My Personal Summer Wellness Journey
Summer ends in two months, and I’m clearly not being whisked away to some tropical island where time doesn’t matter. Instead, for the sake of being good to my body that will likely only see a swimsuit twice this year (i.e. let me drive myself to the beach), I’ve decided to get back on the full-time healthy train, cutting calories (in a healthy way) while patting myself on the back for turning away the daily sugary office treats my co-workers keep bringing. Damn you people! I don’t even have sweets in my house. For me, that’s huge. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but after gaining some weight, not fitting in some of my favorite clothes (ugh!) and dealing with ongoing periods of depression and anxiety, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. I should mention that I gained 5-8 pounds over the course of a year which for some isn’t a big deal, but to me it’s huge. I’ve always had to look a certain way.
Growing up, I was in a competitive sport where you were weighed daily, couldn’t overeat and were constantly watched from every angle. If you drank too much water, you were fat. And if you were blessed with a visit from aunt flow, then you were really fat. No matter the time difference from having stopped competing to whatever age you are now, things like that stick with you. Especially if you had an eating disorder (very normal at the time). On the regular, I had Slim Fast shakes for lunch and dinner, and popped Dexatrim pills as a snack. As an adult, I do not condone any of these actions but growing up, expectations were high and my mom was too busy to notice. My coaches loved it.
As women, our bodies constantly evolve - hormones, stress, inflammation, children, etc. I’ve come to appreciate and except how I look, but am not naive to realizing when some unwanted jelly rolls pop up. My local gym has become my favorite 30-45 minute hangout. My physical therapist is even excited that I joined a gym, not because she thinks I need to lose weight, but more so as a way to do something for myself. She often reminds me that I look great and should never do anything because of what others think, nor to look like someone else.
I am not a nutritionist, but am always reading about healthy living, plant-based recipes (I was vegan for almost a year), and ways, even if small to get up and do something. I am extremely careful about the people I look to for guidance and those who offer up free advice. What works for one person, doesn’t work for everyone. And until people realize that, they’ll easily fall prey to people selling lifestyle templates.
Instead, I do what works for me. Veggies and fruits have always been my favorite thing to eat. You can even ask my mom who said that’s the first thing I would always eat on my plate. Fish and shrimp, with little to no chicken (if possible). More water than I can count (hey Hydro Flask), but I do it.
For the time being, this works. I like it. Things are starting to fit again. I’m good.