Written by Ayesha Forte
I remember getting my gallbladder removed on December 25, 2010. It was a horribly painful experience, but it was the best Christmas gift I ever got. After that, I was determined to change my eating habits. My wife, Cicely, and I had been thinking about becoming vegetarians. After watching several documentaries that exposed the cruel environments that the animals lived in, that was it for us. We never looked back.
Changing our eating habits was merely part of the battle. Our ultimate goal was to completely change our lifestyle—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
First we supported each other in quitting smoking then, we took it further and became vegetarians. About a year ago, we committed to working out between four and five days a week.
So, we definitely needed healthy meals to keep these bodies moving.
We come from a family of cooks so home cooking is extremely important to us! Since becoming vegetarians three years ago, I’ve taken over the kitchen. We cook together sometimes, but truly I enjoy cooking for my family and presenting to them what I made for them. This makes me feel like a proud mother and wife.
It Wasn’t a Special Occasion
I remember coming home after a 10-hour workday at our shop (Glory Crown Beauty & Barber Shop) and heading straight to the kitchen. I had just bought a new cookbook and I was super excited about preparing Baked Mexican Spinach Dip with Toasted French Bread and Black Bean Lasagna Rolls.
When I was done, I served my wife. We cuddled up on the couch in our PJs and just grubbed. Did I mention that we worked all day? For my first attempt, I did pretty good and she loved the meal! It wasn’t a special occasion, but it is one of my favorite memories.
Everything Has Changed
Since we began our journey to health three years ago, everything has changed, from our immune systems to the people we have around us. When you’ve fought to keep your peace and positive energy, you become very selective about whom you allow in your circle.
With us being entrepreneurs, time is money, but our gym time is priceless. We know that no amount of money will ever give us peace of mind. The gym is our sanctuary.
We now embrace change and will continue to motivate each other to be the best versions of ourselves. In turn, it brought us closer to one another. When you look good you can’t help but feel good!
Advice on Embracing Healthy Change as a Couple
You have to find a balance, yin and yang. As a married couple, we have to be on the same page. Sometimes Cicely has to carry the heavier load that week to make sure things get done and vice versa on my end.
For other couples looking to make a change this year, our best advice is that you hold yourself and each other accountable.
You cannot say you’re going to make a lifestyle change and only halfway clean up your act! It’s not going to be easy but that’s what makes it more rewarding. Trust the journey and go hard or not at all. Mediocrity and success is all in your perception!
Cicely and Ayesha recently celebrated their eighth anniversary in November 2015. They live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.