Our journey

When reading a blog it’s human compulsion to want to learn about the author(s). And of course you would, they must be interesting people! If you’re reading it means you love their writing (which in this case I sincerely hope you do) and with a blog about health and fitness advise from two amateurs, you’ll want to know if their stories add up!

As we introduce ourselves we have decided for now to construct our entries separately until we find a better way to put our awesomeness together. For now, Jen writes from New York and I write from Toronto.

Jen:

 I never thought that I would love fitness, but here I am. I bumbled  through figure skating, swimming, triathlons, and hiking backpack trips. I  liked parts of those things, but I never looked forward to working out. I  was a lifeguard (so I hated swimming), I was old (10) when I  started competitively skating (so I was always awkward), I had (have)  terrible ankles (so I am an awful runner), and I’m just a lazy person (so I  never wanted to do anything). While I don’t think I was ever inactive, I ate  poorly throughout university and I never really pushed myself.

In the middle of a 5k in December, 2011, I rolled my ankle for what I swore  would the last time. I swore off running out of sheer frustration. I was  gimpy and I was unhappy with my body. I was angry at what little work I  had put into myself. Over the next few months, I discovered three things  that changed my life.

1. THE IRON: I will credit all of my success in changing my life to heavy  weights. I fell in love with having a barbell on my back. I fell in love with  being strong. I always want to go to the gym and I’m always happy to be  there. There is no greater feeling that throwing a barbell the weight of  your boyfriend on your back and standing up with it. Angry, happy, sad,  confused: for me, the iron fixes everything.

2. CLEAN EATING: The day I changed my life was also the day I sorted out my eating habits. I learned about what puts energy into my body and power out of it. My BMI when I started this journey slipped me just a smidge into the “overweight category”. This isn’t an especially accurate measure of health, but when you have very little muscle on you, it’s a pretty big wake-up call. My weight changed, sure, over the year (just over 25 pounds down), but I also became more energetic, more powerful, and most of all, more happy. That’s what changing your eating lifestyle can do for you.

3. BAREFEET: This may sound a little silly, but after I swore off running, my mom (an avid runner) came to visit me with a book on barefoot running and a pair of barefoot shoes. I learned how to change my stride and strengthen my feet, and I can happily say that my swearing off on running did not last. It wasn’t just the shoe that changed me, though—it was taking the time to redevelop how I moved, understood my body, and felt the ground underneath me. It was as much a mental change as it was a physical one.

So here I am now, a second-year law student in New York City. My main goals are to feel good, to find joy in movement, and to get strong. Together, Nidhi and I hope to bring you a way to fuel the energy that is in your body, and convert that into mental, physical, and emotional POWER.

Nidhi Arya:

I’m Nidhi, 24 and I have a career-related identity crisis. I have too many hobbies, a lot of things I am passionate about and at times I do not know what to distinguish myself as in terms of my career. I own a business in sound editing/mixing/mastering  and mixing music for clients (which I love!) yet I am also obsessed with fitness and the creativity involved in nutrition and clean eating. To start, I train in Muay Thai, practice yoga, run; and have recently gotten into weight-lifting. All of these ventures have enabled me to become increasingly adventurous when it comes to fitness and I  absolutely love the rush it gives me. At the end of the day my real bread and  butter is audio and I couldn’t feel any luckier to be always doing what I love –  whether it has to do with work or leisure. You’ll find that as a predominant  theme on my Instagram (nidhiiarya); especially food as I post a ton of pictures  on the things that I make. I’m practicing being a vegan so things are especially  interesting in that area and I have taken a flourishing interest in cooking and  baking delicious, wholesome and thoroughly nutritious meals that rejuvenate  our body and mind with everlasting energy.

 Basically, how this blog came about is Jen noticing my food snaps on instagram  and approached me with the idea of starting a blog. We’re both big on fitness  and food and we both seem to focus on opposing parts so when she brought  up the idea of a blog that incorporates nutrition and fitness linking it with  energy and strength-building – I was so excited. So here I am writing. Here’s a  brief background story about myself:

 Four years ago – age 20 –  I was a university student at UofT;  at a weight I was  not comfortable with and was constantly self-conscious. I was a meat-eater (am  vegan now) and bought into all of the healthy food fads that never worked for me. After much learning through trial and error I am now at a healthy weight that is perfect for me. I now train myself to eat organic, natural foods that nourish and satisfy me. The person you see on the left is the me I’m proud of: strong, healthy, energetic and confident. 4 years ago I never thought this woman could exist.

This took immense dedication, patience, and most importantly,  understanding how the human body works. In high school, I was average, fluctuating often however my physical health went downhill in university (typical) which really started eating at my esteem. From my point of view – all of my girlfriends were thin and gorgeous and I never felt comfortable in my own skin. The game changer was when I was 21 – I left to stay in Kenya on an internship for a month volunteering at schools in the rural, impoverished areas. The real culture shock was coming home. The things that I used to care about, I no longer did. I learned that those who live without excess seem to have a firm grasp on what is really important. This was a key point in my life that motivated me to take care of myself and work hard for the achievements I fantasize about everyday. So far, I’ve been on the right path (positive vibes get you there). Somehow this turning point – resulting in many great things – led me down a path of self-actualization that made me so aware that what you put into your body directly affects your wellness. I wholeheartedly believe in the saying “you are what you eat” because it is so true. The things we eat either feeds our health or disease and either enables or disempowers us from living our lives. Realizing these things has not only put me on the right track of health and happiness but it gave me the opportunity to delve into a great hobby of learning about nutrition and creating meals and treats that our body will thank us for. I’d say Kimberly Snyder who is this gorgeous, famous holistic nutritionist for the celebrities has had such a fantastic influence on me; look her up! Another one Is Em from This Rawsome Vegan Life (www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com); I don’t know her but she is extremely talented and I follow her blog religiously.

Anyways, that is a little (or a lot about me). In essence, my mission in this blog alongside Jen is to demonstrate to you that you can reach your goals, become strong and energetic – basically become your optimal self: the best you. This starts with health. Jen and I will guide you to ways in which you can train your body to look and perform in ways you’ve always wanted by increasing your energy, and strengthen you in body and mind. We are by no means experts, but we are learning along the way and live by example – we are excited to share our journey in health and wellness with you! Thank you for reading!

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