Hi friends. Welcome to The World as we See It
Today I’m choosing to share a part of my personal journey with you because my life has really taken off in the last two years and I think it’s helpful for you to know it hasn’t always been like that. In fact, years went by in which I felt completely stuck. I was exhausted from my efforts but never felt like I was actually getting anywhere. Life for me was kind of like being on a treadmill; everyday of my life was concerned with wanting to lose weight but somehow I was never slim. Anxiety was so deeply woven within me, like a spiderweb, that I never even realized it didn’t have to be like that. I didn’t even really know I experienced anxiety, it was just life, and it was stressful and tense and full of worry, so needlessly so.
Originally from the US, the ‘Deep South’ in fact, I stepped foot on my first airplane in 2008, crossing 8,383.37 miles from my parents and home and landing in Christchurch, New Zealand. Weeks later I faced my paralyzing fear of heights for the first time and jumped out of the second airplane I’d ever been in 12,000 feet above sea level. Later that day I flung myself, terrified and crying, off the cable car at the world’s third highest bungy. These are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Another one of the best decisions I’d ever made was declining my admittance to The University of Georgia and instead accepting the offer to attend Georgia Southern University. In 2009 I graduated from university with a degree in architecture and design, but as it was the height of the worldwide economic recession paid jobs just simply didn’t exist even for experienced designers. Those of us who were entry level hadn’t a chance at anything more than an overworked and unpaid internship, and because that didn’t interest me I turned to an industry that always thrives when the world goes south: I began bartending in the service industry.
Although I was doing really well financially, enough even to pursue that American Dream of home-ownership, during the next five years I battled anxiety and depression and my health and strength were failing. I was unhappy and one day I reached my breaking point. I was overweight, unhealthy and adrift in life. I didn’t know where my journey would take me, but I had my first aha! moment; I knew taking charge of the health of my body was the first step. I began a rigorous routine which kept me burning massive amounts of calories during the day and working 8-10 hour shifts at a physically demanding job as late into the night as 4am. My methods accomplished what I had set out to do: I lost weight, even if I was working against myself at the time.
In addition to my fitness, I proceeded to work on my digestive health only to find it too was failing me. I tried elimination diet after elimination diet to determine what food allergy was making me so sick, only to finally discover everything made me sick because it was my overall gut biome that had been damaged. My hair began to fall out. I had to have a breast lump removed. My body was literally rejecting everything I put into it and began shutting down. My dream of eating my way around the world seemed not only improbable, it seemed forever impossible. Although the outlook seemed bleak, I never gave up. I spent countless hours learning everything I could about the human body and healing. Through the unwavering support of my boyfriend, hard dedication, and a strong mental attitude I began to heal. Together we introduced probiotics and other gut-healing mechanisms to restore my intestinal flora. My life began to come back in such full color it started to be hard to remember how bad things used to be. My digestion was restored, I was no longer dependent on staying home and I could explore my passion for the culinary arts again! Coming back from this showed me just how possible anything was in life if you really wanted it badly enough, and so I decided that it was the time to achieve my dream of “one day.”
Coming from a small and well-meaning but overprotective family, my dream was to travel the world and someday live abroad, and so in 2015 I put everything in motion. I sold almost everything I owned, I cleared myself of $10,000 in debt and I took off with a a one-way ticket, my boyfriend, and 4 bags between us. I was a girl who had never left the Southeast US until college and now I’ve visited 30 countries by my 30th birthday. I traveled, open-ended for 10 consecutive months last year, starting in Portugal and moving through Western Europe, the Balkans, the Baltics, Central Europe and then finally into the wild and urban jungles of Southeast Asia. I came face to face with panic attacks, agoraphobia, and paralyzing self-criticism.
I journeyed over 40,000 miles on land, but amazingly it was with my inner self that I reached the greatest lengths.
As of March 21 2017 I still battle anxiety almost every single day, but I don’t let it limit me. (2018 Update: I’m so happy to say this is no longer true!)
I have panic attacks in large crowds of people, but I go to huge festivals and I’ve traveled to some of the cities with the most insane traffic patterns in the world.
I used to struggle with being a control-freak, but after flinging myself with no plans or bookings to a dusty city in the middle of Laos I’ve taught myself how to overcome that.
My fight with anxiety isn’t over, but every obstacle I overcome makes me a stronger, more capable, more generous and more loving person.There have been many personal battles fought over the last 5 years, and I really believe that if I can change my life like this, anyone can with the right push.Nothing makes me as happy as when I’ve been told I’m inspiring, that the challenges I’ve faced are a motivating force for someone to change their life.
I have checked the boxes on two of my life goals before the age of 30:
✓ Travel the world and experience the great cuisine it has to offer
✓ Live in a foreign country
I’ve only been living in Barcelona for two weeks, and I am sure that I have many other obstacles coming my way, but that is part of the fun in life. My dream is now to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves while living life to the fullest, speak four languages fluently, and travel to all seven continents.
What are your goals? What part of the world do you live in? I’d love to hear your story!
Questions about how to heal your body, get in shape, or work toward accomplishing your dreams? DM me on Instagram @as_christy_sees_it