Earlier this year, one of our readers did an amazing thing and tipped us off to Tay’s Way, a health and wellness blog by the beautiful Taylor Winterstein. A few things intrigued us about Taylor, mainly it was her determination to chase her dream of a holistic lifestyle and her courage to share her story along the way. We also love the fact that she’s Samoan Australian, and just to make her even more special, she makes one half of a stunning pair of twins.
As Pacific women, we often struggle with the knowledge and challenge that our physique may never match what society considers to be beautiful. That’s why we love Tay’s Way so much – she shows us it’s possible to be healthy, happy and mindful about the way we eat and exercise, without focusing on a certain size or shape.
It wasn’t long before we were in touch via Instagram, and we’re so thankful that she agreed to share her story with us, remotely, all the way from Japan.
What sparked your interest in health and fitness, and how did you translate that interest into a blog?
Since I can remember I’ve always been into health and fitness. Growing up I played a lot of netball, touch football and little athletics. During the week I’d exercise 4-5 times and considered myself fairly health conscious, however looking back now, my diet was far from great. I was eating a diet of refined, processed and fast food and was stuck in a rut of always working out extremely hard, but never saw or felt the results I wanted.
It wasn’t until I saw a close friend’s brother pass away so quickly after he was diagnosed with liver cancer at the age of 28, that I stopped to think about my own lifestyle and how I was treating my body.
It got me thinking about how I felt physically and mentally over the years, and I started to explore the possibility that my health issues could be related to what I was eating and drinking.
From there I decided to educate myself and did lots of research in the form of seminars, documentaries, health books, medical articles and YouTube. It made me realise one crucial factor that we often forget when it comes to sickness, and that is how we can heal through nutrition.
After I started to apply what I had learnt to my lifestyle, I noticed that slowly over time, I naturally began to lead a holistic lifestyle.
For the first time in my life I reached a new level of health and happiness I had never experienced before, and I felt a strong urge to share my journey.
Often I would think, if someone had of told me earlier what I know now, I would’ve changed my lifestyle years ago – and so I came up with Tay’s Way. As part of Tay’s Way, I blog about my own health journey and what has worked for me, in hope that others will benefit from what I have to share. The main reason is to inspire positive change that will lead people to a healthier, happier and better life.
Have you noticed any challenges specific to Pacific people, and how do you think they can over come it?
One of the challenges among Pacific people is finding the motivation within themselves to really want to change their lifestyle and diet.
There are so many health and wellness blogs online with girls that aren’t Pacific Islander and don’t have our physique or genes. What makes Tay’s Way unique is that I do have the physique and genetic make up of a Pacific woman, and I think that others can use me as an example and motivation to show Pacific people that anyone can positively change their lifestyle and live healthily.
Tay’s Way has a large Pacific Islander following and I’m often told how much they appreciate my blog. They see me, someone who’s half Samoan and feel they can relate. They also realise being healthy from the inside out can be done for Pacific Islanders too.
Our culture is heavily based around food and the biggest challenge is changing how Pacific Islanders view the food they eat.
Many of us overindulge in the wrong types of foods, especially when Pacific people move from their villages to countries like New Zealand and Australia, where cheap junk food can be bought everywhere, unlike back home in the Islands.
We need to get back to basics and remember how our ancestors lived. Eating, drinking and living off the land. No processed foods, no KFC, no refined sugar, no soft drinks, no Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Just simple, organic, whole foods that nourish and heal.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Helping others to change their lives for the better and when I receive feedback or see comments that are so kind and appreciative, telling me how much I’ve encouraged a healthier way of living for themselves and their family.
A lot of people tell me how amazing they feel after doing what I’ve recommended. The best feeling is knowing that I’m (in one way or another), helping people feel truly healthy and feel great about themselves.
What advice would you give young Pacific people who are thinking of following a similar path as you?
Don’t let fear or doubts hold you back, just go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you have a good heart, good intentions and if it’s truly your passion and helps to serve others, then there can only be a positive outcome.
When I started my blog I never thought I’d have over a thousand people following my journey, but I have and it’s been one of the greatest learning experiences. It’s truly allowed me to grow and evolve as a person!
Above all, you’ve got to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do anything you set your mind to, because you can!
We’d like to thank Taylor for taking time to share her motivational story with us, all the way from Japan! If you’d like to follow Tay’s Way online, you can find her sharing her experiences and findings via her blog and Instagram.