I love reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos from people who inspire me, talking about how they got to where they are and their healthy living journey. It’s SUCH a wonderful reminder that you really have to work hard to make changes in your life.
I feel like with social media promoting a filtered, beautiful view of daily life, it can be hard to remember what goes on behind the scenes. And it’s easy to compare your messy, imperfect life to that perfect view – And feel defeated. That’s why hearing about someone’s journey is so valuable, it inspires and motivates, and reminds you not to compare your Day One to someone else’s Year Three.
Looking back at my journey, I would probably break it down into three categories – Food, fitness, and perspective.
And while each journey is different, they all start by deciding to make some changes.
Or, in my case, having changes forced on you by a doctor. And that may sound dramatic, but it’s how it felt to me at the time.
While “gluten intolerance” is a very familiar phrase today, it wasn’t 10 years ago. Ten years ago it was a scary, weird, confusing diagnosis.
I didn’t know what gluten was, I didn’t realize how many foods it was in, and I pretty much thought that I was going to die without it.
However, as fate would have it, that ended up being a turning point in my life and the start of my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
At that point in my life I was eating mostly take-out or pre-made foods, rarely cooked, and was sick all the time. The diagnosis meant that I had to learn about nutrition, learn how to cook, and learn how to feed myself. It was the start of my love affair with food blogs and day one of my nutritional education.
It was challenging, but oh-so worth it in the end.
My fitness story is a little unusual. I was a competitive athlete growing up and continually did at least one sport from the age of 6 until 19. In college I suffered a spinal injury that ended my college diving career and sent me down a very unhealthy path. I didn’t return to the gym for nearly five years after that.
When I finally returned, and took up running for the first time, I was quickly reinjured and went through the painful, time-consuming process of preparing for, undergoing, and recovering from back surgery.
However, I’m thrilled to say, that I really dedicated myself to fitness and rebuilding my body after surgery and while I’ve had setbacks, I’ve been remarkably healthy and active the past four and a half years.
If you think of improving your health as a “diet” or something short-term, that’s exactly what it’ll be. Excruciating and short-term. However, if you change your mentality, you can achieve long-term results and genuinely improve your health.
The goal should be to create a sustainable lifestyle that makes you feel good, gives you energy, and helps you get where you’re going. You shouldn’t feel deprived, because then you won’t be able to carry on with that lifestyle. But, that being said, you still need to be willing to make changes.
My suggestion would be consider your personal journey as a work in progress!