Today, I am sharing the short version of my story of what brought me to this blog. I hope it’s a journey some of you can relate to in your own ways.
Ironically, some monumental positive change in people’s lives can start with a very negative catalyst.
Several years ago (2009), my life hit the “restart” button after a very personally challenging 6-months. I never would have believed you in the middle of it, if you told me, it would be one of a few things that I am most thankful for.
I was living in Boston, Massachusetts with my husband and two young kids, feeling pretty insignificant and invisible as an individual. I had gained about 30 pounds just before and during our move to the North East from Carolina. I had been married for almost 10-years and had been a stay at home mom for more than half that time. I was depressed but I wasn’t aware of that, at the time. My life for several years prior had been all about caring for small kiddos and dealing with some childhood illness (including high BMI), buying and fixing up a home, coping with a traveling husband, normal Mom-of-Two stuff that before you know it, has slowly and almost unnoticeably, changed you so fundamentally that you one day realize, you forgot to reinvent yourself. And now, you don’t know who you are.
When suddenly, things fell apart in my marriage and I found myself struggling to figure out where it all went wrong…
One of the darkest times in my life began with me realizing I was a little broken. Then ensued a mission of reading all the self-help books I could get my hands on, obsessively, of course. I read about depression, gratitude and positive energy, just to name a few in the short space of time we have here… One of the things I realized during this phase of self discovery is the 30-pound weight gain was a symptom of my unhappiness, not the cause of it. Duh. The food was, simply put, trying to fill a hole.
I began to see a professional for talk therapy.
During the next few months, the pounds melted off of me, in the most unhealthy of ways. I was not eating. At all. I was a disaster on the insides and when I would eat, I didn’t feel well. So, I didn’t. And I began to run. I ran the anger off, I ran the stresses of each day off, I ran the hurt and pain of realizing I was contributing to my unhappiness off. It was how I began a love affair with running, a sport I had been trying for years, unsuccessfully. ~more about the running sometime in the future.
After the worst of this was over, things began to change. I started to treat myself the way I should have been treating myself all along. AND, I began to really put myself first, sometimes and guess what? It’s not selfish. Contrary to what I thought. All moms out there can relate to the phenomenon of “taking care of everyone else first”. I also had this ridiculous vision of what a mom should be, that really wasn’t me, at all (this girl was too perfect). But what it was, was exhausting. I had to call in a search and rescue to find myself.
After weight loss, my body should have looked better, I thought. But, since we’re being totally honest here, it really looked unhealthy. Devastating. And I didn’t even lose that much weight, but I didn’t lose it in a healthy way. My body was tired, mostly.
I decided to try to change that. I began to really pay attention to what I was eating and learning about the foods and what they really did for me. Nutritional value is what drove what I decided to put into my body. I began a rigorous routine of strength training to tone my unhealthy body. I began changing the way I fed my kids, much to their dismay. I stood my ground. We started new habits, like no sugar breakfast and began to turn the TV off. I stopped buying processed foods and tossed anything with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or artificial sweeteners. Slowly but surely, our diets changed. Eventually, we were eating the way I believe you should:
at least 80% of whole, nutritious, natural, vitamin filled foods
less than 20% processed, sugary, animal, dairy, fatty or no value/empty calorie foods (basically, whatever you wish) or alcoholic beverages
And that, my readers, is how I eat, today and it’s what keeps my body ready to do … anything. The funny thing now, is processed foods taste terrible to me. And I’m glad since it’s such an easy thing to resist, even for me, a girl raised in the 70’s and 80’s when TV Dinners and Pop Tarts were abound.
In the present, I eat right (80%) and have inspired my husband (yes, it’s the same one) to do the same. I also try my best to maintain my exercise regimen. I am consistently more happy, than ever before. I credit both of those factors.
This blog is my way of sharing with the world, what I know and learn, along the way. Thanks for visiting.