Self Care Done Wrong

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I got the perfect opportunity to test a different way of living when I heard that one of my clients would be spending the winter in Miami. I grabbed this chance to escape both the New York City cold as well as the demanding lifestyle that city living facilitates. (Kind of strange that I consider Miami to be away from city living but go with it.) The idea was to slow down, recharge and treat myself right. However, true to form, I decided to go about it in complete New York City fashion: over the top, ambitious, intense and dedicated.

On my first day in Miami, I typed away, creating a list of rules for my “diet” and self-care routine. I printed it off as a visual reminder every single day of what I was striving to achieve. The goal: to become my healthiest self and achieve my peak physical condition to date within two months time. The idea wasn’t to set unattainable objectives but to aim high with the motivation to continually push myself further. I would be happy with whatever I took away from this experience because it is more about learning what does and doesn’t work for my body and my mental well-being. Therefore, with the journey in mind, I created a list composed of pretty much every single fad and popular ideology from the last few years. I would start out balls-to-the-wall with heavy restrictions and then slowly get rid of any rules that I found unhelpful or downright impossible to stick to. I minimized animal products and dairy, eliminated grains, alcohol and coffee and pumped myself full of vegetables and water.

Here were my immediate takeaways. Within five days of this plan I realized that it is damn near impossible to be vegan, consuming only natural whole foods while also leading an exceedingly active lifestyle on a calorie capped diet. I simply couldn’t consume enough protein to remain healthy if I follow all the rules at once.

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Therefore, my first mind body lesson was an important one. Always be pivoting. If something isn’t working, make a change. After the first week of my plan, I stopped focusing on calories. I also lightened up a little bit overall. That was my second takeaway: Don’t be so rigid in life. You aren’t living if you are so strict on yourself that you are constantly thinking about miniscule details and end up punishing yourself through deprival. The first week was very masochistic. I must admit that I thought I would feel pretty refreshed and amazing after a week cleansing myself of fatty meats, alcohol and caffeine. I already eat a mostly vegetarian, dairy free and nutrient dense diet back home so I hadn’t anticipated this change to have drastic negative impacts. However, every single day, I felt more grumpy, anxious, tired and physically uncomfortable than the last! Eventually, my mom opened a bottle of wine and said, “You haven’t had a drink in one week, let’s toast to that!” I obliged and it was glorious.

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I have since relaxed a little bit and am more so just trying to listen to my body. I’ve been eating some sort of fish almost every day and have had a few glasses of wine here and there. The one thing I miss most of all is COFFEE. I wake up every single morning and my first thought every day is how badly I miss it and how much more alive I would feel with just one cup. I believe its no good to get dependent on anything for happiness so I’m going to ride this out for a little while longer, but one thing is for sure: the day I get back on the coffee train is the day I’ll be able to bang out seven different blogs by noon.

My second pastime revolves around my new camera. I’m attempting to learn without help so that I can improve my food photography. Did a few selfie tests today to figure out the different settings- blurred background, macro, contrast, portrait ect. All in All, I gotta say, two weeks of sun, veggies and sleep hasn't been too bad.

 

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Kristina Mellegard