If you would have asked me when I was 18 to take baby steps to better health.. I would have probably laughed in your face. Things have since changed, here’s my journey to where I am now.
I’ve danced since I was 3. Along the way I did softball (for 10 years), basketball, gymnastics, cheer, and soccer; I was a pretty active kid. Sports weren’t the only loves I had. Totinos pizza, strawberry milk, lucky charms and hamburger helper (YUCK) were on the list! I was an extremely active kid on an extremely horrible diet and I had no idea. My joints began to hurt, my skin broke out and my hair was falling out. I was always in pain and mood-swing central! I tried it all: salads, smoothies & working out for 3 hours a day. Luckily an extreme eating disorder isn’t a part of my journey. But, I definitely was not satisfied with my self image, not one bit.
Now for Baby Steps to Better Health
Freshman year I thought “hmmm, new year’s resolution: no soda!”. Then, sophomore year I gave up fast food. My junior year I ruled out high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils + any packaged foods with ingredients longer than 7 lines. In November of my junior year I was in a pointe class and BAM, I hit the ground. My body gave out, it was done, and it refused to go anymore.
Doctors diagnosis’s looked like: osgood-schlatter in my knees, arthritis in my knees, ankles, and left hip, shin splints, ligament tears, scoliosis, acid reflux, inflammation, bursitis & bone spurs in my hip. I was a 16 year old girl in a 80 year old body. I refused to take pain medications, use wheelchairs/crutches or doctors advice. When the doctor tried to give me pills for acid reflux I looked at her and said “no”. She, slightly agitated, asked what I would do. My response “change my diet”.
Long Awaited Changes
That night I went home and cut out all acid forming foods to the best of my ability. This meant pepperoni and within 1 week I noticed a positive change! Long story short, I was stubborn and still am, I wanted to know the root of my issues, not just to treat the symptoms! Again with the baby steps to better health…
Going back to that day in pointe, my world was over. My dreams shattered, what would I do now. The one thing I invested all my time into and now it is gone, I literally thought my life was over (I was a drama queen, alright). So I stopped dancing, but I didn’t stop eating crap. I did have a little bit more knowledge and had ruled out some big health offenders but I wasn’t doing enough.
The Last Straw – A Dislocated Hip
Now to my senior year. At this point I had been eating “all natural” foods and was feeling a little better.
Finally, at cheer practice I was doing a toe touch and BAM I hit the ground again. This time my hip dislocated. I will never forget the pain lifting dead weight leg off the ground and positioning it back into my hip socket. This time I took the message from my body to stop, stop, stop.
I started to listen to the yells of my body, I knew it was time for baby steps to better health. Now, onto PART TWO!