Welcome back to our continuation of last week’s “Healthy Living for Entrepreneurs”, where we share community tips, tricks, and secrets from the very people for whom this article is for. Got one yourself? Tweet us @52businesses or hit us up on our facebook page!
Nancy Walker – Life Coach & Photographer
Since I was in my 20’s I have owned my own businesses. As if that wasn’t a big enough time commitment I also had two children, homeschooled for 6 years and volunteer at several organizations. Dinner used to be which ever drive through had the shortest line or getting something delivered. Going to the gym or even working out at home was just not possible. Since I have had weight issues my whole life, I never gave my eating habits a second thought. I honestly thought if I ate a single portion at a restaurant then that was a serving size.
About 4 years ago I hit 230 lbs. In the realm of morbidly obese it doesn’t sound that high, but I’m only 5 feet tall and could no longer be mistaken for pregnant. I was fat. I made a decision to try to work on my weight but I just couldn’t figure out how. There were still only 24 hours in a day and
I’m just unpleasant if I don’t sleep. In 4 years I lost and gained the same 10 lbs and became very obsessed with my weight and food. I started using all sorts of applications on my phone to track my weight and food but nothing was working.
My husband gave me a FitBit Flex for Christmas this past year. Since December I have lost almost 35 lbs. Why did this work? Well i have a theory. If you are honest about entering all of your data correctly then the FitBit will provide you with an accurate calorie burn vs. calorie intake. The other apps I was using didn’t have an accurate way to determine the actual exercise I was doing vs what I was eating, so I would end up putting in that I walked for x miles at x pace when in fact I wasn’t actually going that fast. It wasn’t that I was trying to cheat the system – I had no way to know. It also provides a sliding scale so when I am more active I can eat more. I series of lights on the band tell me how close I am to reaching daily goals which also helps.
Now when I talk on the phone I glance at my FitBit and get up and walk around while I talk. Conference calls become mini workout sessions because I’m not sitting at the desk. Granted it’s not going to replace a high intensity run on the treadmill, but it’s better than just sitting at the desk. This, combined with a better understanding of portion sizes and food choices, has been a big help in doing something that I didn’t think I would ever be able to do.
Wendy Kuhn – Principal, Break Through Consulting
What a great topic, I am a holistic health coach, specializing in working with companies on their health and wellness programs, but more importantly on how they incorporate health and wellness into their organization, from strategic planning, to team building to the culture itself. I also do workshops, including one on staying healthy during work travel – which I think is very on point for entrepreneurs. Top tips:
- Drink Water
- Get enough sleep – step away from your electronic devices at last an hour before you go to sleep, no matter how hard that feels, and don’t sleep with your mobile devices in your bedroom.
- Recognize the relationship between how you feel and your energy level and what you eat. Choose wisely
- Make a plan in advance for how you are going to eat and exercise during they day and then stick to it.
- Step outside, even if only for five minutes. One of the many awesome things about having a dog is it forces me to take away every day.
- A lot of business happens in restaurants and at bars. Review menus in advance to select the healthiest alternative and then order first so you are not tempted to change your mind. Decide in advance what and how much you are going to drink and stick to that, then switch to water or club soda. I have been known to drink water out of a martini glass, it looks the same and I get the benefit of the olives.
- Listen to your body. Learn your rhythm for when you work best and when you exercise best and follow that rhythm
- Breeathe! This is your time, you can do this, remember to enjoy it.
Lori Cheek – CEO, Cheek’d
I’m Lori Cheek, an architect turned entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Cheekd.com– the reverse engineered dating site, coined by The New York Times as the next generation of online dating.
Cheek’d bridges the gap between online dating and real-world romance by providing members with physical cards that they can use to entice people from the real world to flirt with them in the virtual world. It’s the 2.0 version of “Call Me”.
- Get Physical with Technology – My favorite health/exercise app is Lose It! which allows you to set up a daily calorie budget, track your food and exercise, and connect and share your goals and activities with your friends and family. Just like in the world of startups, it’s always easier to achieve a target when you’ve got a team helping you keep on track.
- Diet – Bootstrapping my startup for the past four years has forced me to think lean on every level. I prepare just about every meal at home, which not only saves time and money, it can also save you loads of calories. Keep healthy snacks, such as fruits, almonds, and my favorite low fat afternoon treat string cheese nearby for when you have the afternoon munchies. For my sweet tooth cravings, I keep bananas frozen (tastes like banana ice cream) and fat free jello and diet hot chocolate packets nearby (all less than 100 calories).
- Stress/Fitness – After launch in May of 2010, I became the most stressed I’ve ever been in my entire life. I was an accidental entrepreneur and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I found my release at the gym. It’s the one expense I didn’t give up through building Cheek’d. Religiously hitting the gym every single day became a priority to me. I’ve never been in better shape in my life. I’ve always joked that if my startup fails, at least I’ll be mad fit. I actually spend hours each week on the elliptical trainer and double task by catching up on texts, twitter and sifting through emails. That time alone gives me the opportunity to wrap my head around the priorities ahead of me each day (600 calories lighter).
- Morning motivation – It’s easiest when your sneakers and socks are next to your bed as a reminder of where you should be going. I like to hit the gym first thing in the morning before my mind realizes what I’m up to. I make it a rule that I have to wear my gym clothes around NYC until I’ve gone and my finish line is at noon, at the latest. It forces me to get the workout in so I can get on with the more professional portion of my day. I often take phone calls and work in the gym’s lobby when I’m finishing up my morning coffee. You can also utilize the gym as a great place to market your startup. I just Cheek’d John Mayer once at the Equinox in Soho while he was on the elliptical trainer. He said, “I’ve been Cheek’d?” I smiled, winked and speed walked into the locker room. He looked me up via my Cheek’d card later that evening.
That wraps up this week’s continuation of Healthy Living for Entrepreneurs. You can read the last installment here, and contact us about what you think and have to share via twitter or facebook. As always, thanks for reading.