My story: How I got healthy for good
I'm Erica, and I'm a recovering perfectionist. For most of my life, I needed outside validation and clear expectations set for me. Without them, I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t know what my definition of success was. So, for the first 30 years of my life, I lived out others’ dreams and desires for me. I got the job in a big city and followed it up with a grad degree from a good school and just kept working harder, giving a little more, and moving a little faster to reach my goals.
Sure, I heard a voice in my head telling me that something was off and life should be a bit more fun (even easier!), but I shut it down. Magazines, the internet, and bosses told me that working harder would get me to where I wanted to be. And this mentality spilled into my health routine. I had it in my head that to reach the pinnacle of health I just needed to work out harder, cut out more calories, and restrict myself.
As you can imagine, this method was physically and emotionally exhausting me. Of course, I didn’t realize it for a long time as I was so used to being some combination of tired, negative and unsatisfied.
When I finally got wind that my lifestyle was draining me, I dove into self-help books to "fix" myself as that’s what perfectionists do. And in my search for an answer, I found the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I signed up for this “health coaching” course because I thought I was going to learn what foods to eat, which not to, and the mechanisms of the gut. I learned all those things, but what I really took away from my year there was that health is about doing what’s right for you – and that doesn’t just apply to food. It applies to mindset, movement, and love.
This revelation changed my life. It really did. Not only did the extra pounds I was holding on to just release off of me, but I actually found the sense of control I sought my whole life. I figured out how to honor my needs, and by doing that, I started to really like myself. I no longer needed the outside validation. And for the first time ever, being healthy wasn’t hard. By learning I could set my own expectations and live life on my terms, I started to instinctively take care of my body and my life.
Today, I am the healthiest and happiest I've ever been. Sometimes I wish I would have gotten here faster, but then I remember I’m here now. I learned that health and happiness are tied and am now on a mission to help people achieve both. If you’re reading this thinking I’ll never get there, let me be the voice that tells you that you can, that you deserve to live your healthiest & happiest life. I changed my whole world in a year. And you can too.