[Op-ed] My Journey To Wellness
Avokato Toast founder and creator, Katie Longfield, is an active, healthful, fashion-loving blogger. Balancing being a full-time college student as well as running a health and fitness blog, she gives insight on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through life’s hectic schedule.
My journey to wellness is one that often gets swept under the rug. It’s a story about the real, ugly truth that millions of high school girls are subjected to every day. The issues I discuss are part of the reason why confidence and self-esteem are at an all time low for many girls. My wellness story and past experiences may sound eerily familiar and I hope to vocalize some of the harsh realities teenage girls are facing.
Since I was young, I’d always lived an active lifestyle. Between playing lacrosse, riding horses, running for fun, or hiking to the top of some exotic rainforest with my family, I was always moving. It wasn’t until the middle of my high school years that I noticed the patterns of some of the girls around me. There’s this sudden age where girls all seem to think being ‘healthy’ and ‘fit’ means incessantly going to the gym and worrying about how much they eat. I noticed that it became this big competition among girls: “Who could be seen at the gym the most?” These are the kind of sick games high schoolers are all forced to play. During this time, I also became very aware of what eating disorders looked like and how they affected people’s lives due to circumstances affecting a best friend of mine. From this experience, I knew that what these girls around me were doing was not ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’ at all. Knowing what I know now about health and wellness, I’m able to now see that these girls were actually severely affecting their health.
I quickly realized that I would never want to view being active in an obsessive way. I made a point to view working out as part of my healthy and balanced lifestyle. I first contemplated, and ultimately came to a realization about, why I liked to workout. I determined that I enjoyed working out because I loved the way it makes my body feel after the fact. I love moving my body and appreciating everything it can do. Some days I’ll to do an intense, sweaty spin or HIIT workout; other days I enjoy simply going on a hike with my dog, riding my horse, or doing some yoga. We must all establish that fine line between being healthy, fit, and enjoying moving our bodies and feeling like you must workout and becoming obsessive. This line is extremely personal and different for everyone, which is why it takes time to discover.
I began my Instagram and blog, Avokato, to help spread awareness on what wellness looks like in real life. I aim to be completely honest and even vulnerable through my social media outlets. By sharing recipes with real, whole ingredients as well as stressing the importance of listening to your body, I share my love for health and fitness in sustainable ways. My Instagram and blog is a true reflection of what I believe to be a healthy relationship between fitness and food for my own body and life (along with some occasional, fun fashion tips!). I hope to motivate individuals to also find this healthy balance and relationship with fitness. Remember, have fun and enjoy living an active lifestyle! I challenge you to grab a bestie, go outside and get moving today:)
Avokato Blog Founder + Creator