Matt Webster is a busy husband, father, business owner and student. Matt has spent the last 6 years building his personal training business, Fitness Integration, as a way to bring on-site personal training to his clients. Matt understands that providing a safe and comfortable environment is key to his client’s success, which is why he’s now pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. Not only does he believe staying healthy under pressure involves including functional fitness in your everyday routine, but he also understands the importance of mental and emotional health.
Michelle Welch is an entrepreneur at heart. Michelle is a Registered Dietitian and the District Wellness Facilitator for Lincoln Public Schools which includes faculty, staff and students. In this episode, Michelle provides advice for startups who can’t afford a wellness plan and tips for making 2018 your best year yet.
Jill Thayer Liliedahl knows the challenge of managing health and startup life is a matter of survival. Most startup founders know what it’s like to build and manage a business under pressure, but Jill has to manage her blood sugar as well. Jill is a type 1 diabetic, crazy dog lady and the CEO of SitStay.com, which started in 1995 as the pet industry’s first eCommerce retailer. Nearly twenty years, under Jill’s leadership, she helped manage a turnaround for SitStay.
Welcome to Healthy Under Pressure. This blog and podcast highlights the stories of entrepreneurs and busy people learning to live healthy under pressure. As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve coached hundreds of people at the scale. But talking to an entrepreneur about what they ate for lunch is like opening the floodgates.
When I reveal the fact that I’m a Dietitian, startup founders are the first to confess some sort of dietary sin. They are open and brutally honest about their health struggles. Ever since my husband launched his own startup, I’ve had a front row seat observing the rollercoaster of emotions, sleepless nights, and stress that go hand in hand with being a startup founder. I’ve seen how being focused on building a business often causes entrepreneurs to neglect other areas in their life, including their health. Throughout our startup journey we’ve learned that taking care of business starts by taking care of ourselves.
If Netflix is asking you if you’re still there, you might need to turn that off and get some rest. Entrepreneurs have binging habits. We binge when we work, we binge when we watch TV, and we binge when we party. It’s important to listen to your body, especially when it’s telling you to rest.
Sustainable burritos still have calories
Hey, that’s great if you care about where your food comes from. However, that “organic free-range lunch” is still loaded with calories and sodium. So, don’t forget to check the nutrition facts.
Science > Sensationalism
Tech entrepreneurs often pride themselves in sharing science, but it seems like science is ignored when it comes to good nutrition. I find that many listen to diet advice from influencers on Instagram instead of people with credentials. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And if any diet plan insists that you give up fruits and vegetables, that’s definitely a red flag.
Share your stats
Health tech makes it even easier for us to track data. Your startup believes you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Build on that competitive spirit by taking part in daily step challenges with friends. Tracking your weight, nutrition, and daily steps is a great place to start, but don’t forget about other important numbers including your blood pressure, waist circumference, and cholesterol.
Slow down on the alcohol
I don’t know how many times I’ve sat across from an entrepreneur and they’ve told me all about their super healthy diet while drinking a Red Bull and Vodka. At the end of the day, all calories count… even those from alcoholic beverages.
Support your team…this includes your significant other
If somebody in your company wants to make healthy changes in their life, support and celebrate that. Be mindful of snacks you bring into the office and schedule walking meetings when appropriate. The startup community here has been amazing at supporting one another. It’s time to also support healthy attitudes and behaviors when it comes to food, alcohol, sleep, and activity.
There’s no time like the present to take better care of yourself. If you feel like you’ve got the exercise and healthy eating plan under control, what about your mental or spiritual health? When’s the last time you visited the dentist or had a physical? It’s important to remember that health is more than a number on the scale or the number of times you post on instagram about going to the gym. It’s about little steps you can take in all areas of health that can lead to big changes over time.
LAUNCHING UNDER PRESSURE
If you know me personally, you know that I’ve been wanting to launch a podcast for a very long time. I’m talking YEARS, people. What held me back? I kept telling myself that I didn’t have enough time, the right equipment and that starting a podcast would probably be too distracting.
Well, a few months ago I was listening to a podcast about how to know when it’s time to change course with your blog or brand. As I was listening, one of the key questions the host posed to the audience was this:
“Are you writing about SOMETHING or to SOMEONE?”
That quested haunted me for weeks. If I’m really honest with myself, I think I was just going through the motions of writing blogs and developing recipes without a specific reader in mind. I’ve enjoyed the aspects of writing a food blog, but what I really love is TALKING about food and nutrition. In fact, my license plate actually says, “TACO LOT” because I talk. A LOT. (Seriously, just ask my students.)
This one’s for you.
I’ve also learned that the majority of people who read my blogs or engage with me online are typically entrepreneurs or very busy people who want to talk about health and nutrition. They typically do not have a lot of free time to read a blog or look up a recipe, but they are listening to podcasts on their daily commute. (These are also the same folks who message me in the middle of the night with a random question about nutrition because they know I’m a Registered Dietitian.)
I know who my people are and I know what they need to hear.
From the words of my favorite song from La La Land,
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make”