Author Christine Silvestrone
My trailhead began when I was a little girl, I have 5 brothers and sisters and we all loved being active as you could imagine I had enough siblings to fill a basketball team. I grew up on a farm where I had lots of animals to chase after and lots of land to run around on. In this sense I’ve always been active in my life and I love the outdoors. But it wasn’t just the environment I was raised in that made me this way, my sisters and I would do home workouts because we enjoyed it and we thought it was fun. This doesn’t mean I was working out every day, lifting heavy weights, and running 8 miles as a 10-year-old. It just means occasionally we would do an ab workout on our living room floor or watch a workout video on our television screen. This is how it starts for anyone, no one is diving right in and doing 2hrs a day, 7 days a week of intense workouts. Everyone must start somewhere, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating, simply starting 1 day a week with a home workout is perfectly fine.
This is my trailhead, its where my journey began but it isn’t where it ended. My love for activity and exercise grew from there. As soon as I was old enough I went into soccer, basketball, baseball and pretty much any sport I could get into. We all have stuff we enjoy, and we must find that activity that we enjoy to stay consistent with being active. If there is no enjoyment and you dread going to this activity you will often skip if you have the chance, but if it’s something you enjoy doing or even love to do you will drop anything to make sure you can make it every time. As I grew up most of the sports I played faded away because the enjoyment wasn’t as strong, so I didn’t make the effort to keep doing it, but soccer was the one sport that always stuck with me and I always loved playing. I would drop anything for soccer because it gave me that high, it made me feel good and healthy. You may be thinking “I don’t enjoy anything active, it’s just not my thing.” Many people feel this way when they first start out. It’s not fun when you aren’t good at something, but that’s why we practice and that’s how we grow to love it. Finding something you enjoy doing may mean trying lots of activities you don’t enjoy, but as soon as you find the one you want to stick with it’s the best feeling.
I know it seems like my journey to an active lifestyle may have happened naturally, but my journey to healthy eating was not so easy. I grew up in a house hold where healthy eating was important but doesn’t mean as a child I agreed with it. As children and often as adults as well we want to eat sugar, fat, and carbs. As a child I couldn’t wait to eat all my Halloween candy, to eat three slices of birthday cake, eat chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese all the fun children food. As I grew up I started to realize more and more how these types of foods made me feel; sluggish, tired, bloated, and even sick sometimes. So, I began to eat better but I often still ate food that wasn’t so good for me. Change is a slow process; my diet didn’t completely change until I was diagnosed with endometriosis. Many foods inflamed and irritated the endo. I slowly started to move towards a diet that was non-dairy, gluten free, red meet free, and mostly soy free. This was a very drastic change in my diet, so I took it one step at a time. I started with just eliminating dairy and I began to feel better and less campy. Then I proceeded to eliminate each of the other ones at the pace that felt comfortable to me. At this point in my life I was 23 years old and had always had stomach and bowl issues, but I started to notice that as I changed my diet I started to feel less sluggish, less bloated, no more cramping, and regular/normal bowl movements.
At this point in my life my diet wasn’t the only thing I was changing. Sleep is a big determiner of whether I have a good day or a bad day. In college I used to stay up till two in the morning then wake up at six the next day then I would wonder why I was so tired in class all the time and why I had no energy during soccer practice. This all changed when I got a dog, my dog forced me to get up at six in the morning to take him out and I knew that if I didn’t want to be totally drained at work the next day I needed to start going to bed earlier. I now get eight or more of sleep most nights and I have much more energy throughout the day.
Now you know why I enjoy a healthy lifestyle but why health coaching? I have always been passionate about helping people and I always knew I wanted to work in a profession that worked directly with others, but I didn’t always know I wanted to be a health coach. When I went to college I really struggled with what I wanted to study, and I bounced around too many different majors before I landed upon Kinesiology my junior year in college. Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of body movement. During my studies of kinesiology, I learned about preventative health care; fitness, nutrition, exercise plans, and much more in the world of health and fitness. When I graduated I knew I had a passion for health and fitness but didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, I knew I wanted to do more than personal training, but I also knew that I wanted to help people in the way I knew how and didn’t want to be told how to do it. So, after exploring many avenues I landed upon health coaching, I love it because it allows me to do what I love and help others become what they want to be. I enjoy the satisfaction of transforming someone’s life for the better and making the world a healthier place one person at a time. Wellness is the future and I want to be a part of that future. So, when I came to this decision I jumped right into getting my health coaching certification and learning and reading as much as I could get my hands on. I began to build my Facebook page (TrailHead Wellness) and my website (trailheadwellnesscoach.com) to work my way towards the career of my dreams.
Although my journey began when I was younger your trailhead can start anywhere in your life it’s up to you to mark that point. I think we all have a desire to be healthy, be active, be outside. It’s an instinct in all of us and it just needs to be brought out, and a love can be grown for a healthy lifestyle. Healthy living can be addictive because it makes you feel good and energized. Like anything that is addictive, healthy behavior gives you a high and when you get that high enough you want to chase it and continue to feel that high. Unlike drugs this high can last and make you feel more alive and energized. Don’t be afraid to start your journey no matter where you are in your life, begin your hike.