Why Living a Healthy Lifestyle is Essential to My Busy Life on the Farm

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Earlier this week, I shared a very personal post about how my experience as a farmer is helping me deal with the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic that is happening right now.

It’s the first time in a LONG TIME that I have posted something to the ‘farm’ section of this blog. And I have to admit, it feels great to switch things up.

I feel like I’ve been pushing out so much fitness content lately that I’ve neglected the more personal stories that give context to who I am and why I believe so much in the importance of living a healthy lifestyle (even when you’re overwhelmed by a busy schedule).

And so today I want to do something a little different. I want to pull back the curtains of my own life and share a bit of my personal story. 

My objective with this is truly two-fold:

  • For starters, I want you (Yes, you that’s reading this!) to know me on a more personal level so that we can have a deeper connection.
  • And second, I want my story to serve as proof that the fitness advice that I share on this blog isn’t just for women who have loads of free time on their hands.

The tips + tricks that I share will work even for the women that feel like they are already juggling too much.

Being busy is something that I think we can all relate to and it’s likely that your busyness looks a little different than mine.

Maybe you’re chasing toddlers instead of trying to wrangle calves. Or maybe you’re knee deep in homework as you pursue a college degree instead of being knee deep in mud. 

Whatever your story is, here’s what I know: we are all doing the best we can with what we have and sometimes we just need a little reminder of the possibilities that exist for us.

I wasn’t born on a farm, but I got here as quick as I could.

I’ve been farming on a small dairy farm in West Michigan for almost 20 years. I’m in my early thirties now so I guess that I wasn’t too late to the game 😉 

It all started when my parents bought property and decided to build a house next door to a dairy farm.

As luck would have it, that dairy farm family needed a babysitter and I was more than happy to fill those shoes. As the kids got older, I wasn’t needed as much and so I transitioned to doing odd jobs around the farm. 

I started by picking up rocks and clearing fields of debris and stones. I spent summers unloading hay wagons. I had every awful job that you can imagine.

To be honest, I think most people expected me to hate it and (much to my surprise) it was quite the opposite- I actually loved working there!

Still, I never saw farming as a long-term thing for me. I fully expected that once I graduated high school and went to college that I would kind of grow out of the whole farming phase.

And so my freshman year of college, I decided to attend school at a university three hours from home + I was convinced that I wanted to pursue a career in law.

What I realized was that I really missed farming.

So after the year ended, I transferred to a college that was closer to my home. Unfortunately, I was faced with the reality that a lot of my academic scholarships didn’t transfer with me.

And so to pay for college, I started working full-time again at the same dairy farm. Even with the long hours, the early mornings, and the late nights of going to school, I never lost my passion for what I was doing.

I finally gave in to the idea that farming may be something worth pursuing after I finished college + still wasn’t ready to search for a ‘real job‘. (I was a Communications major at the time, and thought about going into Marketing).

I was aware that my experience and knowledge of farming was somewhat limited so I decided to pursue a second college degree. I truly wanted a deeper understanding of the background and technical skills required for a job in agriculture.

So back to school I went (while still working full-time at that dairy farm) and I I THRIVED during those years of college.

I competed on the Dairy Cattle Judging Team, I served as part of our college’s Dairy Club. I interned on a farm in the Netherlands. I accepted just about every opportunity that came my way.

Nowadays, I spend most every day on the farm- and my love for farming has only grown with time. 

I don’t just dairy farm anymore, I also am a small-scale flower farmer (and I have a fun, secret project that I’m working to bring to life this summer that will further expand my farming dreams).

How Fitness Fits into the Mix

Farm work is rewarding, but as I learned early on- it takes a toll on the body.

And it wasn’t just the physical demands of my job that wore me down.

I think being a multi-passionate women in general, is its own special kind of hell. 

Maybe you can relate?

Picking just one or two things to focus my attention on has never been an option for me. 

I’ve always pushed myself to the limits with what I can fit into my schedule. I want to be the kind of woman that can ‘do it all’.

But if I’m being honest- ‘doing it all’ feels impossible when I’m running on fumes.

I think so many women shy away from living a healthy lifestyle because they are afraid that it will complicate their life.

But what I’ve found is that the right fitness routine will compliment your life and support you in living the life that you’ve always dreamed of. 

It’s because of this ‘lesson’ that this blog was even born. You see, in regards to fitness, I did things the hard way for so long; I convinced myself that I didn’t have to put time or energy into nourishing and moving my body.

I ran myself into the ground, sacrificing my health because I thought it would get me ahead.

Only when I finally gave some attention to health and fitness did I learn: that leading a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than just losing weight. 

The reality is: you can’t give to others what you don’t have inside of you to give.

Living healthy has made me more capable in tackling the hard things that come my way; it has allowed me to be more resilient, it’s given me the strength to endure difficult challenges, and it’s gifted me the confidence to overcome whatever comes my way. 

Those are the sort of results no one tells you about when you try for a fitness goal. 

And so (as I’ve mentioned) this blog was born to show other women that leading a healthy lifestyle is possible even with a hectic schedule… even when you feel pulled in all different direction… and even when you feel as though there’s no time for just one more thing in your schedule.

Fitness may not be easy, but it CAN be SIMPLE.

It’s my hope that if you hang around here long enough- you’ll start to believe it too 😉

Here to support you!

XO- Britney (@ms.fit.farmer)

P.S. If you’re interested in simplifying your own fitness routine so your healthy lifestyle can support you in living the kind of life you’ve always dreamed of, join me inside my signature 12-week program, Sustainably You– where I walk you through this exact process. Check it out here!

Why Living a Healthy Lifestyle is Essential to My Busy Life on the Farm
Britney Zondlak

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I'm Britney,

Just a small-town gal with a passion for fitness + health- Using my little corner of the Internet to spread light and positive vibes. It is my mission to encourage all women to step into the best-version of themselves possible. After all- you deserve it, girl!

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