Hi there! One of the things that I have the most trouble doing is talking about myself (Funny that that’s what blogs are basically about right?). But in all seriousness, in any conversation that I’m having with someone, I am constantly thinking about whether or not I’m talking too much about myself, if they are talking too much about themselves, or if either of us are really listening to what the other is saying?
During the times that I’m blogging, I am really going to work to put those crazy thoughts to rest so that you all can get a better chance to know me. My hope is that it will give you a better understanding of who I really am and what this blog is about.
Currently, I’m 23 years old and living with my parents in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I just recently moved back home a few months ago to go back to school and pursue a career in dietetics! I wrote a little more about my experience changing careers here. Before my move back home, I lived in downtown Chicago with my older sister, Dominique, who is also pretty active in fitness. Her and I grew up playing soccer and over the course of the years, I’ve tried to infringe my healthy foods upon her! I’d say it’s somewhat worked.
Throughout my entire life growing up, I’ve always been active – whether it was from dancing to playing soccer to running around like a maniac in my parent’s backyard, I’ve always been on the move – my brain works in the exact same manner. Growing up, my main focus was playing soccer. In the fall of 2010, my competitive athletic career officially ended when I played my last game of collegiate soccer. As most of you may have experienced, ending a sport, hobby, or any other similar activity is a huge transition because these hobbies truly become a part of our identities – in college, I identified myself an athlete- going to class in sweats and carrying my soccer bag with me all of the time. Since that part of my life has ended, I’ve tried to find other ways to stay active, healthy, and motivated. This acts as the source of inspiration behind the fitness aspect of my blog.
Additionally, I’ve had an interest in healthy eating since my senior year of college. My journey with food has been quite an interesting one. When I first started trying to “eat healthier”, I focused on eating only low-fat or fat-free foods. I didn’t know any other way – I didn’t pay attention to sugar, protein, or vitamin intake – I just restricted my fat intake. It wasn’t through reading more materials, researching other foods, and growing my interest in healthy eating that I realized “fats” were not the only thing to focus on. In fact – I realized that fats were good for you! (Often times, this is how people interpret what is “healthy” just due to a lack of knowledge – this inspires me to make change!!). In college, I limited myself to a pretty strict diet – I ate a lot of salads, oatmeal, and egg whites. I was running a lot for soccer and my body looked great – but I wasn’t happy. My diet was too restrictive – I was too rigid and wouldn’t allow myself a lot of the foods that I had grown up loving. I realized this was not the route for me either.
I went through another phase of a food lifestyle when I ended my soccer career, got a job, and started cooking my own meals. From working at Whole Foods, I gradually began to learn more about different diets – vegetarianism, veganism, and gluten-free – and the various reasons for living by them. In March of 2011, I watched the short documentary “Forks over Knives” – and was changed forever. The documentary portrayed animal abuse/slaughter houses in ways that I had never knew existed before. For 6 months following that day, I didn’t eat a single piece of meat. During this time, while I felt a better sense of humanity and connection with nature and the animal life, my body did not. I made sure to consume alternate sources of protein; however, I experienced a lot of stomach pain, indigestion, and I was constantly craving carbohydrates. In July of 2011, I decided to do what was best for my body and start eating meat again, but in more moderated amounts.
For the past few months, I have felt my best yet. Despite being my heaviest in terms of the “scale”, I feel my healthiest. Food is not so much a focus as it was – my diet is more nutrient-balanced, I allow myself to eat whatever I want (always in moderation and/or a healthified version), and do what feels best for my body. While I am not a master chef by any means and my recipes are pretty basic, I have experimented with foods like Quinoa, Chia Seeds (GREAT!), and incorporated more healthy fats like avocado and nuts into my diet. I want to note that this has not been an easy adjustment, there are always days that are harder than others, but I always remind myself how good it feels to fuel my body with healthy, nutritious foods. That has always been my inspiration.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading a little bit more about myself and my journey with fitness and food. I can’t wait to share my knowledge with y’all and engage in some wonderful conversions.