On my 26th birthday I committed to being the healthiest and fittest I've ever been for 26. I stopped drinking, pushed my fitness goals harder than I ever have, ran 5k in record time and felt amazing.
But while my life was falling apart under the surface so did my health. I started suffering from adrenal fatigue and was completely drained all of the time. For a while I took care of myself religiously and started to see huge improvements in my energy levels.
And then my life was turned on its head. I moved out of my apartment and my organized life in the dark dead of Toronto winter. I did my best to take care of myself but sometimes that meant spending all evenings and weekends in bed, going out with my friends and drinking too many cocktails, and most importantly working through the mental and emotional struggles I was facing. My body could wait.
Since making the move to Europe the darkness has started to fade and I've been letting as much light into my life as possible. I've experienced some incredible highs, from learning to ride a bike from a unicycler at a hippie yoga camp to leading kids around Paris. I'm really excited about what my life is becoming.
Now that I'm feeling mentally prepared it's time to take care of my body as well. I've been burning the candle at both ends, as well as burning through packs of French cigarettes and a few too many glasses of wine, and I'm ready to commit to feeling my best in every way.
My main health goals:
- Increase energy
- Balance hormones
- Detox liver and body
- Improve fitness levels for regular yoga/5k runs
- Feel happy and positive
For the next 3 weeks:
- No alcohol, limited caffeine
- Balanced meals
- Lots of alkaline foods
- Supplement with spirulina and probiotics
- Sleep as much as possible
Leading up to October 17th:
- No alcohol, limited caffeine
- Run three times a week
- Yoga at least once a week
- Regular balanced meals and snacks
I have been working with my all star nutritionist Sarah Maughan to work on finding balance. She will be guiding me through this whole process and a part of my weekly updates.
Sarah's goals for me are to learn to become more balanced in my ratios of food. She wants to see me consume a balance of protein, legumes, grains, fruit, vegetables and fats on a daily basis while lowering my sugar consumption.
This is a huge weakness for me. I have a tendency to try to survive off of fats and sugars and ignore all of the rest. I will eat a ton of fruit, nuts, vegetables, then attempt to thrive off of stimulants and crash with some potato chips and wine at the end of the night. I'm no angel.
Sarah's advice for me:
- Focus on the balance of foods - ensure it's not veggie day, nut day, treat day - we want a nice flow of proteins, healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats evenly spread throughout the day - this will help increase energy, decrease cravings, improve blood sugar (adrenals, hormones) and create more satiation = happiness :)
- Practice mindful eating - this will help with being in the present with your meals so you can feel happy and positive about your decisions - unless you eat something that tastes gross ;)
- Continue food journalling but not just what food you've eaten and how much, write down emotions, physical sensations, energy level and feeling of strength throughout the day. If you learn how your body feels on all 4 of those spectrums it helps feeling happy about your decisions and happy in general. If you feel emotionally, physically, and/or energetically like garbage or feel weak in terms of strength, it's difficult to feel happy anywhere in life
Sarah understands my eating disordered past and that I have a lot of ideas about food and eating that don't always make sense but hold emotional ties for me. For example I tend to avoid protein and see it as "bad" when realistically I know it is a key food in helping me become strong and balanced. Speaking with her has shed a lot of light on some of my hang ups.
When I was working with Sarah last Fall I saw drastic improvements in my health and diet. She is an incredibly bright young woman with a firm grasp on nutrition, fitness, eating disorders and digestive struggles (see my interview with her here). She backs up everything she does with thorough research and experience and I really take all of her advice to heart.
I'm excited about this journey and will post honestly about my progress every Monday, with the help of Sarah, in hopes of inspiring some of you and keeping myself accountable until the big 2-7.