Meet Hayley Hendricks!
Below is Hayley’s fitness and health story. Hayley has been dear friends with my daughter Christine and our family since she was in high school. She has worked her way through school and is now a nurse, and she can tell you – I’m one of her biggest fans! Hayley has always been aware of her health, both mentally and physically. She is an inspiration for all of us – young and old! Here is her story:
“Health and wellness is such a huge passion of mine! I am one year shy of 30 and have spent the last decade working in the health industry in multiple fields. I began my journey when I took a job with a personal fitness company at the age of 19. I worked as the project manager for a company that trained large groups of people over the course of 12 week periods. At the end of each 12 week session, we would declare a winner based on before and after photos, inches lost, percentage of body fat lost, etc. The winner ultimately won a grand prize of $1,000 … pretty good right? From my years working in this profession, I would say I learned a few very important pieces of advice:
- Find healthy food options you absolutely love and repeat them day after day … if you love it, you’ll eat it. And you take a lot of guess work out of your food options each week if you stick to the healthy options you love!
- Find a workout buddy. You will find so much more success if you are accountable for your workouts.
- Make the rest of your daily schedule work around your workout! Repetition is key … eventually it will become a habit.
After I left this company, I went on to massage therapy school and began working for a holistic healthcare practitioner. Within this company, I learned that beautiful, lean muscles are not the only component involved in being healthy. Healthy people not only eat healthy and work out, but they also have great mental clarity and know how to de-stress and deal with problems when they arise. Taking time for yourself and reading a good book, getting a massage, or talking with a licensed mental health counselor about day to day problems are all positive options to becoming mentally healthy. After numerous years working as a massage therapist, I decided it was time to go back to school. And so I took on the huge endeavor of nursing school! My experience as a critical care nurse, and soon-to-be-emergency room nurse, has really opened my eyes to the effects that unhealthy choices can take on the human body. It is one thing to say you want to be healthy so that you can look good in those jeans and bikini, but it is soooo much more important to care about what is happening to your body from the inside. My nursing advice to anyone who reads this:
- PLEASE STOP SMOKING!! I can’t tell you how terrible the end of life can be for long-time smokers. There are no words that can replace the experience of watching it with your very own eyes. This is the best decision you could ever make for yourself.
- EAT FOOD. Eat food … yep. You heard me. Well, REAL food. You can’t go wrong or make unhealthy options if what you put into your body includes whole food options … fruit, veggies, meat, dairy, whole grains. Leave out the processed stuff, and you’ll do great.
- MEDICATION IS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER. Sometimes symptoms are present for a reason. Do not mask them by taking pills – treat them by making lifestyle changes.
Try living the healthiest life you can by finding that time every day and grab your workout buddy – hit the gym, pool, beach, tennis court, etc. Eat whole foods and repeat day after day. Stop all the bad habits that negatively affect your health. Do your very best to decrease stress and get a good night’s sleep. Put your health and wellness at the top of your priority list, and I promise, your body will respond!”
(Below are before and after pictures of Hayley participating in a “Mud Run”! )
Wow – Hayley has lots of practical tips for all of us. Most are simply, day-to-day things we can do. I am challenging myself to follow many of Hayley’s suggestions. If you have other suggestions and health tips, or if you just want to share your thoughts about Hayley’s story, we want to hear from you.
Thanks for helping us start the New Year on a healthier note, Hayley!