5 Ways I Changed My Life in 8 Months

It suddenly hit me today. While packing my stuff into moving boxes, I realized how much I’ve changed my way of living in the past eight months. It’s funny because I didn’t plan for these changes. It just happened naturally. It sounds strange because I’m usually very focused on planning and setting goals.

But the changes I’ve made in the past eight months have felt organic. I’ve followed my voice from within even though, at times, I’ve been out of my comfort zone. Some of the changes I’ve made have seemed crazy at times – especially to my surroundings. But the changes I’m sharing with you today have made me a happier person. I feel at home in myself – maybe for the first time in my life.

So let me share the five changes I’ve made…

#1: I sold my car and started walking

The first BIG change I made was letting go of my beloved car. During Covid, my car was mainly standing still in the driveway. I’m also working from home, so I drove much less than usual. Whenever I looked out my window and saw my car, I could only think about how I wasted money that I could otherwise invest in something more profitable. Having a car I didn’t use very much felt like overspending to me. In Denmark, where I live, cars are costly due to the high tax.

Not having my car would save me $13.500 yearly! Money I can now invest in something else. All my life, I’ve been driving, even if I just had to go up my street. Walking was something I would never consider. But apparently, I’m a changed woman because I sold my car and started walking. Letting go of my car has been the best gift I’ve given myself in years because I discovered how much I love walking. I walk wherever I can, and if the weather is terrible or the distance is too far, I will grab a bike, a cap, or borrow my husband’s car if possible.

It’s been surprising to see the reaction from my surroundings. For many people, letting go of their car is unthinkable. It would also have been unthinkable to me a year ago. But after I’ve experienced all the benefits of walking, I feel so good about my decision. I’ve had many beautiful walks throughout the past eight months. I walk about 100 km a month, and I’m lucky to live in a city with inspiring shops, funky architecture, a lovely coastline, and the woods all within walking distance, so I can always find a beautiful route.

#2: I changed my diet

Around the same time I said goodbye to my car; I started Intermittent Fasting. While I was doing some research on treatments for low physical energy and arthritis, I stumbled across studies showing how beneficial fasting was for helping the body heal itself. I found that very interesting and immediately wanted to test what fasting could do for my own body.

Fasting is not about depriving yourself of food. It’s about prolonging that rest period you give your body when you sleep at night. When we sleep, our bodies cleanse and heal. The longer we allow that process to continue, the more the body can heal. All the positive articles I read about fasting convinced me to give it a go.

The first few days, I just ate my breakfast an hour later than usual. Then I waited two hours, then three hours, and finally I skipped breakfast. I could feel the positive impact on my body within the first week. My energy level was super high, my mood was great, I was thinking more clearly, my joints felt younger, I slept better, and my skin improved.

Those positive experiences took me down a rabbit hole of the fasting world. I wanted to know everything about this topic, so I read a ton of books, articles and listened to all the podcasts I could find on fasting. This eventually led me to the Intermittent Fasting lifestyle. I eat delicious, nutritious food every day – and plenty of it. I just have a smaller eating window of 6 hours. I typically eat my first meal at 2 pm and my last meal before 8 pm.
My body has never been happier. I’ve always struggled with chronic stomach pain, and at times also beginning arthritis. All of that is gone. For the first time since I was 16, I don’t have daily stomach cramps. I think that is amazing! 

Since experimenting with intermittent fasting, I’ve lost 20 kg (45 pounds). My skin and hair look healthier, and my 48-year-old body feels more like a 28-year-old body. I move better; I feel flexible, fit, and strong.

Today, Intermittent Fasting has become a natural part of my life. I don’t even think about it. I focus on energy food and eat mostly vegetarian. I’m not depriving myself, and I get cake and wine several times a week. It’s about finding a healthy balance that works, and that balance can look differently depending on who you are and how you live.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Intermittent Fasting, I recommend reading “Fast, Feast, Repeat” by Gin Stephens or “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Jason Fung. Another tip is to watch Dr. Mindy on Youtube if you want to get all the nerdy info about fasting. Her videos are super informative and helpful.

