About a month ago, I came home on a Friday night after an excruciating work week. Each day, I’m hit with a mountain of assignments, pitches, interviews and requests for ideas, and try to master the balancing act that has become my career. (No complaints, though, just stating facts.) This particular day was even more overwhelming given I had not really eaten for 12 hours straight––just a Swell bottle worth of water and a thin wheat bagel with veggie cream cheese for breakfast. I came home to take the celebratory shot of Jameson, somewhat of a weekly routine with my boyfriend after powering through another week, and we ordered up some mango salad, soft shell crab and pad thai from our local go-to Thai spot. Midway through the meal, I was struck with this unusual sense of dizziness and immediately wanted to lay down. As I hobbled down the stairs to my boyfriend’s room, I blacked out before making it to the last step, falling and hitting my chin against a metal pole.
Everything went dark.
I remember talking to myself in my head. Oh shit, what is happening? Just push through it, Adelle, just push through it. Within a matter of seconds, I woke up and saw my boyfriend and his family shaking me into consciousness. I was confused. I felt this urge to go to the bathroom and had difficulty walking on my own two feet alone. With some assistance, I made it to the bathroom and saw my reflection. I was paler than Robert Pattinson playing a sparkly vampire in Twilight. I was speaking coherently but felt a stabbing pain in my head that was unfamiliar. After the color came back to my face and I was able to walk without help, I decided against going to the hospital since I’d been there enough for the past two months because my grandma was having heart complications. (She is doing great now!)
The following Monday, I went to see the doctor and received a serious wake-up call. Several test results and a second opinion from a separate doctor later, I was told I have high blood pressure. It runs in my family so it wasn’t much of a shock––it was the restrictions and mandatory lifestyle adjustments that made it more of a reality. Daily carbohydrate intake should be less than 100 grams (a.k.a. ditch the pasta, bread and rice), fiber intake should be around 30 grams, stick to a low-sodium diet, consume less sugar, monitor your blood pressure at least five times a week, only have one drink (!) and ramp up the exercise.
I admit that ever since I came back from vacation during Labor Day weekend, my workout schedule has been non-existent. I find myself so wiped out as soon as I come home from work that all I really crave is quality time with my family, my boyfriend and our dog. Add to that a terrible sleeping pattern, averaging about five to six hours depending on the day and usually didn’t fall asleep until 12 a.m. on a good night, and personal burdens weighing on my mind. It’s no wonder my stress levels were all out of whack. I’m not one to complain because everyone has their shit to deal with, but taking back control of my health because of this scary moment taught me several things: You are useless to everyone, including yourself, when your health is not at 100 percent; all your fears about health and wellness will become a reality if you don’t actively get your life and diet together; and you owe yourself a break every once in a while.
As much as I am #TeamGoHard, I’m now a member of #TeamYesSleep (word to Tracy G.). While becoming a clean eater (pizza and cheese will be my causes of death, I’m convinced) and relearning how to pack my gym bag has been a process, I decided on the first day of November that I would be hitting reset. I often kick myself when I get down about opportunities missed and situations I could have handled better, but I woke up on the first of the month knowing that I can’t quit.
Thus, the #NoQuittingNovember hashtag was born.
For dedicated her sweat. followers, #AMambition has become a morning ritual, one that has allowed the brand’s co-founders, Niki and I, to spotlight women and words of wisdom that really speak to fitness junkies of all levels. With #NoQuittingNovember, we are taking a vow to reclaim the goals we promised ourselves we’d do and setting ourselves up for success. While I have always been a struggle whisperer and a frequent setback target, I am taking every day of this month—and beyond—to celebrate each tiny step I take to making myself the best version of, well, me.
Whether it’s eating veggies at every meal or finally hauling my ass to Blink for a quick 30-minute or an hour-long session, I want to practice focusing on the positives of living a healthier life. As a result, team her sweat. is inviting every supporter and casual fan to participate in this campaign against mental beatdowns and the phrase “I give up.” We ain’t quitting, y’all — so let’s just do it together.