As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of Interviewing Emily Countryman.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
We always tell our clients that water equals weight loss because if you’re not hydrated, your metabolism won’t be hydrated. Unfortunately, this means you won’t lose the weight that you’re aiming to lose. If you’re not concerned with weight loss, you still need water because it helps with all of the functions in your body. The goal for water is to drink about half of your body weight in water every day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be getting around 100 ounces of water every day. Also, if you’re drinking any caffeine, you need to replace that with water. So in addition to that hundred ounces, if you had two cups of coffee, you now actually need 116 ounces of water to achieve a hydrated day.
People usually fail on their wellness plan if it’s this all or nothing, I’m exercising, I’m going to run a 5k, I’m going to get this much sleep, I’m going to meditate every day, I’m going to eat this every day, I’m going to not eat this every day, the list goes on. If you try to commit to this giant pile of things, then you’re much more likely to get derailed from that. Start slow. Are you already pretty good at drinking water? Great, then up that a little bit, in a way that’s easy for you to do. Are you already being a little bit active? Great, up that a little bit too. Start by improving on one thing you’re already great at. Get that easy win under your belt, then go for the next thing. Once it becomes a habit that you’re easily maintaining, add the next thing and then add the next thing. It should be more of a layered effect, not an all at once thing.
Everyone should take a moment to examine how much sugar they’re consuming per day. Look at yesterday, look at today, be 100% honest with yourself, and write it down. It’s pretty astonishing. Americans eat about 150 to 200 pounds of sugar per year which is basically like eating a 5lb bag of sugar every single week per year. Sugar intake is a common denominator in why our country is plagued by obesity.
Get a little bit of activity in each and every day. Monitor your fitness tracker if you wear one and see what your average steps are. With everyone home from COVID, working from home and schooling at home, steps have been down. I know for myself, I noticed my steps went way down, so I actually joined a step bet so that basically, I have to get so many steps based on my own number every day. I didn’t tell myself, I have to go run five miles or I have to go join a gym or do these exercise classes or do a Peloton workout every day…No, just get a little bit more active, it will make a huge difference. It helps with your energy, with your digestion, everything.
If you’re on a mission to become healthier, there’s going to be hurdles, there’s going to be stumbling blocks. We talk to our clients all the time about these things. So many of our clients will say, “Well, I did this in my day, which means I ruined the day, so forget it,” and they go and eat whatever they want to for the rest of the day. In those instances, we like to tell clients, if you got a flat tire, would you pop the other three tires? Of course not. If you missed your exit on the freeway coming home from work, would you say, “Well, forget it. I guess I’m just headed to Canada, to Mexico, to the next state.” Nope, you’d take the next exit, you do the next right thing, turn around, and correct it. So when you come across a hurdle, which you will (we all do!), don’t throw in the towel. Just keep on going, get to those wellness goals. Remember: it’s a lifestyle, it’s not an all-or-nothing type of thing.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Emily Countryman: I’d eliminate the sugar that is put in our foods. All of the products that have processed sugar in them would be gone. I would ban sugar lobbyists and all of the advertising for sugary products out there. Our world would be so much healthier in an instant if this happened and we’d be so much closer to our goal of helping to end obesity.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
I did that a few years into my business and wish I would’ve done it sooner! Just have someone to give you advice. Have that one-on-one person that you can pick up the phone, have a conversation with, and get help. You don’t want to try and figure it all out yourself.
I said this earlier but it’s critical. Hire as soon as you can, even before you think you need to hire. Once you’ve realized you need to hire, it’s usually too late and you’ve already been doing too much on your own, so get ahead of that.
Had I invested in a good website at the beginning, I wouldn’t have had to redo it so many times while I was trying to pinch pennies. In the long run, I would have spent less on the website had I just done it right from the get-go. The same goes for hiring a good CPA, a good bookkeeper, a good attorney. Make sure you have everything you need so that you’re set up for success
I’ve done these a couple of times throughout the last decade and they are fantastic. Make sure you get a mastermind with people at your level or above. You never want to be the smartest person in the room. You want people there that are helping push you forward, and it’s so great to be able to brainstorm on a topic that you might be struggling with. Even if they’re in a different industry than you, that’s often better than being in a mastermind with people only in your industry because people with outside perspectives can have new, innovative ideas that you could apply to your business.
I wish we would’ve jumped bigger right away. My first office was maybe 140 square feet, now they’re literally 10X that size. I should have gone bigger right away. I know you have to test it out and see. If you don’t mind it taking a while, go slow, go steady, but if you know you’ve got a winner, that your business is going to do fantastic and you’re not going to give up until it does, then just go big right away!
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?