2013 was not a good year for me. In fact, without trying to sound too drama mama, it was the worst year of my life so far. Lots of unexplained health issues that actually started to work themselves out in late summer, when BAM, I was diagnosed with (what should have been) an acute illness in August, but is still partying in my body 4 months later. I am not ready to write about the illness in detail, and not because I’m trying to be all super secretive or garner talk, but really because the disease/treatment is a bit controversial, and frankly, the whole thing scares me. The last thing I need is advice from people I don’t know that could freak me out. (Because, if you know anything about me, I am very anxious about my health, and it’s very easy for me to jump to the worst case scenario, so I’m trying to power through this with positivity. Google searches are not my friend.)
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how I’m going to make 2014 a great year, which on my worst days, seems really daunting, but I refuse to continue entertaining doomsday thoughts all the livelong day. Here’s how I’m going to do it.
1. Work with a team of awesome health practitioners. This is still a work in progress, but I have found some wonderful people who are working hard to make me better. I’ve been researching my ass off, which is helpful to a point, but I can’t make every health decision on my own. I need to trust in my team to lead me down the right path. (Trusting people is hard, yo. Which leads me to #2…)
2. Self discovery. I truly believe that everything thrown my way this past year is changing me for the better. I am (sloooowly) learning to let go of fear and anxieties, and to accept that I can’t control everything.
Wait. Let me say that again.
Hello, my name is Sarah, and I CAN’T CONTROL THE UNIVERSE, NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you search and search, the answers just aren’t there, and that’s okay. This kind of reflection has proven to be the hardest in my 39 years on this earth, and I plan to share some of the techniques I’ve learned and wonderful books I’ve read in upcoming posts.
3. Embark on a full year of yoga and meditation. I have chosen yoga to help assist with #2, as well as my physical health. Detoxification and strengthening my body are huge components in achieving a complete recovery, and I’m hoping a mixture of heated, Iyengar, and restorative yoga will be the ticket. (I checked out a LOT of yoga studios this year, and I finally found one that I really really love called Ekam Yoga. If you are a fellow Orange County resident, they have a great 2014 special going right now!) As for meditation, I still love Headspace.
4. Cleaner eating. I started eating a minimal sugar, gluten-free diet in November, which has been easier than I thought, but ultimately would like to move to a Paleo diet. Right now, beans and whole grains (brown rice and quinoa) are the most difficult thing for me to give up, but I know it would help get me back in the ring. Also, as sad as it is, alcohol is a no-no for the time being. *brushing away a tear*
I am approaching this new way of eating with moderation as my guide. I’m doing this to better my health, not to be all “look at me and my amazing will power.” If I feel the need to eat some brown rice once in awhile or have a glass of red wine on a special occasion, then so be it. My goal is to be healthier and good to my body, not a martyr.
5. Most importantly, stop the negative hamster wheel of doom in my head.
I am a resourceful, strong, and determined woman. Why do I continually bet against myself? This must change in 2014.
How can I achieve this? Trust my intuition. Respect my body. Practice gratitude. Get out of the house. Breathe in the ocean air and dig my toes into the sand. Spend time with friends. Paint. Play guitar. Shut the laptop. Play on the floor with my kids. Date nights with my husband. Adore my family something fierce. Stop continually searching for answers. Oh, and laughter. Lots of laughter.
This is going to be a huge part of my year, and although I don’t want to smother you, I plan on posting my progress here occasionally. However, if you want to follow a little more closely, I’ve started an Instagram account documenting the day-to-day of this new lifestyle called @TheWholeWay. I hope you’ll join me and share your personal journeys along the way too – also, I’d love to learn more about the best Paleo and gluten-free blogs, as well as inspiring/aspiring yogis out there! Let’s make 2014 the best. Happy New Year!