I’ve been all over the place on my path to wellness.
I’ve always had a love for good, home-cooked food. I used to follow my dad around the kitchen and even begged for a chef’s hat one year for Christmas. I was obsessed with watching Emeril when I was younger and always wanted to be the one to season the food so I could say “Bam!” as I threw a pinch of salt on top of the dish.
In high school, I was sort of forced onto the cross country running team by way of my sister being on it, and my parents wanting me to have an activity to take up some of my time. I ran all throughout high school and still continue to run today, although there was a hiatus somewhere in there. I’m grateful that I started this somewhat early in my life because I recognize how hard it can be to become a runner when you’re a little older.
After graduating from college, I moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area, got a job, and became sedentary. I wasn’t used to being inside from 9-5 every day. I’d come home from work, and all I’d want to do is sit on the couch with my roommate, drink wine, eat crappy food, and watch Netflix (this is ok to do once in a while, but probably shouldn’t have been my daily norm). I was doing this every day. Exercise wasn’t really even something that crossed my mind during this period of time.
Flash forward a bit, and I started seeing pictures of myself that I didn’t recognize. I’d put on 15-20 pounds over the span of two years. It was gradual, so I didn’t really notice it at the time, but every time I’d see a picture of myself, I knew that the person in the photo wasn’t really me.
Like I mentioned above, I’d always been active. From riding my bike around the neighborhood to running in high school to hiking, surfing, playing frisbee, etc in college.. if there was something I could do that involved the outdoors and being active, I was all over it. Where was that person now?
I got mononucleosis at one point and never really felt like I’d recovered. I was tired all the time, even months after the virus became inactive. I needed more sleep than ever and couldn’t really figure out why.
Then, things started to change gradually. I moved out of the house I was living in with four others and moved into a school bus with my boyfriend (I just recently moved out after living there for 2+ years!). We had no bathroom and therefore, no shower. This made it even harder to find the motivation to work out. Any exercise I wanted to do required me to shower at the gym or at work afterward.
So you’d think being forced into going to the gym to shower would inherently make me more active. But nope, it did the opposite. I found myself literally just going to the gym to shower, and then leaving.
A few months later, I left my job and started working at a startup with my boyfriend. Gone were the days of being in meetings for the whole workday. I was used to always being busy going from one place to the next that I needed to find a way to split up my day or I was going to lose it.
I started taking walks after lunch. There’s a nice 2-mile loop near my office that I started doing every day. I found that this simple movement made me feel so much better. Some days I’d walk it twice. After a while, I decided I’d start jogging that loop after work. It felt good to just shut my mind off. I didn’t worry about speed, just that I was out there doing it. Some days I’d run it twice.
I started getting better at running again. I had more energy throughout the day and didn’t feel like I needed to sleep for 15 hours a night anymore. Then, I discovered Aaptiv. It was game-changing. It’s an app that has trainer-led workouts with motivating music. I started using this for everything. I got hooked! I was finding more and more ways to be active. I started going to the gym because I wanted to workout, not because I needed to shower. None of my friends had heard of the app. I felt like I had discovered the holy grail.
My newfound love for fitness rekindled my love of cooking great food. I’ve always loved going to the grocery store, but now instead of buying packaged and premade foods, I go with the intent of creating my own. It was a long journey to get back to this point. I feel healthy, motivated, and I look forward to anything I can do to promote this.
I’m on a path to wellness through nutrition, fitness, and mental well-being, and I hope you’ll join me!