This was when I first learned the toll that animal fats can take on the body. Consequently, I set out on a course to learn as much as I could about the body and food. I resumed my gym membership and started taking step aerobics, Pilates, and yoga. Getting back on a routine and attending classes helped me fight through the depression and gave me a reason to get out of bed and rejoin the world. I believe that group exercise is invaluable for those who may feel alone, are depressed, or don’t know where to start with exercising. Those classes helped me open up and start living again, stirring up a visible passion and drive in my step aerobics classes. At the time, it was all I had and the only thing I looked forward to doing.
One day out of the blue, my step aerobics instructor, John Denman, came up to me and said, “You’re going to teach.” Of course, fear and doubt immediately told me it would never happen. However, I pushed forward and got certified, but it took me almost six months to get over the fear of actually teaching a class. My instructor was so instrumental in my success as a teacher. I would’ve never gotten in front of a gym filled with over sixty people without him. Now, I teach step aerobics at the YMCA and Fit Lab Fitness.
The most significant part of my journey has been participating in The Daniel Fast twice a year. The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast where for twenty-one days, one: (1) eats only fruits and vegetables, (2) drinks only water, and (3) takes out sweeteners, breads, yeast, and baking powder for a clean diet of “no artificial or processed foods nor any chemicals” as one makes his/her way through the “spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.”
This fast has changed my life. I saw almost immediate improvement in my digestive health. I lost unhealthy weight, and not only did my appearance improve, but my mind, body, and spirit were more in tune. Mindless eating was over.
Nowadays, I strive to educate myself and others about the importance of taking charge of your own health and making better choices. It may not be immediately apparent, but lifestyle choices and eating habits can be the difference between life and death. Our health is all we have and we cannot entrust it to the food industry, doctors, and drug companies.
Through social media and an amazing book, The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted by Kimberly Snyder, I’ve learned how to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and grains into my diet, while eliminating most meat, dairy, and artificial foods. Most of my friends know how much I love to post about everything I learn. I post anything from smoothie recipes to homemade cleaning products to what tests you should ask for when you visit your doctor. Knowledge is infinite power when it comes to our health.
I hope to continue to share the wealth of information, particularly about issues crucial to women’s health, food, knowledge, and fitness, through the use of social media, my fitness classes, and IntheNOLA.
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself or that you can’t enjoy life. Healthy practices and informed decisions can make for a greater quality of life, an unencumbered spirit, and freedom from doctors, hospitals, and medicine…the greatest freedom there is.
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*Note: Second photo by Britney Temple.