The past month has been the epitome of CRAZY BUSY. I have a pretty consistent schedule but the hours are long and I’m usually either at work or in school from sun rise to sun set. But I’m constantly stopped in my tracks and am reminded at how I got here. It’s humbling and leaves me appreciative to the point of tears.
About a year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to handle the busy season I am in right now. At the beginning of last year, I went through a deep battle with anxiety and depression. The anxiety I had turned to a panic disorder and the best way I can explain that someone who has never dealt with it is that everyday I woke up, I felt like I was going to die and I would hyperventilate and have multiple panic attacks through the day. Then I crashed into a very deep depression. I didn’t know how I was ever going to get better. I felt very alone as I saw everyone my age out enjoying life and I couldn’t get out of my bed. I broke down daily in uncontrollable sobs. (shout to my boyfriend who walked with me during that season of my life where i did nothing but ugly cry. you da best.)
One day last March, I have no idea what changed other than to say it was the grace and goodness of God (I promise I’m not about to preach.) I woke up one morning and had stayed in bed from the time I woke up to the about late afternoon. It was such a beautiful spring day and I started crying that I couldn’t step out of my room because if I did, I knew I would have an anxiety attack. I felt a quickening in me that felt like a wake-up call of some sort and I got this urgency to go take a walk. So I put on my shoes and took one step at a time until I got outside. Once I stepped outside, I felt like I could breathe again. The pressure on my chest I had suffered from for months lifted immediately in that moment.
I haven’t had a serious episode of depression since then, only a couple of circumstantial anxiety attacks in the past year. But the depression and anxiety left me with health issues that has affected me in more ways than I can begin to describe.
Recently, I was diagnosed with early onset of PCOS and was encouraged to take preventative measures to limit the risk of diabetes which is a common result of PCOS. Diabetes also runs rampant in my family and that has always terrified me. Since a young age, I’ve been the heavier one of my siblings and the one to gain weight more easily than them. I gained fifty pounds during that season of depression and it has been hard to lose it since. Not only that, PCOS also results in a higher risk of infertility and miscarriage which is something I never thought I would have to think about in my life. This has all forced me to start taking care of my health at an early age. We all grow up thinking that we are invincible until we go through something that humbles us and teaches us to slow down and truly take care of ourselves all around.
Recently, I’ve made big changes to my diet. I’m not following any trends here. I’m not advocating any diet fads over the other. I accommodated my diet to a plant-based, high protein, gluten-free, nutrient-dense and wholesome, chocolate-once-a-day deal. And it has worked for me this past month. It has affirmed my belief in the concept that food can heal. Food can be for us instead of against us. Food can help change our genetic prevalence to certain diseases and illnesses. Food can be fun while being healthy and nutritious for our bodies. Food doesn’t have to be our enemy. Our kitchens can be our best clinics and our pantry and fridge can shelter the best medicines. Our stove can cook the best meals for our families and our plates can hold the cures that we seek.
I advocate for the holistic approaches to health. I believe they are far more potent than taking multiple medications if we integrate them in how they should be-in their most wholesome and nutrient-dense form. When I had panic disorder, I went vegan. I cut out processed foods and refined sugars and omitted meats and eggs. I nourished my body with greens and fruits and beans and nuts and it was during that time I found out what provoked my body to go into distress-environmental and physical factors. And I learned how to cure them and bring relief to myself right in my kitchen.
This is what my blog will stand for. I’m never going to say that being healthy looks pretty. The journey of health is messy. I work in a hospital and I see it all and it’s a journey for everyone. Being healthy is more than just a hashtag. It challenges you to breaking points. Being healthy breaks down walls but heals you and frees you from what it was that burdened you-emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I advocate for health in all areas of life. And this is what I stand for and what I hope to inspire to y’all from my kitchen table.
I hope my story inspires someone out there. It’s not easy being 24 and overweight and struggling with health problems that have potential lifelong consequences. But the platforms we have to encourage one another are endless and I hope to use that to help every one I possibly can. This is a journey I’ve been given and I take it with hope and gratitude. I’m going to document every moment I can with y’all in hopes to prove that the path to optimal health and life abundant is not for a certain type of body but for everyone out there.
Peace and love to you all. Say hi to me!