I mentioned in my post about adapting to the times that since I didn’t have any major travel plans this year, I wanted to change up the topics that I write about. I want to write about the things that are directly affecting the way I live my life, whether it’s for the better or not, and more importantly, I want this blog to be a reflection; to document the new perspectives I gain, as I gain them. I’m making a bigger effort this year to be genuine, comfortable in my vulnerability, and as transparent as I can possibly be.
Life is can get real incredibly quickly and it’s hard a lot of the time. Everyone experiences this, so there’s no reason to hide or deny it. I think we are as connected through our struggles, little and big, as we are connected through our joys.
All this is to say that I’m going to start getting a little personal, starting with this post about my journey with my body. Now thinking back, it started when I was a child but it was only last year when I really zeroed in on it.
From then to now
I always knew I wasn’t the typically “cute” girl in class and I was always aware of how unskinny I was; my face was round, I was quite chubby, and I was as tomboy as a tomboy can get. I was thankful, however, to have my mom who always assured me that I was beautiful and that no one else’s opinion mattered except hers (though I was also lucky to not have been bullied for my appearance).
I did kung fu three or four times a week and swam almost as often so I was in alright shape, but I was always hyper aware of my size in comparison to everyone else’s, and this continued on until I came home from the Philippines in February of last year. As time went on and I got older, I stayed active despite not continuing my swimming lessons past 16 and eventually quitting kung fu to focus on school when I got to university; Andrew and I hiked a lot in the summer and I worked retail so I was always on my feet, moving around.
When I left my retail job in October 2016, the thought of having to get myself to exercise instead of it just being a part of my job and everyday life never crossed my mind. All I could think about was my upcoming trip to the Philippines and Singapore, my clothing brand (that would eventually fizzle out, a story for another post), and my burgeoning freelance career… My body consciousness wouldn’t hit me hard until we left for California at the beginning of June. I saw a noticeable gain in weight in my face/stomach/arms and it really got to me – the influx of junk food from traveling, sitting in front of a computer all day, the stress of being at a metaphorical fork in the road, and the lack of exercise led me down a spiral of disappointment and general un-wellness.
Long story short, I stopped prioritizing my health when my routine that had exercise as part of the package changed. That is, until yoga appeared onto the scene.
Becoming one with myself
Yoga was really the catalyst that took my health and body journey in a better direction. I had always wanted to try it out but for whatever reason (literally pick one, I had so many excuses) I never got myself to a class. Well, leave it to a mirror to be that final push!
I’ll talk more about yoga itself in another post, but let’s just say for now that I’ve been doing yoga everyday for the last nine months and I’m not quite where I want to be (strength and physique-wise), but I can see the changes, and I feel SO much better mentally and physically.
Set specific health goals
Before I end this post, I thought I would share some of my health goals and spoiler alert: reaching a specific numerical weight is not one of them. Before leaving for LA, I became a little obsessed with checking my weight until I realized that it’s relative to each person, and so I decided that it wasn’t something I would keep track of. As long as I feel good and I think I look good, then I’m good!
So what are some of my goals?
I’ve made it a point to really make time for yoga and other strengthening work. There are days when I REALLY don’t want to change my clothes, work on my breathing, and feel my muscles shake, but I usually end up feeling worse when I allow myself to make excuses.
Drastically cut down on refined sugar
My favourite kind of food is snacks, haha. From cut up fruits and veggies to good ol’ chips, I’ll take snacks over proper meals any day and unfortunately, junk food snacks are more often than not more accessible that healthy ones. Because there was no easy way to ween off, I just decided to go cold turkey (which might not be the right decision for everyone!).
I stopped eating candy and drinking pop completely about a month and a half ago, and I’m putting about 1/3 of the sugar I usually put in my coffee! It’s not easy and I won’t lie, people drinking pop and eating snacks make it look soooooooo satisfying, but I just feel so much better without it.
Drink more water
This one is more or less connected to my second goal; I noticed I wasn’t drinking water… like at all… I used to go an entire day (or days) without drinking any water! And to be honest, I used to and still think that water isn’t that enjoyable to drink and so the only way I thought I could get myself to drink more water than anything else was to cut out the “else”. Again, it’s not easy, but I’m SO hydrated and that knowing that I’m doing good for my body is a better feeling than pop could ever give me.
Tea > coffee
Okay, above is a statement that I don’t totally agree with, but let me explain. I LOVE coffee, and I drink a lot of it, but I’ve also been feeling the effects of all of it. My heart races, I get stomach aches, I feel crabby, and it sucks! This is why I’m willing to put my love aside and only have a max of two coffees in the morning and instead make some tea when I’m jonezing for another cup. I’ve never particularly liked tea but I’m happy to say that tea and I are one the way to friendship! More about that in another post!
And that’s really all I wanted to touch on in this post (she says after she’s already written over 1000 words)! I’m well on my way to feeling and looking my best, but as I’ve said and said again, it’s. not. easy. I actually think that a huge part of getting started on this health journey had to do with the type of person I am – the person who’s aware that they need to do something but doesn’t do it until the thought consumes my whole being. It happened when I pierced my cartilage, when I got my tattoos, when I quit my retail job, and now with my wellness. It’s the best thing my impulses have done for me so far!
If you made it this far, thank you! Feel free to leave me a comment below – are you on a similar journey??