I grew up in a household that was obsessed with takeout, fast food, and overall unhealthy lifestyle. I was never put in sports growing up and it was not until my sophomore year in high school that I joined a soccer team. Even though I was one of the worst soccer players known to man, I still wanted to prioritize my health. I would perform much worse at practice if I had pizza the night before or a Pop Tart for breakfast, so I decided to live a plant-based lifestyle. For some reason, my parents were less than supportive but they accepted it after a while. 

Due to low iron, I integrated some meat back into my diet but only because while I was pregnant, I experienced low iron levels. However, changing my diet, meal prepping, cutting out fast food changed my whole perspective on wellness. Here are some things I learned along the way on how to prioritize your wellness. 

Make Friends With Similar Goals 

Having a support system of people that support your goals, even if you do not live with them, is going to increase your likelihood of sticking with your wellness journey. You can join a Facebook group, Reddit community, or find an app specifically for your goal. Check out your school or alumni organizations and your local library to see if you can join anything there as well! You can also read blogs, books, magazines, and so on to get different insights on what you want to do and how to achieve your goals. Instagram is also a very useful platform as well to get a better idea of what your support system can look like. 

Stick to a Routine

Despite what age you start your wellness journey at, you need to start a routine. If you set up a consistent schedule for yourself, the routine will make it easier to stick to. If you meal prep for the week because you want to live a plant-based lifestyle and your office orders pizza and wings for lunch, you will have your lunch already with you. You will be tempted by the office lunch; however, you have the ability to make a healthy decision by sticking with the lunch you already packed. If you want to workout every morning, set an alarm to get up at the same time every day. If you do not set an alarm, you are more likely to stay in bed. Small changes equal great results. 

Stick Up For Your Well Being

The reason why you are starting your wellness journey is for yourself. So that you have the power to feel healthier, happier, and more like yourself. There is a reason why you started and it is not going to be easy but it is something that is necessary to do. Everyone is going to have their own opinions and try to tell you differently…be your own advocate. Tell them why you are doing it. Tell them the benefits of walking every day or eating meatless once a week or meditating every morning. 

Some people are held back by their own personal opinions rather than factual information, so provide it to them. Offer for them to join you to work out or to try a dairy free meal with you and see if they become more open to it. Once my family had a meal that was plant based, they judged less. They realized the food I was making was not “fake and gross,” it was nutritious and tasted really good. Stand up to yourself and share your wellness with others, it will truly go a long way.