My Ideas on Healthy Living

Heya readers.

I wanted to write about something very important in my life. This post is a little lengthy, but bear with me. My blog is all about being real, raw, personal, and finding ways to connect with other young adults that may be facing some similar life experiences. I say young adults because that's what I am, but truthfully anyone can relate to some of these things (especially this one). I have been on a healthy lifestyle journey for the past couple of years and want to share my story, experience, and maybe some tips/encouragement for your own journey.

I have been on this health and fitness journey of mine since I was about 18 years old. I joined one of the UNLV dance teams and was introduced to nutrition and positive mindset. Though I was not a fan of being a part of the team, mainly that there was more focus on looks than actual dancing, I do give it credit for getting me going on my journey. After I quit the dance team, I needed a new hobby, so I began taking hot pilates classes. I fell in love with this form of exercise. It made me feel alive, cleared my mind, and made my body feel amazing. There was a training that came up at my studio, so I took the training and became a certified pilates instructor. I started teaching multiple classes a week at that studio, and I became a well liked instructor. I was really good at teaching, and I enjoyed it so much. This was happening in the midst of dealing with Route 91 aftermath, and I give it some credit for helping me through that time of my life. Anyways, I was not in school, but working two jobs and teaching pilates. I tried to start eating healthy, and would often take a class at the studio, teach a class, work, and then go to the gym all in a day.

Something that I enjoyed and loved, started to become an unhealthy obsession. If I skipped a day at the gym or pilates, I beat myself up and was so mean to myself over it. While I was trying to eat healthy, which is good, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I worried about every bite of food I put in my mouth. I was constantly worrying about how many calories I was eating, and how many carbs I was eating. It was an obsession.

I have always struggled with body image. I struggled with it in high school to some degree, but as the years have gone by, I have increasingly struggled. Some of it is due to some bad relationships and other events that have happened, some of it is just due to growing and consuming insecurities. Somewhere along the line I developed an absolute belief that in order to be accepted and worthy of love, I needed to have a great body and be beautiful. This belief contributed to some body dysmorphia. I've never been diagnosed with this, but I self diagnosed. The definition is, "disorder in which you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can't be seen by others." And that was me. Still is sometimes (though I am working on it). Every time that I looked in the mirror I tore myself apart. I told myself I was fat and needed to lose weight, and told myself that I'd never be happy and never be loved until I did. I seriously had several mirror encounters where I just stopped and cried about how "fat" I was. My family and friends could tell me a million times I was not fat, but it didn't matter because I believed I was. I realized how bad this obsession was affecting my mind and my life, and how completely unhealthy it was, so I started praying about it. I had to admit I had this issue, and had to come to terms with how shallow I was becoming by letting this dictate my mind and my life. I did not want to be a shallow person that only cared about looks, but I also could not deny that it was a serious issue and insecurity I had. Something had to be done.

I started by digging deep and looking for the root of some of these issues. I decided to delete social media for a long time. I needed a cleanse from all the images telling me what I needed to look like, and I needed a cleanse from posting myself in an attempt to get approval from other people and make myself feel worthy and confident. I was instagram/twitter free for over a year. I just recently got back on instagram to promote this blog. I will say this is an ongoing journey I am facing. I have not reached the end of it; and one of my major struggles and insecurities still has to do with body image. But on this journey, I have come a very long way and I have learned a lot about myself, and living the healthy life that I want to live. I hope my openness and honesty will encourage anyone with even some of the same feelings or struggles. It is so common for women in our culture to struggle with body image and similar insecurities. I actually have never come across a woman (that I have had enough time to get to know) that has not expressed some sort of struggle with this concept. Women are constantly expressing the need to lose weight or diet. We are all in this together; and that's not a cliche saying, I really mean it. There have been many people that have helped me along the way, and I hope the following tips will be of use for you!

  1. Mindset. I have realized the importance of taking control of my thoughts. I am the only one holding control of myself: my thoughts, actions, and beliefs. If I continue to tell myself "I need to lose weight" or "I'm so fat" and "nobody is every going to think I'm beautiful", then that's most definitely what I will continue to believe. I read a self-help book a year or two ago called, "52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve." I remember reading about the power of self affirmations. Even if you don't believe it, you have to tell yourself positive things until you believe them. It works. When I practice this, over time, I believe the positive things I tell myself. Sometimes you'll forget to do so or get back into the bad habit of talking yourself down, but you just keep working on it. It's natural for us to talk mean to ourselves, so it's easy to fall back into that cycle. It's just a matter of practice makes progress. Also, think about why you want to live a healthy lifestyle. I have learned that it CANNOT be all about appearance or losing weight. Fitness is about so much more than that, and a healthy lifestyle is so much more than fitness. Wanting to eat healthy, lose weight if necessary, exercise or get active, and work on self-care are great things, but it starts with mindset! Include healthy foods into your diet because they are GOOD for your body; they give you energy and fuel you the way you deserve to be fueled. Drink water because it is GOOD for your body. Exercise because it makes you feel GOOD; it releases so many endorphins that simply make you feel good, gives you energy, and makes you feel good for accomplishing something challenging. Do it for yourself because you want to reap the benefits. Read things that bring you positive thoughts. Give up the t.v. or the social media if it takes up too much of your time, not because it sounds good, but because you want to replace it with productive activities. Changing my mindset changed my life. Not just with fitness, but with overall mental health and with my relationships with the people around me. Change the victim mindset. Change the negativity. Change the selfishness. Change the laziness. Only you can do it, and do it because you WANT a healthy life.

