Falling back in love with myself – my wellness journey
I can pinpoint the night that everything finally connected for me. It was a night like any other in December and it started with me confronting harsh truths and having deep reflections about my life. I envisioned myself 3 years down the road and I saw a dark path, one that would not end well if I didn’t change my lifestyle. I knew I had to change my life. I knew I had to start! And 2021 was going to be my fitness year, my year of breakthrough.
Ok so confronting my truths meant looking back at my life and when I did, the consistent feeling I had was constantly being exhausted, every single day. This was of course because I was unaware or maybe blissfully unaware of the amount of food and junk I would eat and the lack of exercise in my life for many years. I was truly not happy with where I was at that moment in time, with my diet, my weight and my health.
I then asked myself my most crucial question, “What is your purpose Miri?” I started writing it all out and also reflecting on what I wrote as my purpose back in 2012, which still resonated with me – To make a positive impact in my family, my community and my country. The next tough and life changing question for me was, “How can you make a positive impact in someone’s life when you’re not making an impact in your own life and you’re not even happy with yourself?.”
I knew then that I had to make these changes for myself and not anyone else and this meant I had to commit to and fall in love with my new wellness journey. What I didn’t realise then was that it would also mean falling back in love with myself through my new health and wellness journey – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I wrote down the goals that I wanted to achieve for myself for 2021 and modified my purpose to include “To be happy”. In order for me to change my lifestyle, I had to change my mindset from “I’m going to start tomorrow” to “I will start today” and I can do this.
Self-Motivation and Inspiration
The first step is always the hardest part. I watched a lot of health journey videos online and found inspiration from watching those around me change their own lives – I had a front row seat to my close friend/mentor/boss Karen’s fitness transformation and I was an avid follower of my cousin Lele’s posts about starting her own health journey last year. I was so inspired and in awe of their discipline and determination to reach their goals. I drew inspiration from this and told myself that I could do it as well.
Surrounding myself with positive people
First week of Jan started and I joined a gym. I used to be one of those people that used to think that joining the gym would be a waste of time. Unintentionally, I had already put up my own mental barriers without even trying it out. Why join the gym when you could walk or go for a jog or exercise from home? Luckily for me I had my two work brothers/colleagues (Tom and Josh) join the gym in Jan also and they encouraged me to go with them. I was glad I didn’t have to go to the gym alone and I remember feeling really nervous the first time I went to Rabuka gym. But I took it one day at a time and we blocked out a time where it would work best for us, this ended up being lunch hour, 3 days a week. If we were busy on one of those days, we would swap them out for alternative days. The first month of going to the gym, as many gym goers would tell you, was really hard. I had to keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for me and no-one else. Changing this mindset was really important because at times I would feel shy or nervous going to the gym by myself. But by March, I found myself going to the gym on my own when the boys were busy. Now if you would have told me this a year ago, I would never ever have believed you. First of all me at the gym? and going by myself? Never. Now I say, never say never.
So all this exercise got me thinking and talking about healthy foods with my team, what food and what type of healthy snacks that we should eat. The most important thing for me was understanding that healthy fresh food and snacks could be tasty and delicious. LOL! And for me I can be pretty picky with my food. But it really does help when you are surrounded by the right people that love you and keep you accountable. One month into my wellness journey, I had only lost 1kg. I reminded myself that it was ok and that it was only my first month!
When the second wave hit our shores in April, I looked for online home workouts. Thankfully, I had my nieces (La and Ethell) who helped me transition from training at the gym to training at home. We talked about exercises that would work for us. We started researching and watching all types of exercise videos and we finally fell in love with Jeannette Jenkins 45 minute online workout. The first ever home workout we did was very ambitious for us 🙂 We puffed out and almost dieded and needless to say, we didn’t even finish the workout! I think we made it to just under 20 minutes. 😀 😀 😀 We told ourselves it was ok, at least we took that first step. Linking below that same killer workout that we did that first day, try it out if you dare 🙂
This Killer Workout Torches Calories – About 500 Calories in 45 minutes
So after that first exercise, La and I did more research and we decided to look for short exercise videos. We still thought Jeannette Jenkins routines were great but maybe we needed something shorter, something that matched our fitness level, till we built more strength. Sharing below the videos that we found from Jeanette that worked well for us.
