In her 20s, Katie Dunsworth says she used her age as an excuse to lead an unhealthy lifestyle and procrastinate on major issues like debt. Luckily, the now-30-year-old Vancouver Island native, who studied broadcast journalism but then moved into the PR world, found strength in numbers. With four friends, she formed a money group to share strategies on how they could get rid of debt. This led to the creation of Smartcookies.com, a successful online business that offers advice and inspiration to women who want to stay on top of their finances and spend smarter.
For Dunsworth, fixing her money situation improved her overall health. ‘Once I took ownership of things I could control’namely, my finances’my life changed. I had always been a somewhat active person, but now I approach fitness and healthy eating with new focus and dedication. I realized ‘having it all’ means taking care of my overall well-being.’ Here are ways she keeps life in balance.
Squeeze in fitness: ‘I do yoga and body-sculpting classes whenever I can. On weekends, my husband Nick and I walk everywhere, and try to get in golf or tennis.’
Be flexible: ‘I embrace a ‘flexitarian diet’ and try to limit meat and dairy. A typical dinner at our house is salmon or veggie chili and my fiesta salad: barley, avocado, onion, beans and honey-vinegar dressing’yum!’
Know yourself: ‘Therapy and spiritual guidance help me better understand my own mental and emotional shortcomings.’
Sneak in some healthy: ‘My daughter, Hannah, who is one-and-a-half, practically wakes up saying ‘cookie.’ So she has me constantly on the lookout for easy recipes for a balanced diet. I want her to have a good relationship with food, but understand veggies are non-negotiable. So I mix greens into meals she loves, like quesadillas.’
Use your assets: ‘I’ve channelled my creativity into building a business and career that supports a life I’d dreamed of.’
Cherish your bonds: ‘I am blessed to have a group of lifelong friends, and we enjoy time together. Despite hectic schedules, we have a standing agreement not to go more than 10 days without getting together.’
Keep things cheap: ”Girls night’ sometimes end up being ‘girls coffee”but that’s okay! In fact, it can be more economical. Good wine on a patio with friends makes me happy, but so does scoring a great deal on something I’ve been saving for.’
Lighten up: ‘Think positive. Get sleep. Drink water. Laugh. Eat your veggies. Move your body. Don’t take life too seriously.’
Invest in realism: ‘My greatest lesson in life is you can’t be perfect at everything. You try your best, focus on what needs attention, and do what keeps you fulfilled.