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What’s Your Healthy Tipping Point?

Caitlin Boyle was just in her early 20s when she reached what she calls her “healthy tipping point.” A friend challenged her to give up the college lifestyle of partying and not paying attention to nutrition. That motivated Boyle, now 28, to take up triathlon and other endurance sports. These days, she attracts about 1 million visitors a month to her website, HealthyTippingPoint.com, and inspired the national “Operation Beautiful” craze where women leave upbeat messages on post-it notes for others to find in restrooms, locker rooms, and other public places. Core Performance spoke to Boyle about her new book, Healthy Tipping Point, and what impact a simple change of mindset can have.

Core Performance: What is a healthy tipping point?

Caitlin Boyle: It’s when you kind of get out of the mindset that being healthy is a huge struggle where you’re always giving up something. Instead it’s something you strive for every day. People can have that healthy tipping point moment for a variety of reasons. For me it was figuring out that I needed to focus on actual health—not my appearance and not striving to fit a certain size or weight—and fueling my body and mind the way they deserve to be treated.

CP: How did Operation Beautiful come about?

CB: I was having a bad day while trying to make a career change. I had gone back to community college and was taking chemistry and it was killing me. I felt so stupid and started to fall back into a negative mindset. At one point, I looked in the mirror and said, “You’re so stupid.’ I reached into my bag, found a post-it note, wrote ‘you are beautiful” and stuck it on the mirror. I took a photo and blogged about it and it took off from there. That was three years ago and I’ve received 10,000 notes from all over the world. It’s a testament to the fact that people of all races, nationalities, and languages go through these same struggles and these positive messages on post-its make a big difference.

CP: You write for a mostly female audience. You’re also a runner. In recent years, we’ve seen a boom in women’s only running events, along with health-and-fitness blogs like yours that speak to women. What do you attribute that to?

CB: Women like rallying around each other when it comes to fitness because on a lot of levels we feel more comfortable that way and that’s why women’s races are so successful. There’s always an air of camaraderie and support. There’s something about the sisterhood. It does seem unique to women, but I think men have it to some degree as well.

CP: You write about the importance of the beginning and the end of the day. What makes that so crucial?

CB: I call the first hour the power hour. We all have a tendency to fall out of bed and into the immediate work routine of going, going, going. And that’s very stressful on the body. There are a couple of simple tweaks you can do to set the tone for a healthier day. First, drink a really big glass of water. It helps digestion and sets your hydration goal off to a good start. Do this for one week and you’ll notice a huge difference.

The last hour is the restorative hour where we should be winding down and getting ready for sleep. Instead, we tend to go, go, go until collapsing. I have a hard time turning my brain off at night and I find writing down three things I have to do the following day helps me wind down. Not only do I not forget those things, but it’s as if I’m taking them off my plate for the moment. That way they’re not weighing on me all night long. That simple act of writing it down for the next day can really help you relax at night and set a positive tone for the following day.

For more ways to sleep better, read “7 Keys to a Good Night’s Sleep.”

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Running, Sleep, Women