How My Wellness Passion Was Actually Destroying My Health

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“Your body holds deep wisdom. Trust in it. Learn from it. Nourish it. Watch your life transform and be healthy.” ~Bella Bleue

It didn’t fit. I zipped, tugged, and shimmied, but the zipper wouldn’t budge. I was twenty-three, it was my college graduation, and the dress I had bought a month ago would not zip.

As I stood there crying in the mirror, riddled with exhaustion, anxiety, vulnerability, and sheer overwhelm, I wondered what was happening to my body. In just one month I had gained thirty pounds. I was having one to three panic attacks a day. Everything I ate made me sick, and no matter how much I worked out, I only felt worse.

I was graduating with a degree in clinical nutrition, yet my health was the worst it had been in my entire life. The world was supposed to be my oyster, yet I couldn’t leave the house.

I used to tell people all the time that my “passion” was health. I started my first fitness program when I was nine. Tried my first diet at the age of thirteen.

Since that day on, health and wellness were all-consuming thoughts—to the point that I got a degree in clinical nutrition and became a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor.

But maybe the problem was that my passion for health was actually an obsession.

In an effort to be fit, happy, and well, I became a victim of marketing and manipulation of “wellness and diet culture.”

Everywhere you turn, there is marketing for wellness and finding your “best health.” Whether it is using fasting to regulate blood sugar, drinking adrenal cocktails to reduce stress, or only eating organic and non-processed foods.

And even if you end up doing it “right,” the next day you are wrong because there is some new trend or hack that is being pushed. This can leave your head spinning and, in the end, it only disrupts your relationship with yourself, with nutrition, and with fitness.

It was on that day that I vowed to chase true health. Here are three lessons that I have learned along the way.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition and fitness.

You are unique. You have a unique medical history, genetic makeup, environment, and lifestyle that all influence how you and your body respond to nutrition and exercise.

This is known as bio-individuality.

So there is no one RIGHT way to do things. You might respond well to eating lower carb due to a history of insulin sensitivity.

You might respond better to heavier weight training due to your muscle fiber makeup.

You cannot put yourself in a box and try to copy and paste success. You have to honor what your body needs and nourish it accordingly.

I find that my body does best when I eat carb meals and lift heavier weights. I also feel my best when I eat every three hours.

I find that my body shows increased signs of stress when I do high-intensity workouts. And it rejected any attempt I made at intermittent fasting or eating lower carbs.

Finding what works for your body is how you unlock your best self.

But whatever you choose, you must enjoy doing it. Because if you do not enjoy the process, if it does not make you feel good, if it does not add to your life and promote your best self….

… it will be impossible to stick to it long term.

It’s about what you can ADD to your life, not restrict.

Nutrition is the science of providing nourishment to your body to sustain life. Food is the fuel that your body uses to keep you alive and thriving.

Movement is medicine that gives you the strength to take on anything that comes your way.

It is not about restricting, cutting out, or depriving yourself. When you approach it from this mindset, it promotes negativity, it fosters the development of a negative self-image, and it cultivates a culture of guilt.

And no one—absolutely no one—feels good in this type of environment. Instead, think of what you can add to your life and body to enrich it.

I love to eat nachos; I enjoy them every week. Instead of restricting them, I add protein to ensure they are a balanced meal.

You might love to enjoy dessert every evening. A great way to enhance this is to add a delicious fruit with your dessert. Or you can take a walk after your meal to help regulate your blood sugar.

This approach stems from a place of love, support, and encouragement, which makes it much easier to sustain for life.

You can be all-in without being all-or-nothing.

I used to feel so much guilt when my life responsibilities disrupted my workout routine. I would obsess over the missed workout, thinking it would end my progress, and then I would try to find ways to “make it up” later.

There is so much pressure on remaining consistent, which is critical to success.

But do not confuse consistency with perfection.

Perfection is trying to take this structure or “formula for success” and cramming it into your life without any flexibility. Like saying you “have to work out five times a week” or you “can’t eat out.”

Consistency is learning how to shift your goals and your intention to match what is happening in your life at any given time.

Life always has seasons of highs and lows. That is the beauty of it.

There will be times where you have the energy and intention to be consistent and even chase insane growth for your health goals.

Then there will be times where life is calling you elsewhere, so while you are still prioritizing your health, you need to shift how you show up.

Learning how to adapt your health goals and intentions across these phases is how you get long-term success.

Consistency is showing up in the stress. Even if this means doing less than you hoped, you still did it.

Perfection is showing up for ten days in a row then quitting when you miss a day.

An all-in mindset is much better than an all-or-nothing mindset.

If twenty-three-year-old me could see me now, she would be in awe. Her jaw would drop because even though I’m not doing everything “right,” I’m doing everything right for me.

Your health does not have to be as complicated as it sometimes feels. You don’t need a fancy supplement, the latest trend, or another unrealistic habit.

It really comes from creating a lifestyle around what makes you feel your best and happy.

Because you can have the perfect health for yourself without losing yourself in it.

About Tasha Stevens

Tasha received her degree in Clinical Nutrition and Human Development, B.S. from UC Davis. She is a NASM CPT, STOTT Pilates Trained, and is Founder of Happy Hormone Health. She has coached 2000 women in reclaiming their energy, living symptom-free, and transforming their health through hormone balanced nutrition and strength training. Start your hormone balance journey with her free hormone assessment to get tailored strategies.

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