  2. Balance. Man do I love sushi, cheeseburgers, ice cream, and all the chocolate chip cookies out there. I have struggled to find balance in my life, but it is a work in progress and the benefits contribute greatly to living a healthy lifestyle. I've learned to not obsess over all the calories I eat, all the carbs I eat, and to not completely limit myself. I try to eat healthy meals. I eat protein like meat and eggs, I incorporate more vegetables into my diet than I used to, and I eat fruits and energizing snacks. Now, with that said, I have learned that I HAVE to allow myself to eat other things that I want: like cookies and ice cream. There was a point where I dated a guy and ate fast food almost every night for dinner, sometimes multiple times in a day. That is not balance, and it made me feel terrible emotionally and physically. There was also a time when I was crazy about everything I ate and wouldn't let myself eat anything "unhealthy". Until I couldn't take it anymore and I'd pig out on junk food and sweets. That's also not balance. Allow yourself the benefits of eating well and clean, it is so necessary for the journey of an overall healthy lifestyle for so many reasons (including fitness and medical health benefits), but allow yourself to enjoy food too. That could mean allowing yourself one or two treats a day, or allowing cheat meals, but whatever it is make sure you create a balance.

  3. Commitment. Commitment is huge in having and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Like I said before, there must be a balance, because who can diet forever? I sure can't. I can commit for a certain length of time, but eventually I give it up and it is not something I can achieve and maintain. Set goals and hopes for things that you can commit to and accomplish for what is realistic for you as an individual. Telling yourself self-affirmations is not always fun or easy, thinking positively does not always come naturally, exercising is not easy, but good things in life do not always come easy. That goes back to mindset. Set your goals for what you want for a healthy life, and make it happen. It takes commitment, it takes work and discipline, but things worth having usually do. Trust me, when I am in the middle of a really hard workout and I feel like I am dying, I want to quit, but that drive and determination for the things I want for myself kicks in. I've been having my youngest sister workout with me, and whenever she complains I give her this little pep talk I am giving you. Complaining gets you nowhere, it only takes up more energy and time. Put that energy into being productive and going after the life you want. If it helps, find a buddy or someone to keep you accountable. And most of all keep yourself accountable. Commit and don't give up because it is hard. Living a healthy lifestyle does get easier and becomes more natural, but it takes practice. It has to be something you work towards everyday and continue to work towards. A healthy lifestyle is not something that is every accomplished, but it is something that you continue to strive for and maintain.

  4. Find your thing. Living an overall healthy life does not mean you need to devote yourself to fitness and exercise by any means! But I do believe staying active is an important aspect of living a healthy life. Luckily, there are SO many ways to get active and stay active. Find what works for you so you can stick with it. As I said before, exercising or being active is not always easy, but it should also not be something you dread. If you hate cardio, don't commit to regular running because chances are you won't follow through. Find some for of activity that you enjoy, because being active should be enjoyable! If you dread it, find something else. For me, there are several ways I like to stay active. I do hot pilates and hot yoga, strength training, bike riding, and puppy walking. I also enjoy hiking, though I don't do it often. My mom on the other hand, hates hot pilates and hot yoga and hates riding bikes. Neither are her thing. But she will do youtube cardio videos on the tv, and hit the treadmill at the gym. It could be hiking, cycling, strength training, youtube videos, yoga, pilates, walking, bike riding, running, zumba, etc. Whatever it may be, it really is important to incorporate some type of regular activity/exercise into your routine. It can't be a "if I have time" kinda thing. Pencil it into your schedule, make time. Whether that's once, twice, three times a week or everyday, do what works for you! But I emphasize the importance of it because I see the results of having little to no activity, and I see the results of having regular activity. It changes your life, it makes you feel good, and for anyone starting this journey at a younger age, it sets you up for healthy habits and a healthy future as you get older.

  5. Relax. This one is important. Like when I said there has to be balance in life, there has to be margin too. Set aside time for yourself to relax and rest! It is such a necessity. Take time to be present and in the moment. That can look completely different for different people, so again find what works for you. But make it happen. I like to walk my dog, or sometimes just sit for a long time outside on the swing. Sometimes I get the urge to be mean to myself and say "you have a million things to do girl, stop sitting around", but I retrain my brain each time. The housework can wait. The homework can wait. Prioritize and organize your time so you can make relaxing and resting a non-negotiable.You can't live out a healthy lifestyle where you are happy, energized, active, and good mentally if you have no time to unwind and reflect. It's seriously not possible. Sure it's possible to function this way, but I guarantee you are not living life the way you could be, or enjoying life the way you could be. I've been here, and I see it with my loved ones, and I promise this is huge for living healthy and becoming the best version of yourself. Next, relax about getting it all right. I'll say it a hundred times: it's a journey. You're going to mess up, you're going to have to remind yourself and train your brain and then retrain your brain. You're going to get frustrated and discouraged. Accept that now. But it's normal and IT'S OKAY. It's just part of it. We are human and nobody really has anything figured out. We are all just figuring it out as we go along. So give yourself grace, understand it is all a process, and relax.

I am so passionate about this topic. I really hope this is encouraging and helpful to any and all readers. I am no pro, and often have to be reminded of my own words and advice. Hell, I might have needed this post as a reminder for myself more than anything. I wrote it and didn't post right away, and then the following two days obsessed over what I ate and how I looked. I too fall back into my bad habits, but I will never give up. I believe so strongly that we can learn from each other and constantly grow. I hope you all find a way to live your best and healthiest life.

With love,


Here is the Amazon link for the book I referenced. Check it out: