Hello and welcome! My name is Nicholas Macdonald, and the Well of Health is a health resource blog for food, fitness, thoughts on faith, and stories from people like you. Feel free to read more below!
I grew up in a health-saturated home where my mom owned a personal training business and my dad was a hospital administrator. We were always on the move. We rode bikes on the canal in Augusta, GA, played tennis at the beach, trekked through Europe, I played soccer at school, , played recreational basketball, etc. That was our lifestyle, and I thought that was normal for everyone else too.
In college, I wanted to write for fitness magazines, so I started Public Relations, then realized there was another major that I was perfect for me. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Behavior with a Spanish minor, a certification in Health Education, and I have now been a group exercise instructor for 5 years, teaching classes like Boot Camp, Group Power, Butts N’ Guts, and Spin. I have been a Health Coach with Health Solutions, a Health Educator for Non-Profit Medical Clinic, am an American Heart Association Life Check Champion, and have worked in various other gyms and wellness centers.
I currently live in Wichita with my best friend and wife who is also my website developer, technology support man, graphic designer, and I am so thankful for him! We have been happily married since August 2011, and since I had moved from Georgia I am still getting used to the clouds and rain but absolutely love living in Ballard, being a part of our church here, and am really enjoying the Wichita culture. I am currently a Fitness Coordinator for Sound Mind and Body Gym while teaching various Group Fitness classes, doing Wellness Coaching on the side, and of course writing this blog as a Fitfluential Ambassador!
Making food taste good is pretty easy with sugar, butter, and grease. Making it healthy and tasty is a challenge. I started cooking and baking in high school when I got too hungry to wait for my parents to make dinner and started cooking on my own (the fruit of my impatience). I love eating healthy, but I also have a major sweet tooth.
I believe in the 90/10 principle: eat really well 90% of the time, and indulge a little bit on something super tasty and maybe not-so-healthy the other 10% of the time. Now of course this rule doesn’t apply to everyone, especially if you have dietary restrictions, but let’s face it: we aren’t perfect and therefore can’t eat perfect 100% of the time.
I also believe in planning out weekly menus on a budget, which is why I will post my menus and deals as often as possible. Variety is the spice of life, and I encourage you to try new fruits, vegetables, grains, and dishes so that the food you eat, cook, and bake is more of an adventure than a burden. I hope you will enjoy my new culinary creations, and welcome any comments, suggestions, and questions.
I might burst out of my skin if I don’t get in some exercise most days of the week, and since I like variety so much I can’t do the same thing over and over. I am constantly creating new workout routines and music playlists for the classes I teach, so I will share those with you on a weekly basis, in addition to sharing any other outdoorsy fitness ventures, helpful iPhone apps, and other fitness trends and articles.
I have been blessed with some truly amazing friends in my lifetime (you can see some of them in our wedding video). These friendships have not only scraped the surface level, but we have are intentional about getting past the small talk and getting to the heart of the other person. Since we are human, we all have made mistakes, go through trials, and also have victories in life. This is a section where some of my friends have agreed to be completely vulnerable and share their inner battles, how they have overcome, and how they still might be struggling.
They did this in the hope that you might have a story like theirs and can be encouraged that you are not alone and that there is hope. A few of them have also agreed to share their real names and pictures so you can relate to them better. If you have a health-related story to share with others, I would absolutely love for you to submit it and be an active part of this health community.
Where would I be without faith? I would be stuck in a pit of despair. I spent a lot of my life striving for perfection and beating myself up when I would fail. I tried to keep every rule, earn the acceptance of family, friends, teachers, and employers, and was wound way too tight with anxiety and sometimes depression. I know that I’m not the only one like this. I have a history of wanting to be perfect and failing, and I know too many women who have experienced the same thoughts of despair, trying to have control over one’s body and image, weight, acceptance from others, and a whole host of other issues tied with being a woman.
Thank God that it doesn’t have to be this way. That we don’t have to fight tooth and nail to be loved, to be completely satisfied, to be perfect; that we don’t have to crawl into a ball to protect ourselves from heartache; that we don’t have to become numb and try to just get by; because there is someone else who is perfect and who loves you just as you are and can satisfy all the real desires of your heart. That is the good news of the gospel, that is that there is a God who loves you so much that he sent his only son Jesus to take all of our failures and sins on a cross, died with them, rose from death, and who now lives in victory. He sends his own spirit to those who believe in him!
I know that I can live in freedom through faith in Christ and no longer have to live as a slave to rules because I will never live up to God’s holiness and need to stop trying. The truth is that I am already perfect through Christ’s work on the cross. My hope is that you can be free in the Lord too, and that this blog can not only be a well of resources of health for you, but that it can be a community of love, support, and your contributions!