Our Stories: Megan

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Drinking more than you want to is just about the most common experience a drinker can have. You are not alone in questioning alcohol and there is so much power in finding another way.

I have yet to meet someone who quit drinking who didn’t completely up-level their life. Read and see.

This series shares stories of strong-ass women (and men!) who decided to stop settling for hangovers and mediocrity and discovered their best selves through an alcohol-free lifestyle. They inspire a whole new generation of people to know that you don’t have to drink to be “normal” or fit in. Why not be exceptional instead?

MEGAN FROM MEGAN SWAN WELLNESS

Megan Swan is an integrative nutrition health coach and yoga teacher and moved towards a healthier lifestyle to improve her own emotional and physical wellbeing. She loves to create learning environments where others discover new knowledge and insight enabling them to spark creative inner connections while fueling her own quest for a healthy holistic lifestyle. Read her story of how she embraced an alcohol-free healthy holistic lifestyle.

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MEGAN’S JOURNEY

I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle a decade ago when I was training to be a yoga instructor. I believe the important changes were that I moved towards a plant-based diet and started to look after my body and I learned how to breathe.  With just these few changes I noticed my asthma went away and my annual incidence of bronchitis as well. At the time I thought it was all thanks to yoga, but I now see what I was consuming and how had completely changed and that these things have a great impact, more so that we often are aware.  

Since then I felt I was on a good path but still frustrated with my mood swings. From as early on as I can remember I was known as ‘angry’, as a teenager I owned this anger as part of personality and played the ‘sarcastic bitch’ role in order to get by. I started to drink heavily as a late teenager and all through my twenties. I was ‘honouring’ my alcoholic father and playing with fire as I avoiding processing his suicide which happened when I was two weeks shy of 18 years old. It was definitely a blessing I found yoga in my late twenties. Although for another decade I was living between the two worlds: high functioning jaded-alcoholic and vegetarian ashtanga yogi.

(On some level I wonder if that word, alcoholic, is really useful anymore.  I believe we all start an addiction in order to fill a void, it is a 'disease of disconnection' as Russell Brand and Dr. Gabor Maté state. However I'm not convinced categorizing it as a disease, which sounds like a medical and or psychological problem is useful.)

It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first son that my priorities, my point of view and my physical body started to change dramatically. I didn’t realize it at the time but the limits on my diet and drinking were helping my body heal and setting the stage for my acceptance that for me alcohol and parenting do not compliment each other. When I was eating fairly well but still drinking a lot of wine, eating a lot of gluten filled carbs and celebrating everything with a lot of sugar I felt like I was failing as a mother because I often didn't feel happy or balanced emotionally. I lacked energy to be the mom I wanted to be and knew deep down that I could be a better person.

I could see my addiction to sugar and wine was a factor but I wasn't ready to fully accept the changes I needed to make until I began studying to be a health coach. As a health coach I have learned first hand how these things affect our mind, body and spirit. I have now quit eating processed foods and gluten and I have stopped drinking alcohol completely. It has dramatically improved my physical and emotional wellbeing and most importantly my energy levels and in turn my patience with my children and my husband. I wish to work towards completely eliminating sugar from my diet.  I have done so for extended periods but not completely.

Now I look for ways to inspire others to take better care of themselves and I think you have to start with yourself and hope to inspire your loved ones to do the same. So far I have been very successful with my family. I hope to enlighten other Moms and Dads to consider how their diet and drinking may be affecting their overall sense of wellbeing, moods and relationships.  

Check out Megans’s website for healthy recipes and holistic living tips:

Megan Swan Wellness