With Christmas fast approaching, I've been thinking a lot lately about the connections I've made with people I've grown to love...the ones that make the holidays worth celebrating. Over the past year, I have been working hard (but sometimes hardly working) to change my eating and exercise habits for the better, and for good. Although I have not been as successful as I would have liked, those connections have been a really positive take-away from this experience. Even before I started writing for this website, I noticed my social life had greatly improved because of my increased interest in health and wellness. And not because I looked any better or-at the time-felt any better. It was the people I met and the opportunities that came my way that helped me begin to open up and experience more of what the world had to offer. And it hasn't stopped yet.
I met Natalie almost three years ago at my old gym during Zumba class. I had decided to try Zumba (a Latin dance-inspired aerobic workout) so I could get out of a rut and try something new. Natalie and I started hanging out a bit after class, and eventually did all of our workouts together several times a week. We even took trips to DC every few months to participate in the "Zumbathon", a charity event put on by all of the area instructors. Natalie and I became great friends and took our friendship out of the gym, to the movies, shopping, lunches, and more. By trying something different for my health, I got a wonderful new friend too. I met Sandy (the trainer) at the same gym, and we've also become very close. When she's not kicking my ass, we have a lot in common.
In the summer of 2007, I was facing a serious depression brought on by some family and work issues. After a trip to see a doctor--who I firmly believe did me more harm than good with the meds he gave me-I decided to take matters into my own hands. I did some online research and after chatting with lots of different women who told me the same thing, I decided to read their suggested book ("The Orgasmic Diet" by Marrena Lindberg, if you're interested). I followed the diet (which is also supposed to help with depression, among the obvious female issues), and in a few months, I felt almost 100% better. The booked helped to water the ideas on holistic nutrition already growing in the garden of my mind. After my positive experience with the diet and the book, my interest in the subject soared to new heights. Eventually I began working at the Natural Marketplace, where I work with and meet people who teach me things in a way I never thought possible. Forget just reading something in a book or on a website. Now I get to share in others' experiences and get a ton of different viewpoints on nutrition, medicine, and more. It's been an awesome ride.
Through my job, I have also been offered different opportunities and gotten to know some amazing people. I got to help a local holistic health counselor cook for a group of women at a beautiful weekend retreat. I've become super close with two wonderful massage therapists who offer me physical help when I need it, and whose kindness and caring friendships have come to mean the world to me. I have awesome customers who have grown to love and appreciate the cooking into which I pour my heart. I look forward to seeing my regulars everyday and finding out about their lives. Some of them have even asked if I can help them learn more about cooking...or just cook for them! Who knows where those questions may lead. A small business perhaps?
Connections are an important part of my life, and I feel very lucky to have made so many by way of my quest for a healthier, happier life. This coming weekend, I will be celebrating connections with twelve of my closest friends as everyone comes together for my annual "Christmahanukwanzaka" Party. Not all of these friends hang out regularly, but it's cool to bring people together in honor of the season, and to share a potluck dinner, great conversation, and lots of laughter. Perhaps my annual tradition has helped to create some new connections. Absolutely, it has created some very healthy socialization. Looking forward to the night!
Published On: December 07, 2010