Well hello! It’s been a while. Like eight months a while. Why did I even pay for this thing last year?! Kidding… but seriously, where the heck have I been?! To be honest, these past eight months have had their ups and downs. Today I’m sharing why, and how I’m getting back to balanced.
About eight months ago, my boyfriend of four and a half years and I broke up. It was something I thought long and hard about. Our lives had become so intertwined and we weren’t unhappy, but yet, something still didn’t feel right. He just didn’t feel like my person – he is a wonderful, kind, loving person, just not the person I’m supposed to do life with. That was the ultimate reason I felt like I needed to end things. And I think eventually, he graciously understood and we peacefully went our separate ways.
At first, I was extremely upset – understandably so. We were a huge part of each other’s lives. We lived together. I was devastated that I caused this suffering for us. I didn’t eat much. I hardly cooked. I obviously didn’t post here or on Instagram much. I unintentionally lost weight. It was really, really hard. We had basically built this identity and life together, and then all of a sudden it was gone. How does one go about re-inventing oneself and facing the world as a single twenty-something? I had no freaking clue.
After about a month and a half, I started to feel better. I started embracing the freedom, change, and opportunities that came with this newfound single relationship status. It was exciting. It was almost this feeling of exhilaration – like anything could happen, any night could be epic. I could eat popcorn and drink wine for dinner and not feel guilty about not feeding someone a healthy meal. I could book a trip without checking anyone’s calendar but mine. I started embracing the “yes” and filling up my calendar and nights. I reached out to old friends to get dinner and catch up, I made new friends when traveling. I couldn’t sit still, or just have a free night to myself at home. I always wanted to be doing something.
But at some point, I think I went a little overboard. All of a sudden, all of the things I said yes to started to add up. Yes to a weekend trip, yes to going out to dinners and bars, yes to another drink, yes to male attention, yes to pizza and late night junk food. It didn’t help that I was averaging 3 work/personal trips per month starting in January. I’ve never been one to spend every night in my hotel room when I’m out of town, but even more so I felt this sense that I was missing out if I didn’t do something or see something or meet someone or eat somewhere every night. I truly have never been so afflicted with FOMO!
Which brings me to where I am now. I got straight up tired, burnt out, and craving a normal routine and some freaking balance. For me, this was a physical wake up call to address some mental things I’ve been avoiding. Looking back, I think all of the nonstop travel, eating, drinking, general busyness, and fun was a way to distract myself from introspection. Like I mentioned before, it’s scary to take on the world by yourself, especially when you’ve been in a cozy relationship for 4.5 years. I know I still have a lot of improvements to make, goals to set, and thinking about who I want to be and what I want to do.
For me, balance has always been hard, and it took a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for me. Difficult times bring out your true colors, and I can sheepishly admit I haven’t really been practicing what I preach over the past few months. I definitely went back to my old ways of all or nothing. It’s difficult to share this kind of stuff as a dietitian. People judge you (innocently – most of the time) for not eating perfectly or drinking too much or not being an image of health just because you’re a dietitian. But we’re human too. I guess I felt like I couldn’t share this journey until I “figured it out” (spoiler alert – still haven’t!). And let me tell you – when booze is making it’s way into your life a little too frequently, the last thing you want to do is wake up early and write a healthy recipe blog! If someone has a cure for hangovers, please let me know.
I only got back from New York City one week ago, but I don’t think I’ve ever craved salads and sleep and green smoothies and staying home more. Of course, it’s been fun. I’ve had some awesome experiences, I’ve visited new places, I’m navigating the crazy world of dating, and I’ve made some of the best memories I’ve had in a while. But I came to a point where I just felt so shitty, physically, emotionally, and mentally, that I had to take a cold hard look in the mirror and ask myself, is this who you want to be? Are you making decisions that support the life you want? Are you being the best version of yourself that you could be? Do you even know who you want to be? I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, but at least I’m trying and at least I’m getting there.
So what does all this have to do with a healthy lifestyle blog? I know this seems more like a journal entry, rather than a blog post, but I think it’s a testament to how intricately our environment can affect our health and wellness. We don’t live in a vacuum. To put it bluntly, shit happens. And all we can do is do the best we can with the situation. I’m not shaming myself for not eating because I was sad, then partying too much because I was embracing being single. Sometimes baked salmon and brussel sprouts and yoga classes are just not going to happen and that’s okay. I think you need to give yourself the time and permission to experience whatever it is you need to experience.
Getting Back to Balanced
All of that being said, I think this journey has lead me back to my number one priority, which is my health. I finally just got to a point where I needed to go back to doing what I know I need to feel good mentally and physically. It’s truly amazing how your body can change in just a matter of days. I feel so much better. I’m not all bloated and puffy, I’m not exhausted all the time, I’m actually looking forward to my workouts and prepped, veggie-filled meals. It will never cease to amaze me what good sleep, lots of water, and vegetables can do for you. Here are some of the other habits I’ve been incorporating again to feel great:
- Going to sleep between 10 and 11 PM
- Waking up at 7 and enjoying a slow cup of coffee
- Kettlebell swings (even though I’m super sore now!)
- Taking my supplements (multi, Vitamin C & D, probiotic, fish oil, magnesium)
- Smoothies for breakfast
- Drinking 75 oz water
- Long walks while listening to podcasts
- Reading fictional novels
- Avoiding social media
- Prepping salads for lunch
- Taking a bath
- Doing an exfoliating face mask
- Listening to great music, especially my July playlist
So, that’s what’s been up with me! My hope is that if you are going through a tough time, whether it’s a breakup, move, family troubles or something entirely different, this has helped you know that you aren’t alone and that you don’t have to be perfect. Having a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but it’s certainly worth it, and hopefully, these small habits and tips can help you ease your way back into feeling your best. It’s been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but ultimately I wouldn’t want it any other way. I know it’s for the best, I know I had to work through this time on my own, and I know it will all work out. It’s all just another chapter in this big journey of life.