I was at a crossroads. Everything I thought I thought about food, diet, and lifestyle was on the line. Was I going to make the choice, or was I going to wait until I had to make it?
Something they teach you in the study of psychology, specifically in life coaching, is that all change comes about by choice or by crisis. This is so very true, as life often teaches us. This is my story of what wellness means to me and how I’ve gotten to where I am today. In the lines of this wellness journey, I hope you are able to connect with my story and be prompted to think about your own personal choices and what you need to do in your own life. No judging, no pressure, just my own story.
I grew up before the organic movement really became mainstream. I remember a popular Christian comedian joking about taking vitamins and just eating what you want, and I adopted this outlook on life without really thinking about it. I didn’t like most vegetables, and the ones I did weren’t really considered to be at the top of the “good for you” list (talking about you, potatoes!). I would give anything a try, and I’m very thankful for my mom’s persistence in getting me to try new vegetables and eat just a few bites of this vegetable or that one, yet by the time I entered adulthood I was just excited to be able to live life without those dreaded veggies (except for my friends, the potatoes). I had a mindset that said I would eat what I wanted, use portion control, and thereby not struggle with weight. I hadn’t ever really struggled with my weight (my slight unhappiness with my waistline at the time is laughable to me, now) and I was overall pretty healthy, as far as nutritional choices impacted my body, so it seemed to be a pretty good strategy. The fact that the list of vegetables I like totaled four (seriously- four) didn’t trouble me in the slightest.
When I was nineteen years old, I moved overseas to Haiti to live on the mission field. I had been on trips to the Dominican Republic and China prior to that, so I understood that my diet was going to change and I wasn’t going to have a lot of options. Yes, I would probably even have to learn to eat the dreaded bean. Well, fast-forward to my twenty-first birthday, and I am moving back to the States to marry my sweetheart. My year and a half living overseas taught me to love onions, swallow beans without chewing, and learn how to get by on whatever food was available (a huge plus was the cooking skills I returned with- my time overseas taught me to make do with whatever I had, which eventually led to my love for making up recipes, but that’s besides the point).
Stateside living…I had started gaining weight for the first time, really, just before I moved overseas. There were some internal issues in my body that contributed to this, and I actually continued to gain for the first few months in Haiti. With some medical direction and a bit of a menu change that happened consequently at the same time (and not intentionally), I returned to the States for my twenty-first birthday in good shape and at a healthy weight. However, I was at a sales job (read: sitting all day) and I was in the midst of planning a wedding, all while working and seeing my fiancé after work about 40 minutes away from where I lived, which meant a whole lot of eating out. I started gaining weight, and I really peg this time as the climax of not really caring what I was eating (in the midst of the bliss of new love) and gaining weight without doing anything to change it. Then, Thanksgiving hit, and there was a health crisis. My fiancé’s health took a bit of a tumble, and I was there to walk through it with him. For the first time, I needed to change my diet and start focusing on low-to-no-carb meals, filled with veggies. I took to cooking dinner at my fiancé’s house on my way home from work so we could eat together before I would head home. We got gym memberships at our local YMCA, and we started working out together as soon as we each finished work.
This worked wonders in our bodies! My dislike for veggies pushed me to seek out vegetables I had never tried before, and I discovered several I really, truly liked! Not only did my fiancé’s health improve, but we both began loosing weight. This was great, with our wedding date looming ahead. Just a few short months later, we were significantly skinnier and healthier, and we were married. Then, alas…some of you already know what I’m going to say. If you aren’t married, let me warn you. The “Freshmen Fifteen” has nothing on newlyweds. You are in love, you are no longer thinking about fitting in a wedding dress or impressing relatives, you are already married, and you enjoy eating together. There is a huge temptation to stop going to the gym and just enjoy life and food together, and that’s exactly what I did.
Fast-forward to the end of the year, and it was a crazy selling season for my husband’s business. Just like most (if not all) of the people in the industry we knew, we ate out a lot. My health had been suffering due to the issues I referred to earlier, which had very little to do with diet. My cousin (and co-author of this blog) had been reaching out to me about Essential Oils over the course of a few months and I decided to give them a try, due to her recommendation, just as we went overseas to visit my husband’s family for New Year’s. We returned
fat and happy with almost eight months of disregarding our health under our married belts. I was so sick upon our return, and continued to be that way for nearly a month (a cold and flying don’t make for good traveling buddies). Meanwhile, my box of Young Living Essential Oils sat unopened until my cousin asked me if I had tried them and I decided to break them open. I didn’t do much with most of them for the next several months, although I did find out that I loved Peppermint and Progessence Plus.
By that fall, I had really taken note of some of the things I saw posted in the Facebook groups I was in for the Essential Oils, over the course of six months or so. We had had some health issues come up in our home again, and we had gained a good bit of additional weight, so I was working on make our diet more low-carb. Nothing too drastic was being implemented, but a general awareness of what we were eating was becoming important to me. I was reading some books on cleansing and I really started recognizing the connection between what I was eating and how I was feeling, as a part of the bigger puzzle. In October, just as the selling season started again, my husband and I committed to working out daily, six days a week. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired, as the phrase goes, and this is really when our lives turned a corner. Every time we had changed our habits, it had been due to crisis. We needed to change, or some really serious things were going to start happening in our bodies, things we were already experiencing signs of. This time, we stood at the precipice of change with no crisis edging us forward. Changing would be a choice.
Read part two here.
Interested in Essential Oils? As mentioned in this post, Young Living Essential Oils played a big role in helping me discover a healthier lifestyle and becoming interested in wellness. Check out our Wellness page for additional information, or check out our website for additional information. If you decide to become a member under us, you will gain membership to the private Facebook group I mentioned in this post. Thanks for taking the time to read a bit about how to support us and this blog!