From UNhealthy AF to Healthy AF

To kick off Living AF, let me rewind a little and share how holistic living became a prominent part of my life, and thus how Living AF came about.

As a young child, I rarely took medicine, not that I knew much about it, but I did know I wanted nothing to do with it. I don’t recall getting sick very often, but when I did, I stuck it out and very rarely took any sort of pill. Not to mention, I never even had a primary care doctor.

Though medicine wasn’t my fancy, I am less than proud of my eating habits as a child. As a child and teen, I ate fast food basically every day (sometimes multiple times a day). Diet coke was my jam, and I didn’t even know half the vegetables out there even existed. No disrespect to my family, but it was the 90’s in America.

Then came exercise. I would often mimic my older sister, keeping [somewhat] active and partaking in early 90’s exercise videos. I even owned a thigh master at the age of 8. I was a dancer and cheerleader through high school, though I could not run a mile for the life of me – I’m not kidding.

Throughout high school I exercised frequently and attended classes at 24 Hour Fitness, but it wasn’t until early college when exercise became a huge part of my life – when I spent nearly every day at the REC center.

I remember in college when I first ran one mile without stopping, it was a very small but internally huge victory for me. That moment on the indoor track – where 8 times around equals one mile – was where I fell in love with running.

Fast forward to my first “big girl” job. This was a huge turning point in my life. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions of my life.

While working for Life Source, my coworkers taught me a tremendous amount about how to be truly healthy.

I distinctly remember one of my first days at my new job. My coworker explained why Lean Cuisines aren’t actually a healthy food choice. [My 23–year-old mind was blown].

From then on, I had multiple “a-ha” moments while learning about the importance of making smart decisions regarding everything from nutrition to lifestyle, to household products. Suddenly it all just clicked.

Fast forward to Logan Square, Chicago. It didn’t happen all at once, although it sometimes feels like it. Within six months of moving to Chicago, I met an influential group of runners (3run2), and they inspired me to run my first marathon. And my second. And my third… all within in six months (maybe I have them to blame for my craziness…hmm, see, it’s all making sense).

Jokes aside, I’ve met my best friends through 3run2. It really makes a huge difference to be surrounded by not only motivated and inspiring athletes, but also people who are committed to bettering themselves.

Finally, insert my group of friends. Each and every one of my close friends is unique, has done incredible things in their life and has an amazing story. They’ve all taught me something profound simply through the gift of sharing. They’ve introduced me to books, podcasts (holler Rich Roll), the importance of meditation and taking care of my mental health, Lush face masks, oil pulling, Kombucha, and the list goes on and on. I am becoming a better version of myself daily, and I want to document and share this journey with others.