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  • Writer's pictureBecca Terkelsen


I don’t get sick often. But when I do, I still get “imposter syndrome“... which I guess is the opposite of hypochondria.

I remember when I had mono in eighth grade, my mom brought me to the doctor. They ran tests, and all the while I just kept thinking, "I mean I’m mostly faking this… so obviously they’re not going to learn anything. Here I am getting poked and prodded by all these needles… how ridiculous am I?“ And then this test came back positive. I really did have mono.

Then, about 10 years ago, I had this crazy rash and I convinced myself they were flash burns from the ovens at work. I was (coincidentally?) also running a fever, and ended up getting pretty sick. So finally, after about a week, I went to the doctor. My doctor laughed and said, "Well it could be one of two things. It's either toxic shock syndrome, which is very, very rare, or scarlet fever which is also very rare, especially in someone over 30." Turns out I had scarlet fever, at 31 years old.

My point? Well, very recently I succumbed to illness again and had to stay home sick from work two days in a row. This felt like a record in my adult life. I really don’t get sick often, and if I feel myself going down, I just keep telling myself that I'm fine and I probably just ate something funny. Then I get up and try to do "life as usual" but I'm

still lacking energy or the ability to think straight while I muscle through.

If I feel myself going down, I just keep telling myself that I'm fine and I probably just ate something funny.

But here's the thing. One of the things I've learned - perhaps stubbornly so - is that wellness isn't just about eating healthy food and engaging in heathy practices. It's just as much about paying attention to our body, and respecting it when it is asking for something.

So I'm back on my feet now, but last week I was ill. During those days, I knew I needed to rest, but it was still hard to turn off the voice inside my head that told me I was "indulging“ in getting that rest. And truly, allowing myself the rest I needed is why I do stay healthy most of the time. I share this because I believe that part of being a health and wellness professional is being willing to lead by example. Dr. Kathy Hughes (a good friend, who also happens to be a well respected surgeon) recently said to me:

Rather than viewing fitness as the icing on the cake, you see wellness (which includes fitness) as the cake itself. As as client, this a much healthier and more sustainable approach to model.

So during this cold and flu season, my advice to you is to imagine wellness IS the cake! And baby, always eat the cake!

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