Part 1: A YZL Journey

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“Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn’t living a zen life.”

When I first heard about the collaboration Phoebe and Teresa wanted to have with
other ladies and gents about healthy living and achieving a zen life, I was eager to delve
into the project! I hadn’t been living the healthiest lifestyle in terms of food consumption,
but I had been wanting to make changes. I took YZL as a sign that now was the time to start.

I am a recent university graduate, and I’m sure most of you know that eating well
in college is not an exceptionally easy thing to do, especially since I didn’t have a car to
get to organic grocery stores or to the Farmer’s markets early in the morning. Either way,
without a kitchen to concoct delicious options, I was left with the grease-filled, fried food
at the cafeteria and at the little diner on my school’s campus. Sure, there was a salad bar,
but there’s only so much salad that I can eat multiple times a day, every day! If I had eaten
any more, I probably would have turned so green that I’d resemble Gumby. Aside from
that, late nights of studying were accompanied by multiple cups of coffee (sadly, I chose the
sweeter option of nightly white mochas), preserved snacks that came in air-tight bags and
cardboard boxes, and 1am runs to get donuts, Taco Bell, or In-N-Out (because inevitably,
one of my friends or someone of my floor would be going to get one of those options… a girl
needs a study break!)

I was able to incorporate a bit of exercise in my schedule with required P.E. classes
and with dance, but it honestly wasn’t enough with the amount of sugar and carbohydrates
I was consuming. My final year in school, I was taking classes, had a job, an internship, and
was involved in so many activities that I was overbearingly drained all the time. I attributed
it to my horrible sleeping habits, but in the back of my mind, I knew that my eating habits
were contributing to my lethargy. I just didn’t do anything about it.

Now, a few months out of college, I have decided to do something about it. I first
tried in the middle of August, when the YZL girls requested for collaborations. I went to the
Farmer’s Market the next morning, and bought some fruits for juicing, all natural cactus-
corn tortilla chips, and cilantro and jalapeño hummus for healthy snacking.

Unfortunately, it only lasted three days, because I was so tempted by the food my
family was eating. I. Could. Not. Resist. Spaghetti. (Don’t judge me.) I grew discouraged,
and sort of gave up for a month and half. I came to my senses, though. We all know the
hackneyed, but still inevitably true phrase, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

So here I am, trying again. That was my story of failed attempts. I know that I might
stumble here and there, but this time, I know I can do it. I’ve just begun going to an all
women’s gym with spinning classes, yoga, pilates, and dance classes.

I feel entirely motivated and enthusiastic to embark on this journey. I am fully
aware that it won’t be easy, but that’s what will make it fun! Knowing that I am not alone,
that I am doing it with all of you, will help me along.

Not the end…

By Brittany Cardinas

22-year-old aspiring writer and actor, originally from the lovely island of Guam but now living in Los Angeles. I’m fond of rain, the color gray, and the word whimsical. I am passionate about traveling, reading, writing, loving, film, and most recently healthy living.