you scored 9 or less Points: you are not treating your body as it deserves to be treated and need to take some time to focus on making efforts to take care of your physical health.

WellnessAshley Pettit