One of our first ever Healthy Living Guardians, Kirsty shares her healthy journey to eventually discover yoga and a true perception of what health means to her. Enjoy!
Like many people my journey started with wanting to lose a bit of weight.
I started to educate myself on nutrients and portion sizes and started to see results, my initial goal of losing weight suddenly developed into gaining strength and fitness. I am lucky I found a gym that nurtured my curiosity and had an amazing team of coaches that encouraged the right attitude.
I had a set back quite early into my journey with two herniated discs which ultimately needed surgery (unrelated to exercise), thankfully the surgery was successful and after 4 months off I was able to get back to training, albeit at a limited capacity.
After three steady years of building strength welcome lockdown 1.0!
I had access to my program which had been modified for home equipment, but I just couldn’t find the enjoyment in it. I knew I needed to find something to keep me moving, especially as I was still working and needed the mental release that exercise provided.
I had done a few yoga videos in the past so started to introduce this alongside my strength program, soon it was not enough, and yoga became my sole form of exercise, I was hooked.
Since the back problems my outlook on ‘healthy’ changed, my initial desires of wanting to lift certain weights or achieve a certain physique were dismissed as I realised that none of that mattered if my body or mind could not cope with day-to-day life.
While strength is still important to me, it’s more about improving bone density and improving the muscle strength to help my joints to prevent injury. While we cannot prevent all ailments and problems, my priority is giving myself the tools to help fight anything that comes my way.
During my journey so far, I have come across people who are so strict with their food / water intake and training it controls their life, people who are so worried about putting on weight they under nourish their body with fuel it desperately needs and others who don’t eat or drink until they get home at the end of the day because it’s not a priority for them.
It’s not to say that there is only one way to be healthy, as they say healthy looks different on everyone. There have been parts of my journey that I would not consider ‘healthy’ as it is easy to develop obsessive and unhealthy behaviours, to become fixated on one goal at any cost.
If I could go back to the beginning would I do anything differently? No, for me it is the journey that teaches us and provides us with what we need to make progress.
My perception of health has changed during my journey, what started fixed on weight, developed into strength and ultimately became about my mind and body working together.
There are many ‘health’ aspects that on their own may not be healthy for us, it is important to find the balance that works for each of us. Being healthy is not one overwhelming aspect but a lifestyle choice that we are happy to live with.
Words courtesy of @kirstynicoleyoga