My health story: from beer to veggies.

From reading a TON of blogs and about the writers behind them, it seems that a majority of them have pursued nutrition and changed their eating habits because of a history with disordered eating and/or disordered body image. I too had an unbalanced/unhealthy past life and have found passion and rescue in nutrition and well-being. I also began to eat healthier because I wanted to shed extra body weight (as in baby love handles) I began to gain during my last year in High School, but it was my rebellious, unsatisfied-with-life feeling, low-self esteem, and heavy partying that made up most of my unhealthy teen life.

I’m sure many others have been or are going through a similar experience of mine.

I can’t really pinpoint anything that has happened in my early childhood that made me feel this way. It seemed to have all started when I began studying at this new elementary school half way through 6th grade (now thinking about this late at night is making me tear a little haha….woo! let it all out girl! It definitely makes me sad thinking about what I went through and how it affected me so much, but they are also tears of joy of how far I have come and where I am NOW.) I felt very excluded being the new girl at this small school and having a heavy Spanish accent. This feeling of social isolation lasted throughout high school, and I really let it get to me. I got into situations to try to fit in, and then I began to look very rebellious.

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I became very lost within my thoughts and who I was. These heavy feelings dragged me down a lot.

I was a big time party girl in my late teens. That’s what I was. I pounded 40z in 5 minutes, I skipped dinner to save some cash for alcohol (ayaiyai), I snuck off expensive wine bottles from the house (sorry Dad….-he already knows-), friends and I drank wine out of plastic bottles in the bathroom stalls before a concert, and I always partied with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle in the other. My party friends at the time said it was awkward to see me without a bottle! I sure did love Jack Daniels (most kinds of whiskey), PBR, and Mickey’s.

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My first semester of college I wanted to cut back on partying and start to do good in school for once. Where did I end up for college of all places? Humboldt County. Thee best place to cut back on parties haha. I went in with my own expectations, and it ended up being the total opposite. I was surrounded by a lot of party students at the dorms.  Sooo that first year did not go as planned haha. I ended up failing all of my classes except for art. I tried to study and cut back on partying, but it was hard staying in my quiet little room studying and not being where everyone was! Besides all the unwanted intoxication that I indulged in, I made a few good friendships in Humboldt that hold great, great memories.

After my first semester in Humboldt County, I moved south to sunny Santa Cruz to finish my next 3 years of college and where I am here to this day. Here is where my big health transformation took place. I finally began to deviate from alcohol. I’m not one to have an addictive personality. I smoked a lot of cigarettes, drank a ton, but never got addicted? Wellll maybe after a week of not smoking cigs I would get a mild crave, and I’d have one or two, then I could go on for a few weeks without it and kept doing better and better. Also, living with housemates rather than in the dorms helped me tremendously to focus on my lifestyle and school. I also found something I enjoyed and was good at. Photography! I was obsessed with it. Loved it. I wanted to stop feeling like crap, I wanted to stop sleeping in and wasting half of the day, and I wanted to feel good inside. It was hard distancing myself from parties. I realized who my party friends were and who my real friends were. It was hard, but I stuck with it because I knew I was doing the right thing for myself. The process of healing can be hard.

I also wanted to lose weight, so I began to eat very small portions of food, those “healthy” frozen meals from the store that pretty much their dressings are made of pure flavored chemicals with a binder to hold them in place and act as a dressing, low calorie energy bars that leave you feeling hungry in 10 minutes, these nutrient enhanced soy-whole wheat laden muffins (familiar with Vitamuffins? hehe I used to be all over those!), & highly processed-high glycemic index-bursting with our beloved GMOs- Kashi cereal. No wonder I went through binges, cravings, and a growly tummy. I ended up being very skinny, still getting colds frequently in the winter, experiencing acne  around my mouth, and getting mild headaches right after eating (thought of going to the doctor).

I was reading about nutrition in magazines and obviously that’s where I was learning about “health”. I then gravitated towards reaching out for the books at café book stores and that’s how I began learning of in depth information about eating natural, whole foods, and what the body is biologically meant to be nourished with. Two of my first few books that stood out to me the most where Harvest For Hope and  12 Steps to Raw Foods. Great inspirational books. Reading this information clicked with me in an instant. This was the moment when I stepped outside, totally brainwashed, but in all good intentions, realized that what we put in our bodies is one of the major causes of how we function, and I wanted to share this with others.

Things began to change in me. I realized after a few months I had not experienced headaches after eating anymore. My acne slowly began to disappear. I stopped taking prescribed iron pills. I woke up feeling refreshed and almost…rejuvenated? My facial skin just felt so good upon waking up. Cravings- GONE. It was easier to maintain my weight. I used to SUFFER with allergies, and not anymore shortly after changing my eating. My hair gained an incredible shine to it. I felt lighter in my body, clear headed, and experienced this energy of happiness and motivation in me (something I really lacked before). I felt more confident with myself, more comfortable around people, more balanced, and enjoyed connecting with others, whereas before I used to keep to myself a lot from people. Now I love meeting others, getting to know different personalities, where they come from, why they think how they think, and I love conversations. Now, this may not be entirely an effect of my healthy habits. I feel college has had a positive influence in me as well and has helped me to find confidence within myself and open up more. But I do strongly feel that my healthy habits have given me a foundation to easily improve my life style. If my body was dealing with internal stress from excess toxins and poor eating habits, I would be feeling brain-fogged, lazy, unmotivated, tired, unable to think clearly…and I even think that all the harmful chemicals in the processed food I was eating and the excess alcohol and cigarette consumption may have contributed to these feelings of disconnectedness. All those icky chemicals affect our bodies in so many ways, even disrupting our brain neurons and entire nervous system.

It’s pretty neat to have typed this blog post. Writing typing down my thoughts made me track back and visit my past for a little while. I feel my life took a 180 degree turn! But it was all step by step. Progress. One little change opens a gateway for another little change, and that little change, attracts another little change. Now I’m here. I feel I have come so far. I want to finish this off by saying that you don’t need to be stuck where you are with your health. It takes you to bring a change. You bring it. Find out what you benefit from by making healthier habits.

Have you gone or are going through a similar experience?

So now this is how I get my buzz onnn!

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yea baby : )

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