Healthier Lifestyle


Before I got on MY healthy eating habits, I always struggled with my body weight. All my life I have been on diets. My weight came on and off.

I’m always grateful to be a fan of all kind of sports, throughout my life I did: competition swimming, table tennis, basketball, squash and now for a pretty long time you can find me several times a week in the gym. First I started with ten hours a week, but I still could not get my body goal. Now I know that it mostly has to do with your eating habits. 


I always came to a point when I looked at myself and saw something I didn’t like at all and then I asked myself “where did it go wrong”? Then I put myself immediately on one of the at that moment, popular diets. Yes, it worked,  I followed-through, till I looked so much better and got into clothes I really liked. Oh, what a feeling and the compliments I was getting just gave a wonderful feeling. Then after a while, I got back on my regular eating habit, just with some twists I have learned during my diet.

But unfortunately, I always got back to the point…WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!!  It also doesn’t work if you are around people who always have something to say about it: ‘you looked so good when you’ve lost weight’ or ‘oh that’s Shirley, she does not have the figure to be thin….’ blah blah blah. People do not realize what kind of struggle you’re having and that is a shame. Because with the remarks they make, it does not make it any easier!

Stopped Smoking

Eleven years ago I just stopped smoking, cold turkey! I never had a cigarette from that day. Yes, my WHY was so strong on this subject. I wanted to live/be healthier. Somehow smoking and ten hours in the gym did not fit anymore. So I did it! But during the not smoking time, I made excuses to eat and said: ‘but I’m not smoking anymore’. I knew this was just a phase and I did follow-through even when I gained a little more weight. So I focused on this one thing and knew my bodyweight was the next thing to work on.

At the age of 40 (so about four years ago) my life was more balanced and I did what I want and how I wanted it. Finally no more stress. I had to choose for myself and looked for a healthier way of eating and living.  So I started to make more vegetarian dishes, ate less meat and more vegetables. I went to the gym four times a week. When you love to cook but eat too much of it (even if it’s mostly healthy food), you still don’t get rid of the extra pounds. You have to change your thoughts and habits.

More Heathier life(style) on the way

2018: It is time to take control over my own body and finally become what I desired so much!! In my previous blog, you could read that I had the chance to do some work on myself. When I began with this my ultimate goal was to get for once a healthier lifestyle without a diet! So I came on a path of self-searching on YouTube, internet, blogs etc. I also saw that the documentary “What the Health” on Netflix was mentioned. This made me curious, so I watched it.

The part where they put two different people on a plant-based diet because of their health, just blew my mind. So I went further looking for this concept. You have to know I have almost no cartilage in one of my knees and I have to be careful with sports these days (no ten hours in the gym anymore). I still can do sports which I’m grateful for, but I have to make sure I do not get inflammation in my knee. The plant-based eating did help for the one person in the documentary who struggled with rheumatism. So my search went on.


During my journey, I came to the concept of fasting (through my coach) and I got very fascinated about it. I saw so many different fasting programs on the internet, different approaches, so I got a little overwhelmed and did not know where to begin. Lucky for me I saw some book reviews and I knew this would be my way of learning about fasting. I bought some books and began to study them. Of course, there are many books about fasting, but I chose the ones I felt good about. This is why I call it my journey, I choose my own path and what I think is good for me. I’m still figuring this out after being on this road for a year now.

The first thing I did was a 3-day water/tea fast. Because I set my mind to this, the first time went very smoothly and I felt so light and already got more energy. I really felt my body respond to this, so I wanted to do this every month for three days. I also started a more plant-based clean eating habit, no more meat, but still, some fish, because Shirley without fish is like…. well impossible. After two months I felt more energized, lighter and clearer in my mind, but what amazed me the most… knee did not hurt anymore and I felt no stiffness. Sometimes when (for example) I went out for dinner and sat for a long time, I had to get up and my knee felt so stiff that I walked like an old woman.

On the right path

After two months of changing my eating, the old woman disappeared, I just stood up and walked away like an 18-year-old! Then my overall body change: I am finally losing weight on the parts that I want, my body comes in proportion!! How amazing is that? This is working and for me, there is no way back. You may think: ‘but you are still on a diet’, well maybe I am, but for me is this a lifestyle change. It doesn’t feel like a diet to me. I make my own choices and trust me, I also eat snacks now and then.

What I’m learning from this journey: make your own path and find out what works for you and you will succeed.

New Book

I’m going to start 2019 with a new book to read and study, it’s called “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman. I heard great things about it, so I keep you posted.


If you have health issues and thinking about fasting, make sure you talk about it with your doctor. Fasting is not for everybody.

~Choose to Be Happy~

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jenny

    Hey Shirl, so we Dutchies have to deal with the English version now!
    To my opinion it’s better this way… your Dutch followers will become more aware of your international popularity! ;)))))
    As I wrote before in the Dutch blog, I feel privileged to be one of your first followers and having witnessed your blog being born. I’ve known you for several years now, and I can state that there’s a huge difference between the Shirley from back then and now. At core you’ve always been a warm, loving and caring person….luckily no change there! But nowadays you walk around with a confidence and happiness which makes you radiate at a almost blinding level. Again I will refer to my earlier Dutch comment…..
    I hope Santa got everyone a new pair of sunglasses!
    I’m so happy for you that you’ve come this far.
    Where ever this journey leads to…..
    to me you’re a living example of one of my favorite lines:
    “halfway up the mountain, the view is also very beautiful”.
    Enjoy your journey to the top!
    Love, Jenny

  2. Brenda

    Hey there Shirl, I have to agree with Jenny (hi guys uh and gals!, like Jenny I am a friend of Shirley, we met at the gym) you are, obviously, a lot more confident. Have to say though, please do enjoy your food and cooking. It’s not sin to eat or drink whatever, just do it in moderation. But I guess everyone knows this.
    Anyway, keep in touch, take care and reach your goal!!
    Love, Brennie

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