To celebrate National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, we asked Hera Hub member, De’Anna Nunez to share her advice on how successful women entrepreneurs can still reach success without sacrificing their health in the process. 

It’s encouraging and fun to see a growing tribe of entrepreneurial women in control of their career and making business a life pursuit. It’s exciting to watch them head start-ups, grow their teams and create marketing brilliance. Yet unfortunately, with that demand can ensure health priorities getting pushed to the bottom of the project list. It’s not the intention, but it happens.

You may be finding yourself a little or a lot over your healthiest weight and not as energetic as you use to be or would like to be in your body. Dropping in on a periodic yoga class is just not doing it.

Genelle Rich is a successful, driven, working professional. Her weight had been an area she secretly struggled with even though she’s incredibly confident. Watch this 3-minute video of what she has to say. 

You are ambitious, have areas of focus that you thrive in and are seen as accomplished. Yet behind the scenes, you may manage those demands by rewarding yourself with food and alcohol. You’ve learned to distract from stress by numbing out with a glass of wine, escaping into a Netflix show, or feeling instant gratification that comes so easily with salty and sweet foods.

The strategy seemed to work for a while, but now it’s caught up with you and it’s time to do something. You’re stuck in a cycle of trying to keep up. Your mind says let’s go, while your body says let’s sleep, but you can’t because there are deadlines to meet.

Your hustle may be stealing your health.

Stress emotions cause unconscious pressure and you may be developing unhealthy habits as a means of relief. Forbes magazine recently published an article identifying stress as being associated with physical problems such as headaches and weight gain. The American Psychological Association research shows connections between stress and food. “People tend to seek high-calorie, high-fat foods during periods of stress, though in fact, when people are stressed, their bodies store more fat than when they are relaxed.”

Photo by Soragrit Wongsa on Unsplash

Okay so you’re getting the message, stress is greatly influencing your poor eating habits. Have you ever been busy with a project and don’t feel that you have time to make purposeful food choices, so you eat whatever is easy? Other times, you may be eating as a sense of reward because you need that sense of gratification from a long workday? I know, I know, the dog didn’t really eat the plate of French fries. We can laugh at this, but I know you’re rolling your eyes.

Beware, those behaviors are a subconscious brain trick! 

The feeling of satisfaction produces hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine in the reward center of your brain. The feeling (emotion) of gratification or satisfaction is then linked to food unconsciously. Therefore, you associate the food as being the reward and you keep looping in an unhealthy mindset cycle that leaves you overweight, or worse, diet looping and overweight.

When food becomes a component in your habit loops, you develop mindless eating behaviors that lead to extra weight until suddenly one day you realize, “Hey, I ‘m not feeling so good in my body!” You’re not the only one. The American Psychological Associations says,

“Forty-nine percent 49% (almost half of adults) report feeling disappointed in themselves after having overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods. 46% report feeling bad about their bodies, and more than one-third (36%) say they feel sluggish or lazy.” 

Don’t underestimate what stress is really doing to you.

These eating behaviors are likely in direct conflict with your personal values. For example, if your intention is to lead your life with confidence, freedom, and self-trust in your decision making, you may be eroding your own self-value by allowing negative eating behaviors to continue.

Are you really leading to the best of your ability when you are struggling to lead yourself? That is not suitable for a superwoman like you. C’mon. It may be easier than you think to turn this around. You strategize for your business. You can re-strategize for yourself.

So, what do you do to release from this mindset habit loop? The answer is to resolve the inner conflict. Start by recognizing the high dividends that come from the personal accountability of caring for your body. It is a fundamental practice that provides a sense of internal wealth, self-control and self-love. You wouldn’t lead your teams with sporadic effort and inconsistencies.

Certainly, it’s a behavior that is out of alignment with who you are.

Jaylene Welch shed 105 lbs. in the Mind Body Fit Club program. The benefits far exceeded her weight loss. She developed the confidence to leave an unhappy marriage, quit a dead-end job and doubled her income. She’s now a successful professional.

Let’s support the body-positive movement as it showcases women’s worth at all sizes and shapes. It is empowering and necessary that we’ve had this culture shift. What is most vital is your healthy mindset, regardless of size or weight.

Stress can be a gripping force that fogs your clarity and influences your ability to make the best choices for your health. The problem is many of our professionals learn to thrive in business but don’t apply that confidence to their health goals.

Many Vital-Mind clients have participated in fun, physical events outside of work to establish healthy new habits. With mindset training, they practice and prove they can accomplish physical challenges at a weight they thought would be impossible, only to discover they can win in that area too.

Our goal is always to facilitate an incredible mind-shift that supports their further development and carries over in their leadership skills. The focus is on learning to manage their mind in all facets. Weight loss becomes a happy by-product or result of that goal. You can Reverse the Cycle.

There are astonishing benefits to living in a healthy, thriving body that reverse the cycle and create a healthy mindset loop. When you are actively reducing stress through exercise and good nutrition, you have more energy for all other demands.

Clients have reported feeling more…

  • In Tune
  •  Energized
  • Engaged
  • Involved

When you feel the magnetic energy that is produced by consistent exercise and nutrition, you naturally feel more confident. It’s a positive cycle. When you are more confident, you feel a greater sense of worth and purpose and you lead with that. It’s inspiring.
In addition, …

When you are connected to your worth and purpose, you tend to take more courageous life and career risks and command that worth. See how that positive ripple effect works in your favor?

By focusing on shifting your mindset and subconscious eating and exercise habits, you truly possess the qualities of an exuberant leader. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Knowing how to manage yourself with excellence is an attractive quality people admire and it builds leadership trust. Most importantly, you build self-trust.

Self-trust and learning to manage pressure in positive ways are the leading internal component a woman must possess for reaching a higher level of success. Trusting yourself goes beyond confidence. It is an element that exemplifies what you stand for and how you define yourself as a person.

I encourage you to never underestimate the simplified power of taking care of yourself. Act now.

  1. Put Real Accountability in Place. Those who manage their weight successfully hold themselves highly accountable to their eating behaviors. Join a specialized group or accountability with a coach that encourages intuitive eating and long-term stress management care. Beware of 30-Day challenges and diet-focused programs. These are temporary fixes and can cause the looping effect to continue.
  2. Have A Plan for Stress Relief. Often the pitfalls in following through with healthy habits are not having a solid plan in place to relieve stress. Make it simple, repeatable and fun. Your subconscious mind can focus better on specificity and structure. Make a short list of activities outside of work and family demands that fill your spirit with joy. Recognize it as a necessity, not a luxury.
  3. Practice Self Compassion. The negative internal self-talk that arises from depleted energy does not match with the fresh start you need to make better choices and live your worth. Choose to practice compassionate self-talk and coach yourself with positive language.


De’Anna Nunez is Founder of Vitalmind Inc., a training company focusing on heart-centered high performance for women. She is your Vital Mind Coach. As a Professional Speaker and Motivational Hypnotist, she trains audiences worldwide to utilize the facets of the subconscious mind to greatly improve positive mindset, healthy habits and vitality to reach higher levels of success and fulfillment.

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