Switching Over to a Healthy Lifestyle: The Reality of How My Life Changed

Getting Started:IMG_20130223_095557

It has been exactly a year since I started my switch over to living a more healthy lifestyle. I have always kind of ate healthy and kind of worked out but I was never committed to giving my full efforts in the gym and sacrificing foods from my diet.

I used to think that I was being “healthy” by eating Special K cereal and snacking on 100 calorie packs all of the time. Now that I realize what I was putting into my body, it sickens me that many people think they are healthy by eating all of that processed crap. Marketing and lack of education are steering many people in the wrong direction. It took reconnecting and moving in with an old friend, Maren, for me to learn what healthy living really was. She helped educate me on reading labels and switching to a more natural diet. I owe a lot to her for getting me on the right track. Since then I have really seen what a change in your diet can do for your body. Many times we think it is all about the efforts we put in at the gym but its also about what we do at the kitchen table.

My workout routines have become more intense. I started with Body Pump and Spin and have since moved on to Tabata, GRIT, CX, and have even started teaching some spin classes! I have learned that teaching classes brings you to a whole new level of fitness! I feel that I work harder through my own classes than I do as a participant. I love it!!

The Effects on My Body:

When I decided to commit to healthy lifestyle I knew that it wasn’t something that was going to happen over night so I gradually started cutting out the bad foods and adding in the good. It is amazing how you become more in tune with your body once you start fueling it properly.

My body has gone through some crazy changes this past year! I’m not talking toning up and looking better but some internal changes as well. Which really proved to me that changing my lifestyle was really having an effect.

The first thing that I noticed was more energy, so much energy that I would often only be able to sleep for three to four hours at a time. I would go to bed and wake up around 1:00 a.m. every night. It took me awhile to get back to sleep and this was a frustrating time but my body eventually adjusted and I was able to start sleeping through the night after about five weeks. I am very against taking any kind of sleep aide so I made myself get through it. I did however take Melatonin at night to help me relax, this seemed to help a little bit.

After I was finally able to sleep at night my body went through yet another change, I lacked a menstrual cycle for not one, not two, not three, but four months!! Seems ideal right?? I actually didn’t mind it being gone and I knew that upping your fitness levels can have this effect on the female body. I really didn’t worry too much about it until it got up to three months then I started to feel a bit concerned. I did some research and decided to wait it out awhile and after four months I was back to normal.

It may be weird but I love the fact that I experienced these two things. I feel that it is my body telling me that it notices the change of lifestyle.

The Negative Effects of Switching to a Healthy Lifestyle:

Negative effects?? Yes, not caused by me but by the people around me. It has been a year and my parents and family members still don’t understand my reasoning for not joining them on fried chicken night or making them grill me a chicken breast instead of steak. They look at me funny when I order something they have never heard of off of a menu at a restaurant. Don’t get me wrong I indulge every once in awhile, actually probably more than I should but my parents were both raised on farms. They eat bread and butter with every meal and have seconds at dinner time, no food goes to waste mentality. I love them dearly but eating with them is still a struggle for me.20130609_193736

Going out to eat for any occasion is also difficult. I love the atmosphere but I always get anxiety about what I am going to order and what are the other people at the table are thinking when I order. I sound picky because I don’t want mayo, sour cream, or cheese. It is so strange to me that someone can order a burger and fries and no one bats an eye but if you order a salad it is a BIG DEAL!

Enough Negativity time for POSITIVE!

There are SOOO many things I love about my life now that I am eating better and have become a gym “freak”!!

* First of all LOVE grocery shopping. Picking out healthy food is so much fun to me. Fruits and vegetables are the best because you don’t have to worry about an ingredient list!! Iherb.com has also become my favorite website and place to order groceries and supplements from 🙂

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* I am so much more confident with myself!

* This year I have ran my first 5k, 10k, and mud run20130704_082357

* I started teaching spin class

* I have met so many amazing people at the gym who I share common goals with. We have become a workout family.

* I have become more educated about healthy living and love continuing to educate myself on it. I read about it ALL the time.

* I got to attend Blend Retreat 2013 in Park City, Utah and meet some amazing women who shared a common interest with me!!

* I love cooking healthy food, especially snacks!

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* I take a lot more pictures

* I started a blog!!

I have really learned that this is all one big process. It takes time for your body to adjust both inside and out. I love waking up each day and seeing improvements in myself from week to week or month to month. One of the most important things is to not take this all TOO SERIOUSLY. You still need to have nights out with the girls, cheat days, ice cream, days off from the gym, and of course chocolate. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t try to rush to see results, and compliment yourself daily. 🙂