Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday:) It's nice and sunny here in Tucson. I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about how much my life has changed in the last year. Things have changed in many different ways, but one of the biggest is my healthy lifestyle. As I've said before, I have always been active in terms of working out, but a year ago is when I completely changed my diet to clean eating 80/20 or 90/10 when I'm being reaaaaally good :) Changing my diet and becoming active in new ways has completely changed my life and in so many ways that I'm not really sure I can cover them all, but I want to touch on a few.
When I made the decision to change my diet, it changed SO many things right off the bat! First, I was entering into a whole new territory at the grocery store. Instead of grabbing Lean Cuisines in the frozen food aisle, now I spend the bulk of my time and money on fresh produce. I've eaten things I've never considered before (hello asparagus, beets, kale) and can actually prepare them. I have become a HUUUUGE salad person where I used to hate them. I also never really liked veggies but now they are a daily constant in my diet. I've made countless smoothies, oatmeal bowls, quinoa dishes, fish!, and tons and tons of other dishes I had never eaten before. My daily food prepping, eating, and preparing has done a 180 from where I was at a year ago, buying frozen meals I thought were healthy and trying to limit myself to 1300 calories a day! I've done color 5ks, mud runs, yoga, Zumba, spin classes with live DJs and more, which are all things I wouldn't have ever thought to do before. I've driven up to Phoenix to meet girls in person that I've never met before and make friends (HUGE for me, after years of shyness and being uncomfortable in social situations...that's for a different day though). All of these things have happened to me because of the lifestyle changes I have decided to make.
I FEEL so much better. Seriously. I know that's a , "duh, Paige", kind of thing but honestly I do. My stomach has always been sensitive to what I eat and now my body just feels cleaner, lighter, and happier. Sounds lame but, it's true!
Another huge part of my life that has been affected is my self image. I've never thought I was necessarily fat, overweight, ugly, or anything like that. But I think all females feel some sort of self consciousness at one point or another in life. I've felt better about myself in the last year than I have at any other point in my life, without a doubt. When I know I'm putting good stuff in my body, I just automatically feel better about myself. I know I'm treating my body like a machine and fueling it properly and my work has paid off! I feel good about myself on a daily basis, even on "off" days, and that's HUGE to me. That alone makes it worth while. I'm not horribly uncomfortable in a swim suit, dress, or tank top. I don't really think you can put a price on that kind of comfortableness.
I never feel guilty. All through college I would try to count calories and alternate between hardly eating anything at all and eating whatever I wanted in one sitting and feeling terrible about myself afterwards. Now, I eat so well most of the time that if I get McDonalds once every few months I don't feel a bit guilty about it whatsoever. If I have two cupcakes on vacation, I don't even care. It's all about balance and moderation! If you're spending 80-90 percent of your time eating clean then you have wiggle room to indulge. I don't want to be a body builder with 3% body fat, so I let myself have those little indulgences. That guilty feeling used to haunt me constantly. I always felt bad about myself and it's crazy that food can make us feel so shameful. Now, since I've changed my daily eating habits, I don't get that guilty feeling anymore. It's so liberating.
Finally, and most arguably the largest change, I am studying to become a NASM personal trainer!! This is huge for me, guys. I've never once in my life thought about a career outside of teaching. Seriously, not once. Since grade school I knew what I wanted to do with my life and it never even occurred to me that I might want to venture into another career world. I love teaching and don't truly know if I would ever completely leave it, but studying to become a personal trainer opens SO many doors outside of teaching for me, possibly through my blog, or some other part-time job. Through healthy living, and especially blogging, I've kind of realized that I want a fitness career to be some part of my life. How big or small that part will be I have no idea yet, but I want it there.
I know this post is really long and wordy but it's important to me to explain and show how healthy eating and fitness have truly changed my life. All of the changes and transitions I've made over the last year are shaping my future, and it looks good to me! If you're thinking about making healthy changes to your life, I so encourage it. The icing on the cake is that between nutrition and fitness, the changes I've made are going to allow me to stay on this earth a little longer to enjoy everything life has to offer :)
**I'm not a docor, nutritionist, or personal trainer (yet!). Any changes you make should definitely be approved by a physician first :)