SASHA EX­ETER

Road­blocks forced Sasha Ex­eter to forge a new path. She’s never looked back.

Best Health - - CONTENTS - by Melissa Greer

ON START­ING OVER

WHEN A HEALTH CRI­SIS SIDE­LINED SASHA EX­ETER

in her late 20s, the former ath­lete es­sen­tially lost her iden­tity. In the fol­low­ing years, while deal­ing with de­te­ri­o­rat­ing health, Sasha also ended her en­gage­ment and left her cor­po­rate ca­reer. To cope, she founded SoSasha.com, a life­style blog that has cat­a­pulted her onto the well­ness scene. “I find that some­times the best dis­cov­er­ies and op­por­tu­ni­ties arise when you’re at your low­est low,” she tells us on the set of our May cover shoot. Be­tween photo takes, she chat­ted about her jour­ney thus far.

You’ve shared your health strug­gles with fi­bromyal­gia and kid­ney disease. When did you re­al­ize you needed to make a change in your life­style?

I had lit­er­ally hit rock bot­tom. I lis­tened to my treat­ing physi­cians and did every­thing they said and I re­ally wasn’t see­ing any im­prove­ment in my health. As a very fit and ac­tive in­di­vid­ual, be­ing on bedrest for over a year and not re­ally be­ing able to be mo­bile was ter­ri­fy­ing.

One day, I just woke up think­ing enough is enough; I have to take this into my own hands. I dumped ev­ery doc­tor I had and built a new team. I started do­ing reiki and acupunc­ture, saw a nu­tri­tion­ist, changed my diet and slowly started to wean my­self off all the med­i­ca­tions. I also got weekly treat­ments from a naturopath, mi­graine and pain spe­cial­ist and chi­ro­prac­tor. It wasn’t un­til then that I started to see a dif­fer­ence.

What mo­ti­vated you to get healthy?

I wanted my life back – I hadn’t reached my po­ten­tial. I’m a high-per­form­ing in­di­vid­ual and I’m very com­pet­i­tive. I felt like I was throw­ing in the towel too early, and I wasn’t OK with that.

Do you still have bad days, and how do you tackle them?

I’m chal­lenged ev­ery day. I’m still in pain. I guess it’s my new nor­mal. Some days it’s very hard to get out of bed, but other days I feel pretty good. It’s more man­age­able when I’m ac­tive. Now, I en­joy hik­ing, yoga, run­ning, cy­cling and cross train­ing.

What are your tips for oth­ers in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions?

Never give up. It’s never go­ing to be easy, but you have to find that one thing you en­joy. When it comes to fit­ness, if you don’t like what you’re do­ing, you’re not go­ing to con­tinue to do it. Of course, with some ill­nesses, you need to call in the big guns – mean­ing med­i­ca­tion – when ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary, but know­ing how to man­age your con­di­tion through diet and ex­er­cise is im­por­tant.

When you left your cor­po­rate ca­reer, you men­tioned that you had grown tired of search­ing for hap­pi­ness in a pay­cheque. How do you de­fine hap­pi­ness to­day?

I ac­tu­ally know what it is now. To­day, hap­pi­ness is shut­ting down at 7:30 p.m., hav­ing a proper din­ner with my part­ner (at the table) and talk­ing about our day, with­out the tele­vi­sion. It’s tak­ing a walk along the wa­ter with our dog. It's hav­ing a good work-life bal­ance and be­ing healthy – all the lit­tle things I used to take for granted.

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