The Before: In 2012 I was a 21 year-old college student on the verge of graduating and living in one of the most expensive cities in the country: New York. Although I was about to get my degree, I had no money and no job. It wouldn’t be long before my dreams would turn into what felt like a nightmare.
So I did what any millennial would do: I moved back home with Mom and Dad. To say going from New York City to West Palm Beach, Fla. wasn’t easy is an understatement. From being on my own in the city that never sleeps to returning to a city where all the snowbirds do is sleep was a tough transition. I coped with it in the most unhealthy ways possible: I drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney and ate like a pig. It was really no surprise that I gained the weight I did.
The Beginning: I woke up one day and realized that nothing was going to change for the better unless I accepted my situation. I could no longer fight the fact that I was living back home. I had to embrace the change and start taking steps to do something about it. So, in a typical Britney Spears fashion — I had a meltdown, shaved my head and started over.
The How: They say old habits die hard. But I could no longer do what I was doing to myself and transform from what I was to who I wanted to be. It wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew it. Here’s what I did:
I began by taking a week-long “staycation.” Rather than spending thousands of dollars to fly out to a wellness retreat, I created my own. Out with the old and in the the new! I threw out all the cigarettes, alcohol and junk food and promised myself, “no more.” I spent my week by taking a five-day cleanse and a detox bath everyday (here‘s how I did it). I went to a day spa, treated myself to a massage and facial and spent the rest of the day in mineral pools and steam rooms.
After my staycation, I started a juice cleanse. I replaced two meals a day with a freshly pressed red juice with ginger, kale, beets, celery, apples, carrots, lemon and spinach. I did the detox juice cleanse for two months and slowly transitioned out. I still try to have one to two glasses a week.
Exercise has always been an enemy of mine; I get bored at gyms and lose interest with group classes. However, back in high school, tennis was always a passion of mine, and it was a sport that felt less like exercise and more like fun. So, I picked up my racquet, joined a tennis league and hit the courts again.
I also got back into hot yoga, something that I had picked up along the way in college (here‘s my first experience). Hot yoga may seem crazy or out of the ordinary, but for me, there was something about each class that kept me coming back. It was not only a rigorous detox workout for my body, but a challenge for my mind and spirit.
Finally, I started to be more health-conscious of what I ate and drank. I’ve been a vegetarian since 2010, but that never meant that ice cream or Oreos were off limits. Rather than being a junk-food-pseudo-vegetarian, I decided to really embrace the clean-eating, organic lifestyle and go vegan. I really couldn’t have done this diet without the education, resources and products I have at my disposal by working at Vitacost.com.
The Now: I never step on a scale and have never really judged my weight based on a number, so I wish I could tell you the pounds that I lost, but I can’t. However I can tell you how I feel, which is healthy, energized, fit, self-aware and empowered. I found the two key factors in order to transition into a healthy lifestyle are patience and persistence. Despite infomercials about quick weight-loss solutions or fast-acting lipo procedures, acclimating your body to a healthy, non destructive, lifestyle takes time. Most importantly it’s not fad or six-week plan, it’s a lifestyle and it’s a journey that never ends…so enjoy it!