Woah hey there 23 I didn't think I'd meet you this fast.. time freakin' flies when you're having fun. I remember turning 20 and literally thinking my life was over because I wasn't a teenager anymore - oh how I was wrong. I also remember thinking that 20 and 21 were hard years, and that if this was what adult life was going to be then I was definitely not cut out for it. But as we all do, I settled into it and realized that maybe being an adult doesn't actually mean that you have to have all of your shit together all the time.. or even at all.
22 was a year filled with emotions, realization and growth - SO MUCH GROWTH. I lost old friends, gained new ones, I networked, I stepped out of my comfort zone (a lot), I built my business, I rebranded said business, I travelled, I laughed, I loved and I cried. If I'm being honest I actually don't think I've ever cried so much in a 12 month span as I did over the past year - I cried a lot.. from happiness, anger, sadness, excitement, frustration, love and all of the above.
I went into 22 newly self employed and not really sure of what the hell I was really doing. I didn't know where my next pay check would come from on any given week and I constantly questioned if I was doing the right thing. I felt SO lost in my life path and my career so many times, I hated that I had to work so much harder to make a pay check than my friends who had 9-5 jobs and I contemplated giving up more than once because I didn't want to struggle anymore. But I stuck with it because I realized that at the end of the day I would rather be broke, happy and fulfilled than rich, miserable and bored.
22 was the year that I found my way.. I really got into my groove and realized that all I had to do to accomplish the things that I wanted to was believe in myself and my passions. I realized that if I was confident in my ability and the content and services I was putting out then the clients and work would come to me - and guess what? It totally has! In the last year I have changed the lives of so many women through my health coaching business, I have gotten to work with brands that I have actually used in my daily life and admired for so long, I get to touch over 9 thousand lives every day through my social media, I get to show people through my recipes that healthy food doesn't have to be boring and I get to teach women that nourishing your body, mind and soul with real food and enjoyable, smartly planned exercise can get you to your goals way better than starving and punishing yourself ever could!
22 was the year that I learned to actually love my body and appreciate it for what it does for me. I stopped counting calories last year and transitioned to intuitive eating (read more about that here and here) and doing so has helped me develop the healthiest relationship with food and my body that I have ever had. I also changed my workout routine up, I no longer force myself to spend 1.5 hours in the gym 6 days a week doing the same boring stuff every day, instead I do quick 45-55 minute workouts that I enjoy, that get my heart rate up and allow me to be strong, quick and agile which is amazing! I have realized that punishing my body with extreme amounts of exercise and food restriction for years got me nowhere and that fuelling my body properly with real whole foods 80% of the time and not feeling bad about having the occasional indulgences serves me better both mentally and physically and CAN get me to my goals. This switch in my mindset, training and diet has actually allowed me to be in the best shape of my entire life and I couldn't be happier or feel more confident in my own skin than I do right now at 23!
This was the year that I learned to let shit go. For years I have wondered why my upbringing wasn't the same as most people my age, I wondered why all of my friends parents had steady jobs and were able to help their kids with school. I wondered why one of my parents chose to drink away their feelings and I never really knew why they couldn't get their shit together for longer than 5 seconds. I blamed myself for their alcoholism for so long, thought that maybe it was something about being my parent that made them want to drink so much and I have literally let that eat me alive for years. This year I decided that I was going to try and let that shit go, not for them but for me, because I know it isn't my fault that they couldn't handle the world sober and I know that there is nothing that I could have done to make them stop drinking. 22 was the year that I realized that the only person who gets hurt when I hold on to anger and hurt and resentment, is me. I was allowing myself to constantly get stressed out and upset about the feelings that I have carried with me for so many years towards them and it was getting me nowhere and taking a tole on my relationships, my happiness and my health. I know that the reason they drank and the reason that they weren't capable of being a steady or supportive parent to me was not my fault. I have learned and am still learning that people can't change unless they want to and that sometimes letting things go is all you can do to help yourself move on.
This was the year that I realized that holding in all of my stress is actually bad for my health - who the heck knew right? Just kidding I have always known this but this year I really became aware of how much I internalize my stress and exactly what it was doing to my body. If you have followed me for a while then you will know that I lost my period 7 months ago when I came off of the pill (read more about that here) and have yet to get it back. Well 2 months ago my doctor diagnosed me with chronic stress, extremely high cortisol and adrenal fatigue and basically told me that until I calm the f*** down and get my cortisol levels in check then I won't be getting my period back - period (no pun intended). So I devoted literally all of my free time to educating myself on adrenal fatigue and started doing everything that I possibly could to destress, relax and self heal. Which leads me into the next thing that I learned..
22 was the year that I started practicing daily meditation and really got in touch with my inner self. I started meditating in an effort to reduce my stress and lower my cortisol but it honestly has become so much more than that. It is the best stress release (obviously) but it also keeps me grounded, lets me tune back into my intentions and allows me to tune out everything else and actually focus on myself for 15 minutes twice a day. I meditate first thing in the morning and right before bed and sometimes I sneak in a quick 5 minute one in the middle of the day if I'm feeling extra nuts that day (which is basically all the time).
I learned to set boundaries - in life, business, work, social media and relationships. I also learned that it's okay to say no to things and that I don't have to be doing something at all times of the day to be successful. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to be constantly busy and I felt like if I had a minute to breath then I wasn't doing enough, but I've learned that success comes from working hard but it also comes from knowing how to take time to recharge.
Last year I finally realized that I don't have to be perfect to be progressing. Just because I'm an adult doesn't mean that I have to have all of my shit together, in fact it doesn't mean that I have to have it together at all. It simply means that I just have to be moving forward, every day, regardless of what happens and that all that really matters to me in life is that I am happy and feel fulfilled and everything else comes second.
I'm excited for 23, I'm excited to see where my business goes and to tackle what life throws at me and I'm excited to continue growing and sharing my life with all of you and hopefully impacting you to make changes for your physical and mental health! I'm also scared to be 23 because I'm not totally comfortable with growing up yet and I definitely don't have my shit together and I feel like I'm going to blink and all of the sudden I'll be 25 and then 30 and who knows where I'll be then.
If I could say something to my future self I'd say - just breathe, you're exactly where you need to be and you can accomplish whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish so don't stress too much. I'm ready to take on 23 and I think it might just be my best year yet..
xo - LU