Over the past 10 years, I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively with my first job: modelling. I’ve had some amazing experiences, embracing local cultures, meeting wonderful people, and being swept up in the fashion industry. When not travelling, I found myself in and out of the retail environment: working long hours and always on my feet.
People aspire to have the “supermodel body” we often see portrayed in magazines and across social media. With my background in the fashion industry, I have always been pigeonholed into this category. But that’s not to say that having what society has deemed the “perfect body” has made me healthy OR happy. On the contrary, it’s been quite the opposite. Both my jobs left me feeling lethargic and void of energy. I became increasingly more stressed placing further strain on my body and mind. I was going through the motions but not actually enjoying anything I was doing anymore and suffered from anxiety, depression, and became physically ill.
With these circumstances, I began to re-think my lifestyle and decided something had to give. I came off all medications, including birth control and anti-depressants, in an attempt to detox my body and heal myself naturally. My skin suffered horribly for the first time in my life and drew me into further depression. It made me question things I never gave any thought to before. I began to think about what I was putting on my skin, what I was eating, and how to balance my hormones and fight depression without the need of chemicals.
I went back to yoga and finally took the leap to become qualified to teach. Yoga was something that helped me to relax, strengthen my body, and heal my spirit. Best of all, I found it to be non-competitive and something I could go along with at my own pace.
Along with practicing yoga, I became more aware of my health and what I was putting into my body. Food has become another love of mine and I enjoy baking and cooking when not on the mat.
The health and wellness industry is booming and there are so many people out there trying to carve their own path. Upon looking at me, many assume I would be about counting calories and maintaining my figure but it’s about changing the stereotypes around ALL body image. We are all different: our minds, our bodies, our lifestyles, and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. It’s about finding that happy medium for you.
With the word “healthy” becoming more overused and not as embodied as we may like, for me the key has been balance. Balance allows you to achieve a healthier life. I’ve chosen a lifestyle to make decisions so I can live happily and ultimately longer. This encompasses as much of a healthy mind as it does a healthy body in all aspects for an enriching life.
Perhaps you’re similar and enjoy indulging in the occasional cheesy pizza as much as you enjoy purple kale and green smoothies. Or you get pretty excited about making it to a yoga class or finding some amazing produce at the farmers market. I know I do even though I never thought I’d be that person!
I’ve learnt and continue to learn that life is to be lived. For experiences and memories and to enjoy the present moment, wherever we may be. Hopefully you feel inspired to adopt as much or as little as you like into your life for a healthier and happier you in body, mind, and spirit.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me through here.
You can book yoga classes online at: www.popupyogaclasses.com
Copyright Steph Matthews 2017- All images and site content are my own unless otherwise indicated. If you’d like to use any images and/or site content, I kindly ask you make sure to link back to my website. No stealing please, thank you!