Long ago I wrote Part 1 for this and somehow time sneaks past me so I apologize that's taken me this long to do Part 2. It's just a very personal post so it takes me awhile to write it and I just haven't been able to find the time to really sit down and get into it until now.
So at the end of Part 1, I was just getting over a month long sickness (which my doctor couldn't figure out what was wrong with me) and I had a cholesterol count of 270 at 19. My doctor basically said I need to make some lifestyle changes or things were only going to get worse. Now my current diet back then was junk food; pizza, soda, cookies, candy, fast food etc...and I wasn't working out. However, I wasn't gaining any weight either, but my body obviously was extremely unhealthy.
I made some changes in my diet, but it was really hard. At that point I hated veggies so that was something I forced myself to eat. Looking back, I still don't think I ate that well, but at least I had cut out a lot of the junk food. I also remember about a year after getting sick, getting a physical during a P.E. course at my community college and they told me I still had high cholestoral. I couldn't believe it, but at that time I just didn't understand what a healthy diet was.
When I moved out of my parents house at 21 down to Los Angeles to go to school is when I started cooking for myself. I started shopping at Trader Joe's and buying healthier options. So I was doing a lot better at this point than I was when I was 19. I barely was eating junk food at that time, but I definitely wasn't eating organic and was not eating anywhere near the amount of fruits and veggies that I needed to.
Also, I had another downfall. Now, I'm trying to be totally transparent on here so don't judge, but when they say live it up in your 20s...well, I did. From the moment that I moved down to L.A. I started going out and drinking a lot. I wasn't an alcoholic by any means, but my girlfriends and I would go out about 3 to 4 times a week to the clubs. I mean, that's just what we did and I think a lot of girls in their early 20s in college can relate to this. Do I look back and regret that I did this? No, I had a great time and I am the type of person that still likes to have a good time every once in a while (like once a month these days) so I take it for what it was worth.
However, I just wish that I was more aware of what I was doing to my body at that time. When you're in your 20s, you feel like you're invincible. You party, then you wake up and feel fine and go out the next night. If I did that today, I would feel like crap for a week. Back then, it was no big deal. Can anyone else relate to this? I hope so!
Another thing about drinking and losing your inhibitions...you tend to eat a lot and it tends to be junk. I remember almost after every time we went out, we would either get pizza or stop by Jack In The Box to get a burger and fries. So now I was eating junk food again. I would try to eat healthy during the day and then we would all binge on fast food when we came home from going out. For some reason too, I still thought I was being healthy. I can't remember if I was in complete denial or just didn't know better, but I think I was just having too much fun to care.
As I got into my mid 20s, I wasn't going out as much (probably like two nights a week), but I was still doing the same thing. Drinking and then binging on junk. I would work out and wonder why I couldn't get rid of my little belly I always seemed to have. Now, I've been lucky that I never had a weight problem throughout all this. At the same time you can still be skinny, but have the body fat of someone who is overweight. That was me.
This lifestyle lasted until I was about 27...that's a good six years, which seems like a long time, but in hindsight went by really fast. Half of me wanted to be healthy and the other half just didn't care and wanted to have a good time.
Also, as far as a beauty routine at that time, it was so completely different than it is now. I used to be a drugstore beauty junkie. Every time there was a new product that promised to get rid of wrinkles (and I didn't even have wrinkles back then) or some other anti aging product I would buy it. I shopped a lot at Bath and Body Works because I thought they're products were natural. I even was a big fan of self tanner which I shudder at now. I would waste so much money on these products that really did nothing for my skin and definitely did not make me look any better.
When I turned 27 was a turning point for some reason. First, I really started to question what I was eating. Second, I started to question what were in the beauty products I was using. All those ingredients that I couldn't pronounce, were they really safe for me to use? This leads me into my third phase in Part 3. We'll call it the awakening...when I really made a huge lifestyle change that I'm still living today.
It's a little embarrassing to write about my downfalls to be honest, but if I can influence just one person to lead a healthier lifestyle, then it's worth it. Stay tuned for Part 3...I promise you won't have to wait long. Actually there might even be a Part 4 down the line as well because I'm going through some more positive lifestyle changes as we speak.
You can read about Part 1 here...
I would love to hear your comments and questions regarding your journey to a healthier life or about mine.