I’m sure I am like many of you who have found that dieting just doesn’t work. Maybe for a while but it’s never sustainable for a lifetime.

The only person I’ve seen stick to a “diet” for over 30 years is my dad…

But it’s not a diet at all. It’s a lifestyle. He cut processed food and sugar out of his diet when he was about 20 years old. Like for real, the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever seen him eat were french fries from McDonald’s … When I was little I thought that it was like a rule that dad’s couldn’t eat sweets… like I saw my Grandpa eating ice cream and I was like “Dad’s arent supposed to have sugar?!” That’s how good he was.

& he never went back! How could he, he felt so great! Then about 4 years ago he was doing some research on veganism. Watched some documentaries, read books, online studies, etc. He has been plant based ever since! It’s not dieting. It’s eating. He doesn’t meticulously count macros or calories, or worry about it. He just eats healthy food. He enjoys it.

Now not everyone can be like my dad, I wish I was more like him! However, with his lifestyle he doesn’t eat out often and has a very set regimen which he loves and works for him. Others have more unpredictable days and can’t guarantee they will be able to cook every meal!

This is why we have to realize how individual our lifestyle and ways of eating should be. When you want to kickstart your health take into consideration your resources, time, career, etc.

I’ve tried a lot of different diets. I tried a regular high protein, low carb diet with dairy and always had stomach issues. I’ve tried intermittent fasting, I’ve tried being vegetarian, I’ve tried the crazy “lose 10 pounds in a week” diets, I’ve tried counting calories while being vegan. Some of these definitely made me lose weight but I would gain it back and have different health problems alongside them. I would see all these posts and fitness girls and models on Instagram and wonder what I was doing wrong? Why didn’t I look like that even when I was doing everything they said!? 28 minute HIIT workouts, treadmill everyday, cutting out all these foods, logging what I ate every day after each meal…. WHY DIDNT I LOOK LIKE THEM?! I became SO obsessed.

Anxiety, depression, guilt all hung over my head ESPECIALLY during mealtime and workouts… and soon I developed an eating disorder that would eventually take months and months of healing to work through.

Obviously, that’s not always the case…

but I had to find the beauty in me. I would never be satisfied until I appreciated myself for the person I really was. I wanted to be  happy and beautiful I just had to realize that those things were already within me! And as cheesy as that sounds, that knowledge alone brought me so much peace and happiness.

I was SO different from all of the girls I had once dreamed of looking like. I had a completely different life, a life I loved and that had so much beauty in it. I had a different chemical makeup, a different body, a differnt mind, different thoughts… things that I cherished and realized I would never want to change. I had to find my own happiness on my own journey.

I have come to find that the best way to “get healthy” is to experiment with what works best for YOUR body and think LONG TERM.

For me, that was switching to a plant based diet, moderate exercise and yoga, and focusing on my mental and emotional health just as much as my physical health.

My stomach wasn’t bloated, I regulated my bowel movements (sorry TMI), my skin cleared up, I had more sustainable energy, I found joy in eating, I had more self- love and acceptance, and overall I just felt free.

Now I maintain a healthy weight, can eat as many healthy calories as I want, workout because I WANT to… I am exploring new passions, working on old ones, getting over anxiety and perfectionism, building and strengthening relationships, and just becoming more ME.

I am not saying this to brag or flaunt WHATSOEVER because I am definitely far from perfect. I still have off days and I still get anxiety and I still get sad… but I just wanted to share my experience in case you were, are, or ever will be in that dark place where I was. I know how terrible it can be… It can feel like you are completely stuck. Like the cycle will NEVER be broken and you are doomed to a miserable life where expectations are just never met. I want to hug you and just encourage you that it can end and you CAN be truly happy! You can really love yourself again, it is so attainable!!!!!! I’ve seen so many amazing people overcome similar struggles and that was what was so inspiring to me.

Once you can clear the fog out of your mind and become more intuitive to your true self… you will start to understand cues from your body to keep it working at it’s best.

We all are made up of different cells and our bodies look and move differently. We are biologically all unique… so naturally, what is healthy for us is completely different for everyone!

Your health journey is so different from anyone else’s.

Take into consideration your own goals, preferences, routines, and passions when you are starting to form your own healthy lifestyle.

Experiment and have fun with finding out what best serves your body!