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Coming Home

Just over two years ago, John and I moved to Toronto. On the drive across the country from Vancouver I was in the midst of a 30 day challenge.  After deciding to focus on my health, I gave myself the challenge on exercising every morning for 30 minutes.

During our week on the road I woke up around 4-5 a.m. every morning and pounded the treadmill in Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Chicago, Minneapolis and Buffalo.

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When we arrived in Toronto I made a switch over to healthier eating.  I stopped drinking for a few weeks, ate a mostly vegetarian diet and started to train for my first 5k.  I felt amazing.

But over the year something happened.  I became very interested in the healthy living community and started to try extreme detoxes.  After these detoxes I would want nothing more than a glass (or five) of wine and all the chocolate a woman could wish for.

total cleanse

I craved sugar all of the time and became sick often.  John worked evenings so I spent nights roaming health food stores and spending half of my paycheque.

In my pursuit of health I lost something very precious to me: balance.

I spent years building a positive relationship with my body.  I learned how to eat intuitively, to trust my cravings, and to be kind to myself in every way.

Through trying to become "better" or closer to my idea of purity or perfection, I lost some of that.  It also made my relationship more difficult as I no longer wanted to share meals.  I lost the community aspect of food which is something I value deeply.

And then I turned 25, and experienced what I have proudly labeled my quarter-life crisis.  Also known as the year of Champagne and foie gras.

France

I shut down my old blog, Confessions of a Young Woman, and started Battle of the Bites to fully celebrate food.

With this, I felt a responsibility to go out, try more restaurants, indulge a little more.  I got used to waking up on Sundays hungover and having John bring me bacon in bed.  I ditched coconut water for Gatorade, and working out for walks to the corner store for snacks.  Sometimes there's nothing Jalapeno Kettle Chips won't solve.  Or so it felt.

I don't regret any of it.  I was tired of perfection and craved a year of rebellion for myself while I figured it out.  I tried to detox occasionally, watched online workouts without trying any of them, and reminded myself "it's okay.  Do your thing."

Powerball

In all honesty, it was a wonderful year.  I had a great time, got to know myself a little better, and very recently married my best friend.

Since then I have had some quiet time to think and a lot of things have become more clear.

I am craving balance in my life.  Strength.  Self worth.  Confidence.  Intuitiveness.  Fresh air.  Health.  Change.

I do not want anymore extremes when it comes to my body and my health.  I want balance.  I want to build a healthy lifestyle, not a roller coaster ride of going back and forth.

I want to drink less, move more, and feel alive.

I have been taking baby steps to get myself to where I want to be.

For the moment, I'm not drinking.  My body needs a break.  I'm eating more greens, but also some chocolate.  I'm running some days, walking on others.  I'm smiling a lot.

Top Chef Dinner

I am getting back to a place where I can appreciate everything life has to offer.  I am savouring my food and looking forward to slowly sipping a glass of wine or a good cocktail when the time is right.

After a year of what almost felt like an out of body experience I am slowly settling back into my own skin and thinking clearly.

I don't know what's next for me, or this blog, but I'm excited.  I feel like I'm coming home.

GeneralGillian Young