30x30 Active Challenge: Baby steps and balance is key!


Desiree Holmes is a member of the Upper Nicola and Lheidli T'enneh First Nations, she’s also a mother of three and a First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) employee. This is her story of fitness, balance and accountability.

​Fitness is a word that has a different meaning to everyone. We all have a different relationship with fitness and exercise, and for Desiree, it is a relationship she put off for way too long. She is a mother of three and knew it was time to start her fitness journey, not just for herself, but also as an example for her children. But as a busy mother of three, she was worried and questioned, “will I find the time? Can I stay on track? Where do I start?"

Desiree always told herself that she needs to resume her journey with fitness, but never really committed to it. In the last few months, she finally took the plunge and slowly and gradually restarted that journey. She feels we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to start or continue our fitness and health journeys, but what works for one person might not work for another! Desiree knew she had to set realistic goals, and for herself, starting small was the key to consistency and success. That meant little things like drinking more water and watching what she eats but not restricting herself. What is a realistic goal will be different for each person, but every change, whether big or small, is a great step towards achieving your health and wellness goals.

Desiree understands the need to balance her family and work life while focusing on her fitness and physical wellness journey. She also understands that balancing these priorities also means they sometimes overlap. For example, she schedules work meetings and phone calls so she is able to take them while walking outside doing laps around the parking lot or block. After dinner, together as a family, they go for walks to the park or explore the trails near their home. While on this journey, she is being gentle with herself and knows that sometimes she won't be able to meet all her goals and that's okay. She knows she's taking incremental steps and is reminds herself she's doing this not only for herself, but also for her whole family.

Once she felt she created the space to honour the importance of balance in her fitness journey, she knew the next step would be to ensure accountability. For Desiree, accountability was having conversations with her family, friends, and coworkers about why she's making changes her lifestyle. It really help push her further and provided a source of strength when she shared with her circle that she was watching what she ate and was being more active.

“There is something powerful about saying out loud the changes you want to make around your health and goals you are making for yourself," said Desiree. “There is a lot of positivity that comes along with that. And not only that, it's also allowed others to think about joining me and starting their own fitness journey."

To add to that accountability, Desiree reached out to a family member who happens to be a personal trainer and now is now participating in an eight-week Spring Program. In th​e program, Desiree gets workouts, goals for the day, meal suggestions and positive messaging. She already notices an improvement just by taking these small steps.

Desiree shares that whichever steps you decide to take on your physical wellness journey, that above all, the key is taking it one day at a time. With that in mind,​​ before you know it, healthy habits are created, maintained and nurtured.

During June, we would love to hear from you about your 30x30 efforts, and encourage you to post your physical wellness journey by tagging us @FNHA on social media using the hashtags #FNHAWellness, #30x30ActiveChallengeFNHA and #BeActiveFNHA uploading a video or photo here, or engaging with our posts throughout the month of June. ​​​​

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