Life Update and Travel Edition: Union, Washington and Lake Tahoe, California

Hi, friends. Happy Friday! Long time no chat — apologies for the radio silence. How are you? I hope August has treated you well. If we were sitting in a spacious coffee shop, sipping on something iced and enjoying the warm summer breeze, our conversation would probably revolve around the following: change.

Just shy of a decade ago, I was embarking on my freshman year of college. My parents and I flew to Colorado, and they held back tears as we unloaded and unpacked my first dorm room. I quickly settled into an eye-opening, intense, and emotional next four years. College certainly had its ups and downs. When I started school, I was in a long-distance relationship. I was excited to meet new people. And I was looking forward to new experiences. Circa 2008, my body was at its natural set point. I had an intuitive relationship with food and exercise. By the time I graduated, a lot had changed. I was single. I was older, wiser, and had landed my first post-college job. I had accomplished what I set out to do, four years prior — study abroad (check), do well in my classes (check), find a passion or two (check), make life-long friends (check), and become a leader in my sorority (check). However, college came with more than just one price tag. An emotional one. I turned to food and exercise to help me cope when I was feeling stressed, sad, or anxious.

Throughout my college years, my mind-body connection lost its allure. This was in part due to a breakup that rocked my world, an obsession with "healthy living," feeling epic waves of homesickness while studying abroad, and setting high academic standards for myself. The perfect storm, really. I unknowingly created a complicated relationship with my body, one that took years to mend. If you've been a Wellness with Edie follower for a while, this is not new news. If you're new around here, welcome. Anyway, by the time I graduated from college, the concept of a supportive mind-body connection was still pretty foreign to me. However, I realized that using food and exercise as coping mechanisms were rather unhelpful. Change was inevitably on the horizon.

Fast-forward to one year ago. I still wasn't quite as intuitive around food and exercise as I wanted to be. Thankfully though, I had made substantial progress. I have my family, husband, IIN, and mentors to thank. At the end of August 2017, my husband and I left for a trip to Finland. While we were there, I didn't step foot in a gym. I didn't do any yoga, cycling, or weight lifting. We walked a ton — don't get me wrong — but formal exercise was proportionately lower on my priority list than experiencing the beauty of Helsinki and my husband's hometown, Hyvinkää. That trip changed me. I returned home with a newfound appreciation for less exercise and more ice cream. I felt like I finally came to grips with how much unnecessary time I spent caring about the size and shape of my body.

So here we are. Mid-August 2018. What a year it has been. A year ago, I started caring deeply for my body. I began working with a functional medicine doctor to get my PCOS symptoms under control. I put my wellbeing at the forefront. I chose self-care as a vital part of my vitality. I started exercising in a supportive way. I incorporated even more fats into my daily eats. Additionally, I left my job at a Denver-based tech startup. I set out to create a fulfilling career in the wellness / health coaching, food, and blogging space. So, yeah. Change. A lot of it. And more to come. But I've learned that embracing change, no matter how daunting it may seem, is the best way to create possibility. For that matter, propelling myself in the direction of change has proved (time and time again) to open unanticipated doors. It is intimidating, though. Don't get me wrong. And I don't think fear will ever quite subside. But I'm learning how to harness it. Because at the end of the day, I'm reminding myself that with or without fear, change is the only constant.  

Alright, onto something a bit more lighthearted. :) As you can see, I finally finished editing a slew of photos from our two trips at the beginning of August. We had two weddings, on back-to-back weekends. One in Union, Washington and the other in Lake Tahoe, California. In Washington state, we were at the breathtaking Alderbrook Resort. The second wedding was at the top of Northstar. So rad. I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but I'm feeling immensely lucky for the time spent with family and close friends in truly beautiful places.

Happy weekending!