5 Reasons I’m Healthier at 35 than at 20

I debated keeping this chapter of my life closed and just moving forward with the here and now, but my goal is to be an open book, keeping it real in my journey through life.  I know I’ll be able to help others out there through sharing my story.  So this is for YOU, my long, lost virtual friend!  You CAN change your ways, yes…you…CAN!!

As I was flipping through old photo albums yesterday, looking for a photo of me and my mom to post for Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day, mom!!), I was SHOCKED!  I hadn’t looked through these albums for years, and here’s what I came across…

College Graduation, 2003 (22 years old)
Studying Abroad in Spain, 2000 (19 years old)
Newly Engaged, 2005 (24 years old)


Holy cow, look at my face!

Was it just a bad angle?

Maybe it was just one photo, when I was sick and my face swelled up?

Nope, I flipped through photo after photo, all looking similar.  Because I’m feeling the healthiest physically, mentally and spiritually now than ever before, my jaw hit the floor seeing these photos of myself in my 20’s!

If you read my About page on my website, you know that I’ve always been active, with a love of team sports.  From age 5, I was on a soccer team, fast forward to Middle School, I was playing competitive soccer, on the track and field and volleyball team.  At the University of California at San Diego, I continued my love of team sports on the club lacrosse team.

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Back to the title…

5 Reasons I’m Healthier at 35 than at 20….

1. My mind is in the right place

Then: I’m not saying my mind was in a bad place in my 20’s, but, as any 20-something, insecure young woman, navigating life in college, there’s a lot to figure out.
Now: I’ve never been so confident in my mindset.  I know who I am, I’m at peace with where my life is, the choices I make and the direction I am headed.  To reach the mindset I have today, I’ve worked a lot on myself… hired a personal coach, journal gratitude and meditate at least 5 minutes every day.  I can now catch myself and dialogue with myself when I hear negativity trickle in, to be able to quickly filter it out.  It’s a process, and a choice I make daily to be in the right headspace.

2. Exercising smarter, not harder

Then: On days I didn’t have soccer/lacrosse practice, I was the cardio queen!  I’d run/stair master at least 60 minutes, and that’s it.  I never lifted weights or switched up my exercise…I became a creature of habit…same old!
Now:  I still love exercise and know it sets me up for success, so I still schedule it in (almost) daily.  I listen to my body and know when it’s telling me to take a day off.  Types of exercise I love are: Orange Theory Fitness, working out with my trainer friend Bruno, using my Jungle Gym XT straps and Lifeline Wheel at home, walking, jogging, and bike-riding with the kids.  The biggest change now is that I’m better at listening to my body, taking days off when I feel the need, incorporating weight training exercises and switching up workouts to keep things FUN!

3. Eliminating chemicals in my food

Then:  I drank a Diet Coke everyday, yogurt with artificial sweeteners, Fat-Free/Low Fat foods, and followed the “Heart Healthy Diet” which promoted lots of carbohydrates…remember that old food pyramid?  Basically, I was eating tons of chemicals my body wasn’t recognizing.  When I did eat real food, it was typically carbohydrates, which turned right into sugar–>FAT!  My body didn’t know what to do with all those chemicals I was ingesting on a daily basis.  No wonder I was so inflamed?!
Now: I have learned so much about nutrition!  Real nutrition.  Real, Organic food.  Nourishing the body at the cellular level with trace vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and tons of fruits and vegetables.  I now enjoy cooking and baking, using whole ingredients so I know exactly what goes into my body.

4. Cleansing

Then: Just like I wrote above, I didn’t think twice about the chemicals I ingested or was exposed to on a daily basis.
Now: Because we are bombarded with chemicals on a daily basis, many over which we have no control (food, air, water), I choose to do a cleanse day once a week.  Cleansing has been an amazing addition to my healthy lifestyle, and the side-effect has been weight loss.  It’s s systematic, Non-Gmo cellular cleanse drink from the heart of the Aloe Vera plant, designed to open cells to release toxins.  It’s based on the concept of Intermittent Fasting, but this cleanse is very structured, where you’re eating/drinking something every hour to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.  My Monday cleanse days are my super productive, energized days, where I get all my grocery shopping, cleaning, and food prep done.  Love my cleanse days!

5. My life is simple and organized

Then: I’m not saying I wasn’t organized before…I was very successful academically, graduated UCSD a semester early, traveled abroad, achieved my goals, but I tended to overcomplicate life’s occurrences.  Nothing was very simple in my 20’s, and for that reason, my mind and life was in constant chaos.
Now:  I have discovered and developed simple systems to go through my day to day life.  Simple systems such as meal planning, grocery shopping, keeping my family’s schedule organized, keeping the house picked up (yes, even with Autism craziness), laundry, getting all of Jackson’s weekly special gluten free/dairy free foods prepared, even down to how I organize my pantry and closet.  It’s just as easy to be organized in my physical space as it is to be living in chaos and overwhelm.  By implementing these simple systems, I am able to live in peace and calm.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Can you relate to any of my struggles in my 20’s?  Are you healthier now at your current age than you were in your college years?