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KAYLA’S WELLNESS JOURNEY

Merriam-Webster defines wellness as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal” and the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”

The National Wellness Institute (NWI) goes into further detail and describes wellness as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence” through Six Dimensions of Wellnessemotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual. According to the National Wellness Institute, by addressing all six dimensions of wellness in our lives, we build a holistic sense of wellness and fulfillment.

Kayla is a Front Desk Attendant here at Waverley Oaks Athletic Club, and over the next 3 months we will focus on Kayla’s wellness. While this blog will chronicle Kayla’s physical wellness by focusing on fitness and nutrition, she will also spend time reevaluating the other dimensions of wellness in her life for a complete health revamp.  

What does wellness look like in your life? Hopefully, Kayla’s journey will inspire you to reflect on your own story and motivate you to make positive life changes. Wellness isn’t a destination, but rather a lifestyle, and we thank Kayla for letting us into her life and along for this exciting ride. 

1) Were you active as a child? What sports did you play?

I was very athletic as a child. I played ice hockey, field hockey, softball, and participated in track. I was a three-season varsity athlete in high school.

2) Would you say that good nutrition was reinforced in your household starting at a young age?

Healthy meals and family dinners were a priority for my parents, but looking back, I probably should have paid more attention to what a balanced meal looked like. My nutrition definitely got off track when I went to college and I had the freedom of eating what I wanted and not what my body needed.

3) Tell me about your relationship with fitness and nutrition as you progressed past your adolescent years and into adulthood.

Pretty terrible. When I went to college, I was living on campus, and I no longer had the meal structure that my parents provided at home. The dining hall offered seemingly endless options, so it was difficult to stay on track with a balanced and healthy diet.

When I went to college, sports were no longer a focus in my life as my priorities shifted to work, school, and just overall adapting to a new environment. Since I was so athletic growing up, when I stopped playing sports, it definitely took a toll on my weight.

I was at my highest weight in 2017, and at that point I made a conscious decision to make positive changes in my life to improve my health. However, it has sort of been a roller-coaster since then.

4) What did your physical wellness routine look like pre-pandemic?

In 2018 I started going to the gym regularly and seeing a Registered Dietitian at Waverley Oaks which really helped me improve my diet. I started working with Personal Trainer, Chris, which was fantastic as I really thrive under structure and accountability.

I would say my most “fit adult self” was in March 2020. I had gotten into a routine of going to the gym 5 days a week and making good decisions when it came to eating.

5) For a lot of us, our fitness and nutritional habits changed as a result of the pandemic (either positively or negatively).

Since I am so structure-oriented, the pandemic has had a negative effect on my fitness and nutrition. Waverley Oaks provides such an encouraging and supportive environment, and without that, I struggled to get into a routine of fitness at home when the Club was no longer an option. That, combined with the overall stress and uncertainty the pandemic has brought into our lives, I’ve fallen off track.

6) What are you looking to achieve/gain from this journey?

I want to feel more confident, get in better shape, and essentially just be a better version of myself. Waverley Oaks offers so much in terms of programming, and I look forward to getting more familiar with all the different options available to me such as MX4, group fitness classes, small group training and getting back into one-on-one training and nutritional counseling. I am so excited to embark on this 12-week journey to a healthier self!