About Nadjejda's Wellness Journey
My wellness journey just like my career one hasn’t been a straight line. First I was very skinny and it was hard for me to put and keep weight on. I never worked out and while I was small, I was not in shape/healthy. It wasn’t until I was approaching 30 that I started to look into exercising and started gaining weight and keeping it on. To be real, while I try not to use the word “hate”, I hated working out, the gym (still not a fan of the gym)…But I love to dance so one day I was looking into some classes at a community college near me and stumbled upon zumba classes. I had no idea what zumba was except that it mentioned that it involved Latin music and dance moves and I love that. From day 1 I fell in love with zumba and felt the urge to become an instructor.
In the meantime, I had tried yoga at the gym and at the community college and didn’t enjoy it at the time and decided to stick with Pilates. Fast forward a few years later, I finally got the courage to get my Zumba Instructor Certification and I’ve been teaching since 2011 and it has been a great journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I learned that I felt better and was indeed in better shape when I was working out on a regular basis, I enjoyed being with people and that’s why I become an instructor because as I’m getting my workout, I’m sharing a part of me with others and motivating them on their wellness journey as well.
I later gave yoga another try but this time it was at a studio and I loved it, it has helped me get to know and accept myself and has been key to my transformation. I was diagnosed with a thyroid issue in my late teens and exercising on a regular basis is very important and I had given up on the medication as they weren't helping and I had been looking for a natural alternative and it included making changes to my diet based on my body type and thyroid condition. I started practicing kundalini yoga, which works on our endocrine system, and seeing an acupuncturist. A lot if not most our medical issues are related to our emotions, stress, and things we haven’t healed, and let go of.
Spirituality and Physical Well Being
Being raised catholic I prayed and went to church but never felt a strong connection with God, a higher power. I hadn’t heard of meditation until I was in my 20s and didn’t care about it until I reached 30. I didn’t fully commit myself to a spiritual practice until 3 years ago when I felt like my life wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. My spiritual practice has helped me through life challenges and I’ve even surprised myself for the way I’ve responded to some of life challenges. My faith and connection with God has grown tremendously and I know truly believe that I’m God’s child and he knows and wants the best for me and I’m here on earth to fulfill his purpose. And that's for all of us!
I’ve gotten that my body knows what it needs and tells me, I just need to listen to it. It’s all about my lifestyle as temporary diets and physical routines usually don’t work. Not everyone is meant to be the same size and we need stop looking at what society tells us is beautiful. I’ve learned to love and accept myself as I am and whatever it is I want to change will only change once I love it now. Funny thing, I got the body I've always wanted when I stopped obsessing and just did the things I enjoyed. My healthy lifestyle includes a daily ritual of morning and evening prayer, meditation and spiritual readings, I eat clean on a regular basis (I do have a cupcake, fries, or a burger once in awhile as I believe moderation is what works for me), I teach 3 zumba classes and practice yoga 3-4 times a week and I enjoy all of them. While there are days I may not want to go to yoga or teach zumba, once I get on my mat and/or the music and my body start moving, all is well and I welcome the challenge and enjoy it. And some days sitting still can be hard so I’ll go for a long walk, listen to some spiritual music. There isn’t one way to meditate, do what feeds your soul and relaxes you.
What I know for sure is that the keys to our well-being start with us choosing that it is important to us and making a commitment to it. Then make a conscious choice to start eating clean, start small, and choose physical activities that you enjoy. My belief is that if "you don’t enjoy, you won’t stick with it." Being honest with ourselves is very important. Being healthy is a lifestyle so choose that lifestyle; go at your own pace, love all of you now and you will succeed. It will be tough but with commitment, determination, discipline and choosing the things that you enjoy, you’ll get there.