Flashback a few years, I was an extremely inactive person. I was eating way too much junk food, spent most of my time focused on my job and rarely paid attention to my health or even social life. Nights were spent thinking about work the next day and I often got nervous to the point of being unable to sleep properly. My burnout state started to affect my interactions with family and friends as well. Being the sweet tooth that I am, chocolates of any kind were my soft spot and I often overindulged in those treats one too many times.

These bad habits began to take a toll on me, and I realised that I had to take my health seriously and work towards making actual lifestyle changes before it was too late.

I started by removing any form of junk food from my diet and totally transformed my eating habits. Gone were the late-night snacking, instead I started eating homemade meals consisting of vegetables and minimally processed foods.

Till today, I try to ensure that I get my daily dose of nutrients by incorporating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into my meals. It has been clinically proven that having a clean diet is a step closer to preventing cardiovascular diseases as it nourishes your body with vitamin-rich foods and improves gut health. Additionally, practicing intermittent fasting has helped me prevent overeating and gives my body a much-needed detox on some days.

Despite a challenging start, I pushed myself to get moving, with the mindset that I needed to exercise not only to lose weight but to gain muscles and keep myself fit. It took a few months of consulting with a personal trainer and preparing a daily schedule to get my workouts right and ease into balancing my new lifestyle. Conversations with my personal trainer and friends on topics such as eating patterns and exercise routines made me realise that finding a group of other like-minded people can really help with gaining a fresh perspective on what daily habits you can improve on.

The best part in making these lifestyle changes is that it has liberated me with a sense of mental, physical, and social freedom. Taking charge of what I consume and keeping myself fit gave me body confidence and I am no longer afraid of growing older. Being physically active has also directly improved my social life as I have more energy now, even after a long day, to spend time with friends and family.

More than anything, taking care of yourself empowers you and the people around you. While joining me on my journey to eat clean, my mother educated herself on ways to cook healthy meals for our family and now enjoys trying out new wholesome recipes. Best part, I reap the benefits of bringing my family onboard (delicious and healthy homemade meals for the win)!

My friends have also started food prepping at home, and I realised that the best way to encourage others to live healthily is to do it first and set an example.

Five years into my new lifestyle, I’m living the healthiest and happiest phase of my life. Now, I work out a minimum of 3 times a week, carry homemade lunches when I go to work and have been able to find a much-needed work-life balance. Changing your lifestyle for the better doesn’t have to be a daunting step, we can always start small, but the key is to be consistent.


Kubra Celikel is an assistant accountant with the Finance Department of QI Group’s direct selling subsidiary and is based in Turkey. She enjoys regular exercise and a clean diet as she believes these are essential in keeping the health woes at bay.