2017 was by no means a walk in the park. While there were many moments and memories I am so grateful for and will never forget, we were also dealt some pretty rough blows which I felt made it more challenging to take on each day with my usual positive perspective. What I learned more than anything is the importance I place on myself. As women, we are pulled in so many different directions with everyone demanding our attention at all times, it’s kinda psychotic how little we actually do to recharge our batteries and take time for ourselves. I’m not even a Mom (to a human) yet and I can feel the pulls and pressures of life tugging away.

Over the past four years I’ve spent blogging, I’ve really become aware of so much. I thought now, being the new year was an appropriate time to share a little bit more about how everything’s kind of coming full-circle:

What began as a diagnosis of Melasma (a skin disorder usually appearing on the face, i’ll just let you google it) led me to the doors of Project Skin about two years ago. I have learned SO much from them about skincare, healthy habits, cutting-edge products and non-invasive treatments I can try to maintain and protect my skin. Since my initial consultation I have religiously stuck to their recommended Skinceuticals regimes and have seen pretty unreal results. When I first came through their doors my skin was dull, patchy, unevenly toned and my chin was like a war-zone. I could not for the life of me figure out whyyyy  I was constantly breaking out with cystic (painful) pimples in bouts, even though I was in my late twenties. After a lot of education, patience, trial and error, getting off the pill (switched to IUD, sorry tmi!) and a strict and religious skincare routine I now have healthy, glowing, clear skin… most of the time! I do get pimples now and again randomly but for the most part my skin has never felt or looked better.

Learning more about skin health made me also want to focus on my general health, since I now know well that everything is connected. I’ve read a ton of books and articles about different fads, diets, tricks and tips and I’ve finally found what works for me. While I have always been very active and relatively “healthy” it wasn’t until this year that I really got my eating under control. My problem has never been overeating, it’s the opposite. And not necessarily by choice! I literally get so wrapped up in my work or whatever I’m doing that oftentimes lunch flies right by me before I even notice what time it is. It’s not something I ever intend on doing but it has been a bit of a struggle to commit to fueling my body properly with everything it needs. I used to get bad migraines, where I would lose my vision and my body would literally shut down to the point I’d have to sleep it off to feel normal again. What I didn’t realize then was that I was pushing my body to it’s limit, excercising hard with not enough / the right fuel for the job so my body would go into shutdown mode to force me to slow down. This used to be my normal.

For whatever reason, maybe awareness, learning or just the wisdom that comes with age, it’s all been slowly coming together for me. It’s been a real process (let me tell you) but it’s something that is important to me so I’ve simply chosen to make it a priority. Now, I fill my body with whole foods, LOTS of green vegetables (my favourites are kale, spinach, romaine, peppers, broccoli), grain and starches like quinoa, yams, sweet potatoes, lentils etc. and while we do still eat meat occasionally we eat mostly white fish and plant based meals. Water, shakes, smoothies, juices and green tea have become staples I crave everyday!

Taking time for myself everyday, being aware and mindful of my thoughts and feelings, exercising and eating healthy has helped me get clear on how I am choosing to live my life and the quality of life I want to have. The change in how I feel now after making all these changes has been like night and day. I feel so much better.

What I also learned was how to rest when I get tired, instead of quitting all-together. I’ve learned to listen to my body and pay attention to how I’m feeling and how and when to shift those feelings into more productive ones. Scroll down to read my laundry list of lessons:

Here’s my laundry list of lessons I learned this year:

  • Listen: to my body and pay attention to how I feel. Our feelings determine our thoughts, which basically determine which way your day is gonna go so I try to shift my thoughts if I keep coming up on empty.
  • Learn: to recharge then start again. Around this time of year its completely normal to be feeling depleted and tired from the holidays, I use to panic when this feeling starting coming because I thought it meant that everything would be jeopardized in the process. WRONG. Instead of quitting, I’ve learned to rest and recharge and start again when I feel inspired to act. Much better results!
  • Plan ahead: this goes for everything from scheduling content reminders to meal planning to budgeting next months expenses. Planning ahead gives you leeway to make better decisions.
  • Put my health first: now that I’m in my 30’s I really have taken an interest in my health and overall wellbeing. I’ve gotten a hold of my diet and am focusing on eating more whole foods and plant based meals if possible, lots of water, lots of sleep, exercise and meditation. When I’m feeling good it trickles down into every other area of my life so this one is key for me.
  • Think bigger: I used to be afraid to think bigI guess because I used to get caught up in the ‘how‘ it would all come together, but I’ve learned that to think big is to trust that I will learn the way and the how by doing. Things aren’t going to happen if you sit at your computer wishing for them, they require guts and action. Be like Nike and just do it already.
  • Love, hard: more than anything I’ve learned how lucky I am to be healthy and have my supportive family by my side. An incredible husband who’d do anything for me and a puppy who brings us so much joy.

If it weren’t for you reading this I might be doing something entirely different – so thank you from the bottom of my heart! Wishing you all a happy new year, let’s make this one count!! XX

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