With all my clients I constantly empower them to share their story, show their face, and speak their truth on their social media platforms. However, there is a lot of fear and caution associated with that and I can understand where that comes from. When I started my blog about a year ago I also felt the same way.
I only knew how to write like an academic, I hated sharing my life on social media, and I didn’t have any idea of how to write a blog! After staring at the screen for a solid two hours I finally let all the resistance go and I began to type and that is how BNL was formed. So, since I tell all of my clients to share their authentic selves online I must always practice what I preach so I thought I would share this with all of you.
Here is the first story I ever shared on the World Wide Web for all to see:
Here at BNL, we recognize that owning our story is what makes us unique. It is what helps define us, helps us grow from struggle, and ultimately leads us to the live a life we can be proud of.
My search to find a happy, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle began January 2014. It truly was just a simple new years resolution. At the age of 23, I was finishing my Honour’s Degree in Psychology and I was finally reaching the end of my post-secondary education. I decided to take a year off to figure my life out. However, in order to keep moving forward and growing I set out in January 2014 with the intention to achieve my ideal physical body.
Throughout my entire life I have struggled with being confident in my own skin. But for the first time I was going to make it a priority. I was going to fight the confidence battle head on. I learned about how to weight lift effectively and the impact of diet. But most importantly I learned to dig deep and find my inner confidence. The amount of courage it took to walk up in between a bunch of men in the weight room was terrifying. I had to constantly reassure myself that I was beautiful… even with the heavy breathing, make up smearing, sweaty mess and all.
In order to measure my goal, I signed up for the BCABBA Fitness Competition that took place in my city. The journey I took over 5 months was a long one. That story shall be saved for another time. However, I will tell you that I finally was able to discover what it felt like to be confident, beautiful, and sexy.
Once coming out of competition mode I began to realize that I was struggling with the fear of losing my ideal body. Therefore, my mind became heavily focused on my diet. I was overly concerned about what I was eating and whether or not it was “healthy”. I also was very scared that food was going to make me “fat”. My goal oriented self knew that something about this current story line was not going in the right direction so I had to change. Therefore, in January 2015 I set out with another intention. This was going to be the year of learning how to eat in a healthy and conscious way; I was going to be free from restricting and counting calories and macronutrients.
I removed my measuring cups, food scale, and MyFitnessPal and just began to eat healthy food. Over the course of the year I was inspired by Pinterest recipes and Facebook articles. The internet helped me learn about the benefits of all types of food in a typical western diet. However, even though I was not counting I was still analyzing my meals. I always had to make sure I was getting enough protein, eating the appropriate amount of carbs, and not over eating healthy fats.
I did not like that I still saw my food in terms of numbers. I could slowly feel my body changing and I eventually lost my sexy, beautiful, and confident self. I was just so self conscious of how much food I was putting into my body. I did my research and observed others’ lifestyles to try to find some inspiration. I had an epiphany after watching a documentary called Cowspiracy. I decided in order to break my negative habits with food… I was going to completely cut out animal products (aka. major protein sources) and go Vegan!
I have a go hard or go home attitude. I believe that if you are going to change your mindset you have to be willing to take risks and you need to make large changes in your lifestyle. Therefore, in order to stop obsessing over how much protein so I wouldn’t lose my muscle… I decided to take the animal protein completely out of the equation. Before this decision, I was eating animal products five times a day and was ingesting between 150-180 grams of protein. The switch to a mostly vegan lifestyle has been one that I do not regret for one moment. My body has now come back down to its happy and healthy weight. Also, rather than thinking about how much protein, carbs, and fats I am eating… I now wonder what amazing vegan recipe I can make next!
So here we are half way through 2016 and I can tell you this one is for the books. I am just heading into my 25th year of being alive and coming out the other end of that quarter life crisis I was forewarned about. I now have set an intention for 2016. It is the year that I establish a balance with work, love, and life. The experiences I have had so far have been amazing and they will slowly roll out within this blog.
What My Story has Taught Me
Throughout these crucial years of my life I learned that to get through the struggle I need to start focusing on myself. I also need to trust my instincts. By focusing on the inhale and exhale that helps me breathe, the healthy food, books, and exercise that nourish my mind, body and soul and the people, nature and myself that show me love daily… I will slowly have everything I have ever dreamt of in my life. These three words Breathe, Nourish, Love are so simple yet so powerful. Here at BNL, I hope to share, inspire, and grow with you.
Thank you for being apart of the BNL community.
Just another Millennial on the search for a happy, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle ♥
I read this now and I am amazed at how far I have come since this letter. I am continuously a work in progress but this goes to show that anyone can show up and tell their story. Maybe no one will be interested… but what there are people out there who are?!
Until next time,