Jeannette Jenkins: Strengthen Your Abs and Blast Belly Fat
10 Minute Standing ABS workout/No Equipment by Heather Robertson
Tone your Arms Workout – No Equipment
Butt and thigh workouts by Jeannette Jenkins
Mind you, I don’t do all the 4 home workouts everyday. I choose two videos only a day. It helps, it only takes 10-20 minutes in a day for me. I don’t have a routine or specific time when I can do my workout BUT I stick to it. As busy as I get, I will I find the time in every day to complete 2 video workouts.
Finding the joy in cooking
When mum recovered from hospital, we moved to our Aunty Mua’s place in Namadi Heights to help mum with her recovery. There are no words to describe how grateful I am to my superwoman aunt and amazing uncle for being there for us. At that time, it was like a blessing in disguise being with them for 3 months. They helped us nurse mum back to health and not just that, my aunty gifted me with joy and love for healthy cooking. She would cook daily and my nieces and I would have specific days each week to cook. My aunty Mua is the type of cook you read about or see in the movies (or that you have in your own family), the kind that cooks with so much love, from prepping to cooking, every single detail is prepared so meticulously and with so much thought and so many stories and tips about food prep and what type of fresh vegetables to buy and how to store the vegetables to keep it fresh. There I was in the middle of a warm, aroma filled kitchen, falling in love with cooking.
So not only do I now enjoy cooking everyday, I remember to cook with love, I cook daily for my mum, she’s my everything and so I remind myself that every meal is contributing to her health and nourishment. I also don’t need to cut carbs from my life – I just eat everything in moderation and try and have one vegetarian meal every week.The only type of food that I’ve cut out from my diet is junk food, processed foods and sugar.
Sharing my journey
The best thing about my health journey is sharing it with my family and friends. We have found even more to talk about – From sharing recipes with my cousins about how to pickle cucumbers so it stays fresh and crunchy to sharing healthy snack recipes with Karen using ingredients like – Honey, Oats and Peanut Butter. Oh yes, and now I’m looking forward to making my own hummus at home.
From when I started, I have been sharing all my learnings with my sister and nieces and with the rest of my family whom I am very close with. We now do weekly challenges and we keep each other accountable in our family group chat. 🙂
Healthy State of Mind
There would be some days I would be riding on Cloud 9 and sometimes it would find me in very low spirits. I remember one Sunday, before the restricted movement order, my niece Ethell invited me to church with her. We first went to the “lotu ni Yasana o Kadavu” and then to the C3 church service at GPH. There was this uneasy and unfamiliar feeling I was experiencing during the service. I realised how much I was carrying in my mind about life’s uncertainties and I remember breaking down when Pastor Ben called me up. It hit me – not only did I need to fuel myself physically but I needed to build myself spiritually and mentally as well. It’s a continuous journey of growth, of awakening and of being comfortable with being uncomfortable when I need to share some of my emotions. And if you know me, you will know that I do not like talking about or expressing my emotions, am loud and bubbly but private and even writing this blog has pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a new space, a vulnerable space.
Am now 6 months into my wellness journey and I’ve lost a bag of 10kg rice (LOL), I feel stronger, more consistent with my healthy eating and most importantly I finally understand what it means to be kind to your body, to your mind, to your soul – by creating life changing habits, I have invested back into myself, finally. It took me a while to get here, and am still making my way. I’ve hit a few road bumps, but I have started and I haven’t looked back. I am changing the ending to my own story.
Thanks for reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed it! Until the next blog.