My Story

Some Facts

       My name is Gabi and I am twenty years old. I was born in the Czech Republic, grew up in the Bay Area, and now live in the Bronx, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am an aspiring blogger, business student, food lover, and Division 1 athlete, and strive to do only those things that positively impact me or others in some way.

I just got my first apartment, and finally have free reign in the kitchen to experiment and develop my passion for healthy cooking and baking, and blogging about it to share my results with you! I have taken pride in making our kitchen functional and beautiful on an almost zero dollar budget.

Apart from that, I also enjoy learning more about fitness and developing my own workouts, I love traveling and talking about it, I like writing, thinking, reflecting, and relaxing, and spending time with friends and especially my family, whom I do not see often enough.

 

Read on to find out more about my story, and my resulting outlook!

  Lessons from Food and Sport

Sports have always been an integral part of my life, and I competed in swimming and triathlon until thanks to my sister, I eventually settled on the game of volleyball and now play at the collegiate level. I never really thought about nutrition or the food I ate when I was in high school. I was active and always stayed in pretty good shape, despite my favorite foods being bread, pasta, and ice cream in any order or combination. I did eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but was never open to trying new things and strayed away from food that didn’t “look” familiar. Then in 2011, I tore my ACL, which set off a chain reaction of events for me. My injury not only completely changed my college plans and my perspective on my sport, but also my eating habits as well. I started being obsessed with doing whatever I could in order to speed up my recovery and get back into shape for college volleyball, which ended up having both positive and negative consequences:

I started doing research on nutrition and fat loss, and monitored what I ate closely. This turned out to be kind of a double edged sword, because while I did get into really good shape and learned so much about the kind of foods that are necessary to eat in order to get there, I also got into a restrictive mindset, which ended up messing with my relationship with food a little bit. There is a fine balance between being fit and muscular and being skinny, and I may have let myself waver on the latter side a little too much. As weird as it may sound, I can attest to the fact that that is a bigger hole to dig out of then being out of shape. The most detrimental result of my efforts, however, and the biggest driving force behind my attitude towards nutrition was that I started worrying about how others perceived me, thinking that people would judge me according to my fitness level, and I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t working hard enough.

 On the other hand, by learning so much about food during this process, my interest in healthy cooking and baking took off, as I began to put my own spin on foods that I had enjoyed before but were now “off limits.” I had always been interested in it and used to love helping my mom in the kitchen, but this inspired me to start being creative with food and develop my own recipes. I also started to appreciate food more, and just how good it is in its natural, raw, and unprocessed state. Because of this, I stopped being so damn picky and my tastes began to change! Everyone used to tell me that college would cure me of this but I never believed them until some of the foods I refused to eat before became some of my absolute favorites- avocado, tuna, seafood, sweet potatoes, zucchini, salsa, hummus, cheese other than my usual mozzarella (brie and goat anyone?), celery, almond milk, brussel sprouts, sushi…this list could go on and on. There are so many great and varied foods in the world and I have learned how fun it is to be adventurous in trying them.

In this aspect, the process of injury, rehab, recovery, and growth in fitness and my eating habits has been such a learning process for me, and reflecting on these past couple of years has been especially helpful. I never want to think of food as being “forbidden,” or hate myself for breaking any rules I set for myself to follow just because of how I think others will see the consequences. Even more importantly, I want to be grateful for my body rather than be resent it for what it cannot do. I now know that I can find a balance between eating in order to stay lean and fuel my body for athletic performance, and still enjoy food at the same time.  Since then, I have learned not to be so harsh on myself, even though that is still hard to do sometimes. Moving forward, I think that key things to keep in mind are moderation and acceptance- there will always be ups and downs, both physical and mental, but rather than getting caught up in them, I would like focus on making peace with them and move forward.

I try to remind myself that there is no need to stress over the little things, and there is a lot of freedom and relief in realizing that the missteps and the mistakes we make are only a small and often insignificant part of a bigger picture. Choosing to adopt a positive mindset can be hard sometimes, but I really think that having this perspective will lead me to be more proactive, productive, and forgiving. There is a lot of pressure on athletes like myself already, so having to deal with our own selves as an additional stressor or source of negative energy can be especially detrimental.

I am constantly trying to grow and develop both personally and in the kitchen, and this blog will hopefully be an outlet for me to way for me to continue experiment and share the results as I enter a new stage of life as a twenty-something year-old with a new outlook.

Thanks for reading, and email me or comment if you have comments, questions, or would like to discuss further!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Gabi! I absolutely adore your blog and am only sorry I didn't look into it earlier! Your story is really inspirational and you are truly a fascinating girl! Also, I don't know if just missed a picture of you on instagram, but you are STUNNING! Anyways- just wanted to say I love the relatable and positive message you are spreading and your scrumptious recipes!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tracy! Thank you so much for making my day with your kind comments :) So glad we were able to connect through Instagram, and I look forward to following your blog as well!

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