On clean eating and exercising

I have always refused to subscribe to a diet mentality. First off, I love eating, and anything that restricts me from doing that does not belong in my mental space or life. Also, to be realistic, weight loss was never a need for me – I was blessed with a relatively high metabolism, so I could literally eat all the junk in the world and not gain weight. Well, until I turned 25 that is – things just went downhill from there. I started gaining weight around my mid-section, but restricting my food intake was never an option for me, so I just made friends with my flab. Some years and two pregnancies later, it started to get to me. I had stopped going to the gym, which never showed results anyway, and encountered some gut issues (hello SIBO) – so describing my body as soft became an understatement. I finally reached the point of feeling fed up – and I say finally because I believe that change cannot happen if the deepest dark pit of despair is not reached.

I tried Classpass for a while in hopes of finding a form of exercise that did not feel like torture. I came across Roshi Ross Pilates and after 3 sessions with her I knew I found the one(s) – I fell in love with both reformer pilates and Roshi, who I now call Xanax in human form. I started buying her 50-class packages and completed 200 classes with her. These days (hi Covid) I exercise at home, sometimes waking up at 5 am to do so! Seeing your body tone up and change is mind-blowing and motivating, and the feel-good feeling is real and addictive. I fell in love with exercising, it became more than a way to lose weight. I now see it as a way to gain strength and honor my body. Our bodies are our homes, and it is our duty to take care of our abodes in all aspects.

So naturally, clean eating found its way into my life. I just wanted to eliminate all junk ingredients and eat real food. I started reading labels, avoiding processed items and looking for simple and easy recipes that can make clean eating easier. Although we are not vegan or vegetarian at home, I am making a conscious effort to focus on increasing our consumption of plant-based meals throughout the week.

On mental health

I have always been interested in mental health, and actually focused on anxiety and depression in my Master’s thesis. However, theory is different than practice, and when I was diagnosed with anxiety in my late twenties, I was initially in denial. Looking back though, I knew I always suffered from it. From bouts of nausea in times of stress (read bullied in school) that medicine could not alleviate and that ugly feeling in the stomach that ‘something bad is going to happen’, I was happy to know that all these unexplained symptoms had a name. Living with anxiety and attempting to heal from it has been quite the journey, and I will be sharing some insight into what helps me the most.