How Becoming a CEO at 23 Has Helped My Wellness Journey

Hi my name is Emily Landers and I’d like to start off with a big thanks to Samantha Strand for the invitation to be a guest writer on behalf of Uplift Fitness, and to have the opportunity to write out my health and wellness journey. I’m so grateful to share the lessons I’ve learned, and I hope they will be an encouragement to you. Perhaps you’ll be able to think through some of your own health habits and areas you’d like to grow or change as you read along!

As you can tell from the title of this article, I became a CEO of a start up when I was 23 years old. You can imagine that brings a lot of stress, growth, excitement and anxiety at a young age. Thankfully, I’ve found habits that can help!

I’d like to begin my story in 2012, when my interest in health and wellness began. It was my junior year at Baylor University, and I was back after a sophomore year that was packed with classes and sorority events! In an attempt to try something new I decided that I would begin walking in the mornings to clear my head. I started off with just 30 minutes every morning. It was the perfect way for me to begin my day, get out of my apartment, and think through my to-dos.

I love being up before everyone else and having the ability to walk through neighborhoods as everyone sleeps in. It gives me a greater excitement for the day ahead and a time of peace before things get too busy. As I added this small change into my routine, I also began reading more about nutrition and tweaking a few of my meals by using MyFitnessPal. By the end of the summer I had lost about 10 pounds! I felt empowered, strong and confident.

I share the beginning of my journey with you so that we don’t skip over all of the tiny changes I’ve made that have led to my current habits, which include, exercising daily, eating fairly clean on a regular basis, lifting weights, and BBG Week 65!

Once I realized I could add more distance to my walks in the mornings if I jogged, I began to up my pace. I started jogging in 2012 and slowly added speed and time to each jog. This build up led me to completing my first marathon in 2013!

My running started from jogging, my jogging started from walking. Do see a pattern here? You might feel like your walking has to start from crawling right now, and that’s ok! It’s just the beginning. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end.

After graduating college in May, I moved to New York in June. I worked for a fortune 500 company, met celebrities, explored the city and absolutely loved Manhattan, but the lifestyle of New Yorkers quickly caught up with me and I found myself feeling alone and tired. Some of these emotions I credit to my poor diet while living there. Sugar and other unhealthy choices can not only cause weight gain, but can alter mood and sleep. I would often find myself emotionally eating or eating out with coworkers multiple times a week. While living in New York I gained some weight. I’m 5’11, so 10 to 15 extra pounds isn’t shocking, but I didn’t feel my best and knew once again I needed to create small changes in my lifestyle, specifically when it came to my nutrition.

When I moved back to Texas to begin my business in 2014, I slowly started learning more about nutrition and implemented changes into my diet where I deemed fit.

In December of 2015, I married my best friend! In preparation for the wedding I leaned out quite a bit, but was so happy the day of and couldn’t have loved December 19th more!

Our decisions today can affect the decisions we make tomorrow, next week, and next year.

If you’re looking to make BIG changes and have BIG goals, my encouragement to you would be to begin SMALL and start with achievable goals. You can even set daily goals to begin, like my 30 minute walks.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to give yourself grace! There is no finish line when it comes to health and wellness, we can always be learning and growing, but I think it’s important to take a step back, give yourself grace and recognize that these little changes add up.

Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself and if you “mess up” let it roll off your back so that at the next meal or workout, you’re more committed than ever.

You never know. Your morning walks might just add up to a marathon.

Blessings to you!

If you have any questions for me please find me on Instagram @EmilyLanders.

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