Apologies for using the word “journey” in my title… it’s such a cliched word! Despite being a pretty active child, I never had any particular inclinations towards making health my career of choice. That being said, I did consider a degree in Dietetics as my interest in food grew, but I didn’t understand the industry enough back then it pursue it. How ironic! I hit my peak and quit gymnastics and spent my teenage years in a sort of sport limbo; knowing that I enjoyed being active, but not being able to translate it into a sport that I liked and having decidedly anti-exercise friends meant that I did little to move my body.
I’ve been running on-and-off since I was ten, so when a friend, Abbie, suggested we did the Race for Life together, I finally had a goal to work towards. Around this time, I had just started going to yoga classes and tried the odd exercise class, so started to move my body maybe three times a week, often attempting Carly Rowena’s early at-home workouts.
Completing the 5km charity run spurred me on, and so shyly one day, I went to my local gym and asked the owner to show me how to use the equipment. I’ll be forever grateful that Ellis got me deadlifting straight away. I spent the remainder of my exam period and summer that year trying to get to the gym two or three times per week and experimenting with home workouts, weekend runs and yoga. By the time I started university, signing up to the gym was one of my first priorities. I was still cautious gym goer at that point, sticking to training with Abbie as we built up our confidence and tried out the range of classes offered. During this time, I was building up an at-home yoga practice, facilitated by online classes.
I’ve been lucky that during this process I had already been cooking and educating my palette to like greener ingredients. So my journey to healthier habits in the kitchen reflected my progress in moving my body. I’ve slowly coaxed myself into liking salads and raw vegetables, and as I gravitated towards a more vegetarian diet, I became more adventurous and confident with which vegetables I ate and how I prepared them. I’m by no means the most inventive recipe creator, but I’ve not had to resort to a ready meal or takeaway in as long as I can remember, if ever. I know that I could be healthier, and cave into over indulgence less, but on the whole I do okay; apart from boredom or occasional emotional eating, I’m more or less free from disordered eating habits. I enjoy food too much to subscribe to the “food as fuel” mentality entirely, but keep a balance of that pleasure and being mindful of the macro- and micronutrients that I consume.
I’m now in a place where this “lifestyle” -if that’s what you want to call it -takes up most of my thoughts. Not in an obsessive way -I hope -but one that excites me. I’m filled with enthusiasm for my first 200 hours of yoga teacher training in summer, and am constantly thinking of lessons, workshops, future training, qualifications and exciting ventures that may fill my future. Last week’s Health Bloggers Summit fuelled that fire, with the impressive range of speakers all surfing me on, and to maybe do so a little sooner than my cautious approach would otherwise suggest.
Although I am by no means saying that you should have an al-consuming passion, or that you should feel compelled to turn your interests into your vocation, sometimes it pays to run with your instincts. A year into writing my blog and living more healthily, I lost my mojo and wasn’t sure whether I should continue blogging. And whilst I love blogging and everything that comes with it, I now know that it would be nothing without having my interest in yoga, nutrition and health driving it forward. Looking at it, I need all of these factors to allow me to grow, connect with others and learn. I would have never thought three years ago that my blog would leave me considering a career change before I’ve even started working. I still have a year left before I graduate from my Bachelor’s, so I have time to decide on my next steps. But in the meantime, I know what will be on my mind.