#3: I bought my dream home

I thought I would live in my current home forever until my husband and I spotted a beautiful old, yellow house with dark green windows. Like a happy, golden sun in the middle of our city, it made us fall in love with its history, architecture, and quirky details. The house is old, built in 1909 for an architectural exhibition.

As I’m writing this, the house is going through the last phase of the renovation. It’s completely restored with new heating system, new electricity, new roof, ceilings, walls, floors, bathrooms, doors, and windows. I cannot believe we are moving in just one week! I’m a bit stressed and overwhelmed but also incredibly excited.

Selling a home, buying a new home, and renovating a historic house is truly time demanding. The amount of work we have had to put into this project has been crazy. We have renovated many homes before, but this has been our biggest design project ever. I will for sure look forward to getting a bit of rest on the other side of us moving in. What I’m most excited about is to enjoy the garden this Summer, work in my new studio and host my future photography workshops in this beautiful place.

#4: I have organized ALL my things

I’ve been organizing ALL my stuff for the past couple of months. Everything from the toilet cabinets, my wardrobe, the kitchen cabinets, to old photos, studio props and all the stuff in the basement. Some days I’ve just cleaned out one small drawer, and other days I’ve taken 12 hours in the basement sorting things from when the kids lived at home, my own childhood – not to mention work tools, travel gear, Christmas decorations, old pieces of furniture and what else you typically save in a basement.

I’ve donated so much stuff to charity, including 15 large bags of clothes and shoes. I’ve looked at EVERY little thing in our home and asked myself, “do you absolutely need this”? “Do you LOVE it”? “Does it serve a purpose, or is it just taking up space”? Asking those questions helped me let go of so much stuff. I only want to keep things in my house that I genuinely LOVE and/or use.

Going through all my stuff has been a challenging process. It’s always overwhelming to start, but gosh, it feels good when every piece in your home has a place and purpose. I’m considering living with a wardrobe capsule of 30 pieces, but I don’t think it’s realistic for me. I love the idea, but I still have too many pieces of clothes I love. At least now, I can fit my wardrobe into one smaller closet.

#5: I started Painting Again

The last change I’ve made came as a real surprise to me. I started painting again after a 15-year break. Before I got into photography, my creative outlet was painting abstract paintings. I even went to art school for a few years. But when I discovered photography, I stopped painting. My love for photography was so BIG that painting just wasn’t on my mind anymore. But one evening over dinner, my husband and I talked about creativity, and he suddenly asked; why don’t you start painting again?

I laughed at him. I told him it was too long ago… that it was silly… The next day I ordered paint and a canvas. Why? It’s still unclear to me, but I’ve been painting a little every day since – I find it very relaxing and a wonderful break in all the busyness with packing, renovating, and moving. Will I keep painting? Only time will tell. For now, I just do it for fun – Free play with no purpose. It puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart. That being said, photography is still my BIGGEST love! That will never change.

If you want to join me for one of my photography workshops or online courses, you can register via this page. I would love to see you there.

Warmly, Christina

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About Christina Greve

Christina Greve is an experienced Photographer, Educator & Mindset Coach with a passion for flowers, decorating & country living. She's the founder of The Lifestyle Photography Academy + The Empowered Creative Show. She provides tools, education and inspiration designed to help multi-passionate women, artists and creative souls find direction, push through self-doubt + make a living doing what they LOVE.She is known for her elegant storytelling photography and draws much of her inspiration from the Nordic countryside, travels, food and still life.Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, blogs and books worldwide. After a decade of working with psychology, Christina's passion for photography evolved into a full-time photography and coaching business.Today she runs a thriving + fast-growing international empire specializing in professional online training, motivating and engaging female photographers, designers, bloggers, makers and creatives. She has coached thousands of fabulous women from more than 40+ countries.With her Podcast "The Empowered Creative," her popular Instagram posts, and quickly sold-out workshops, Christina has become the go-to person for many creatives seeking like-minded sisterhood, real support and heartfelt encouragement.