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      Health and Fitness is a top priority in my life.  It’s about empowerment and becoming the best version of me.  I’m a big believer in being your own health advocate because nobody will take on this role for you.  You either actively make the time for your health now or you will be forced to make the time to take care of health later.  The choice is yours. 

     Charissa Ann


Dozen Choice Health & Fitness PDX Model

Making health and fitness a priority should be viewed as a lifestyle mindset rather than something temporary to get ready for a big vacation or special event. The key to adopting a healthy lifestyle is finding activities and habits that are enjoyable to you and easily manageable and attainable within your schedule.

My passion and lifestyle habits have been with running outside as well as eating a healthy diet.  Being active has always been a huge part of my life but it wasn’t until college when I really found my passion for hitting the pavement with nothing but my thoughts, sweat, and sneakers.  Some days I would jam out to music, while other days I would be lost in my thoughts, working through some type of stress I had going on at that time.  Running has been my therapy and it’s the one thing that has been a consistent part of my life.  Through relationships, career changes, family issues, and bad days, a good run always seemed like the part of the equation that would help bring me to a solution.  Not only was it a good activity for my mental well-being but the benefits physically have been very beneficial to me as well.

I currently run on average around 30-35 miles per week.  I do one weekly long run (around 13 miles) and mix in a few shorter runs throughout the week.

Currently I run on average around 30-35 miles per week.  I do one weekly long run (around 13 miles) and mix in a few shorter runs throughout the week.  I also incorporate weight training and/or yoga as I have found this keeps my body strong and less prone to injuries.

While living an active lifestyle is very important, fueling your body with the proper nutrition is equally just as important.  One key tip I would have for someone who is trying to eat healthier is to try and eat foods that are minimally processed with as few ingredients as possible.  In other words “real food”.  I make sure to have 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  I also try and stick with leaner types of proteins such as chicken, fish, and ground turkey.  I also limit myself with the amount of sugar I consume and try to choose more complex carbohydrates choices (such as whole grain breads and quinoa) versus simple carbohydrates.

Some advice I have for those that want to start living a healthier lifestyle, or incorporating a new fitness routine would be to start with setting a health or fitness goal.  It can be something small or something big depending on where you are currently.  It could be something simple such as skipping your daily morning Caramel Frappuccino or a little more involved like going to the gym twice a week for resistance training.  Whatever you choose it needs to be specific and measurable. A goal setting framework tool that I have found helpful for setting a goal is the SMART model.  This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  The goal you pick should use all of the smart components in order to be successful.  One key thing to remember is you have to take ownership and accountability having success in completing your goal.  You have to be your own advocate.  You have control over the outcome that you want.  Keep it simple, keep it fun, put in the work, enjoy the ride, and the results will follow. 

Happy goal setting!

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