Staying healthy isn’t only about the food you eat, but is also about the amount of exercise, sleep, and fresh air you get. What does a balanced lifestyle look like? How do you have a balanced diet? How do you get motivated to stay healthy and fit?
We spent time with Madison Maley who balances life as a full-time student while running her Instagram page, @HealthByMads: an online community where Madison shares her experience and expertise that make up her health and wellness routine, and where individuals share their own health and wellness stories.
A lifelong athlete, Madison didn’t have to focus on her eating and exercise habits until she went to college, where she struggled with weight gain due to not working out as much as she did when she was in sports. She started @HealthByMads to hold herself accountable for leading a healthier lifestyle, and says it “gives her a sense of purpose.”
Keep reading to learn more about Madison’s health and self-confidence journey, how she maintains a balanced diet and workout routine, and for her healthy collagen smoothie bowl recipe that features her favorite Wholy Dose product.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Where are you from? What do you do? What does your typical week look like?
Hi! My name is Mads & I live in New York. Been living in New Jersey with my family throughout quarantine, so my routine here has been a bit different than it is when I’m in the city. During normalcy, a typical week in my life includes pretty much the same day to day routine: wake up, workout, go to class and go to work! Being a student, having a job, and trying to prioritize a health & wellness community page isn’t the easiest, but I certainly always have something to do which I love. Staying busy is key for me, keeps me motivated for sure.
Share with our audience your story! What’s your journey? How did you start in the healthy and wellness field?
I’ve been an athlete my whole life and was always working out during practices. Because of this, I never had to worry about what I ate, because my metabolism was so high and I was burning everything off. One may think this is an amazing thing...how could you complain? But when I say I burnt everything off, I mean everything. I really was twig thin, and I was constantly feeling insecure about how I looked. This led me to eat a lot more (not necessarily healthy), and once I began college, I stopped working out so much. As you may guess, this caused weight gain in places I wasn’t expecting.
I went from one extreme to the other so quickly and felt awful about it. Meanwhile, my stomach was constantly in pain, bloated all of the time, and I just didn’t feel good after eating food. I knew I needed to do something, which is why I began to research more about health and nutrition. The past two years I have truly dedicated my time to all things health, nutrition and wellness related, in pursuit of improving my overall wellbeing. I have discovered so much more about myself than I ever could have imagined, and my Instagram has led me to feel so safe in the health and wellness community. I could not be more thankful for my journey.
How did you come to start Health By Mads? What’s it like having your own platform, and building something you believe in?
I started Health By Mads just over a year ago at a time I thought it was best to begin holding myself accountable for my health and wellness. I started the page to connect and be inspired by others, and to share my own recipes and meals. It began solely revolving around food, but quickly turned into more of a lifestyle page. This page has become apart of me, and I truly don’t know where I would be or who I would be without it. It gives me a sense of purpose, and allows me to connect better with myself and others. I have met so many people via my platform who share similar mindsets and interests. It really is amazing to think about.
What does health + wellness mean to you?
I would be nowhere without my focus on health & wellness. Prioritizing myself and my wellbeing has made me who I am today and it brings me so much joy to be a part of the health & wellness community on Instagram. Being healthy is not as simple as eating right. Being healthy has to do with your mind, your thoughts, your nutrition, your activeness, your happiness, and so much more.
What are difficulties you’ve ran into with incorporating health and wellness into your life? Do you have advice for someone who might run into the same?
The biggest difficulty I have had is regarding food and dieting. At a point in my life, I became obsessive with what I ate, to the point where I would heavily restrict myself all the time, and it took a massive toll on my mental health. There is a fine line between a healthy diet and becoming obsessive with your food, and I crossed it. I think it can be troublesome when we put too many restrictions on ourselves food wise, but there is always a great need to have at least some restrictions. Everything resorts back to balance and finding healthy balances between eating nutritious foods that are good for you, while not placing too many limitations on yourself and also eating foods that are good for your soul.
What is your health and wellness routine?
While my routine often differs, the one thing I do every single morning is wake up and get straight into a workout. Whether it is HIIT, weight training, cardio, yoga, or just a long walk, I always move my body first thing. Being productive early in the morning really gets me going, and those days when I sleep in too late and am sluggish unintentionally are always the most unproductive ones for me. Of course, I always love days devoted to sleeping in and doing nothing...love them. But, again, it is about balance! I workout 5-6 times every week, and the other day or two that I don’t, I usually dedicate to getting a long sleep and just resting.
Madison's Healthy Collagen Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Where can our audience find you?
My Instagram page is @HealthByMads, and my website is madisonmaley.com. Truly cannot believe how much the community has grown over the past year, and I hope to keep expanding both my page and my site!