My wellness journey
I think oftentimes when we see ‘healthy’ people, we assume they’ve always been this way. In my experience, that has been far from the truth. I want to share my story with you in hopes that you’ll understand how this journey came about for me, and hopefully it will inspire you too.
My childhood was much like that of most people of my generation. I played outside a lot but definitely got a good dose of technology watching Arthur or playing Pokémon video games. Life was generally very active but also had a serious daily serving of sugar and processed foods. My favorite foods were ramen noodles (with two flavor packs), fruit roll-ups, bagel bites and those XL pixie sticks- AKA a two foot long plastic tube filled with processed sugar and food dye. Yikes.
Growing up this way was the norm. At that time GMOs and the dangers of processed “foods” were little known to the average American. Honestly, up until about 4 years ago, I had no idea the foods I was eating could play such a large part in my health and overall well-being. Also, at that time in my young age, I had the primary foods I needed to make up for the occasional lack of nutritious food. By primary foods, I mean all the internal and external joys that make up a beautiful life. Relationships, spirituality, creativity, exercise, etc. My home life was healthy (or so I thought), I had an amazing group of friends and social life, I was active, and I embraced my creativity.
As I grew a bit older, the internal struggle began. There was a lot of turmoil and tension in my home that started shaping how I viewed the world, but more importantly, how I viewed myself. A lot of what I believed to be true as a child was tested. Close family members whom I had looked up to since childhood as beacons of goodness and light, had revealed themselves as seriously flawed. I felt hurt, betrayed, confused and just plain sad. I began to internalize a lot of my negative emotions and started telling myself the story that I wasn’t good enough. I thought, if these people who I love so much are capable of such darkness, what am I capable of? My world transformed from a place of beauty, creativity, and fun into a confusing and scary place.
It was when I moved away for college that shit really hit the fan. I left my comfort zone in Massachusetts. I left behind a group of angel best girlfriends whom I met in elementary school and were there every step of the way, and my grandparents who are truly a god-send. My twin sister and other half thankfully came to college with me. We were in it together, but definitely on our own journeys.
For the first time in my life I could make my own decisions and do what I want when I wanted, but it was also the first time that I really faced consequences for my actions. I went to school in August and by October I had gained 26 pounds. Twenty six pounds in less than three months. Drinking and eating were my mental and emotional crutches and it seriously showed. Internally I was still very confused, sad, and broken. Freshman year was one of the most trying years of my life. I made and kept friends who treated me poorly, “dated” men who used me, and made terrible choices that were a direct reflection of my poor self-worth.
Throughout my four years in college I had a lot of ups and downs. My weight yo-yoed, I continually struggled with acne, and I was chronically dehydrated but on the flip side, I made life-long friends and learned so much. Junior and senior years were the time when I started to wake up a little bit and started to remember who I really was. I cut ties with negative people and started truly honing in on the relationships and life choices that served me.
Post-graduation I struggled to figure out what my career would look like, where I’d live, and how I would ever pay off my student loans (I still wonder this!). The men I went on dates with continued to be a direct reflection of my shaky, yet slowly improving self-worth and I jumped around a bit in my career still feeling a bit lost. Despite all of my confusion, for the first time in a long time I was on an upward path.
This is also when I truly started learning the power of manifestation. As I was slowly chipping away at the broken walls I had built around me, I began to think about what I really wanted and started to actually build up the courage to go for it.
Meeting my husband Jon was a turning point for me. It was proof that I was starting to attract what I needed and deserved based on the energy I was putting out in the world. Jon and I met on Match.com (I still find this bizarre) and he was the perfect mix of nerdy, edgy and smart. We didn’t always, and will never always, agree on everything but he is so incredibly supportive of my ever-changing journey.
Fast forward a year to when we got our first apartment together. Being his fit, marathon-running self, Jon had a scale that not only weighs you but estimates your BMI as well. One day, I decided to weigh myself and look up what my BMI was relative to my age, height and weight. I was floored. The chart reveiled that I was considered over weight and honestly, not very far off from obese. I didn’t understand and thought how this could happen, I am only 25!
This was a major turning point in my health journey. First, I started with the crazy diets and tea detoxes I had seen advertised. They had helped so many people- they were going to be my solution too, right? Wrong! Soon after these quick-fix attempts failed, I started doing as much research as I possibly could. I watched probably every single food documentary available on Netflix, read The Food Babe Way, signed up for my first CSA, and read every article I could find on holistic health.
When I started making small changes based on what I was learning, the weight started coming off easily, my skin improved, my mood improved, and I felt better than I had ever remembered feeling. Since that time about 4 years ago, each day is a growing and learning experience and it has been such a beautiful ride.
This journey began as a food journey, but has turned into a total mind, body and soul transformation. I’ve been able to slowly but surely find myself again through this process and at 28 years old I truly feel better than ever. I know this is only the beginning and I can't wait to see what the future holds. Since getting my physical body in a better place, I’ve been able to dig deeper inside myself and remember who I really am. It brings tears to my eyes to think of how much joy and abundance there is in the world that I was missing out on for so many years, and I want to shout it from the rooftops! Everyone deserves to live life as their true, genuine highest self and if my story can be an inspiration to even one person that is all I could ever ask for.