When I first went to college in 2005 (Art Institute), I was still living at home with my parents. I had to take a bus and a 45 minute train ride to get there. I remember the reality of being a little bit 'on my own' hit me, and I realized that my mother was no longer around to tell me what to eat anymore. So, I immediately took my health into my own hands... and became obsessed with the topic of health and fitness.
Now I was already pretty healthy back then. No illnesses, fast and energetic, 5-4, 115 lb 17 year old. I also lifted weights at home and did home workouts on schedule. I literally had a schedule on my wall of what exercises I'd do and what days. My stomach was practically non-existent. It was fun. But I didn't always eat the healthiest. My family and I were always on the run, hustling and bustling out the door in the morning, each of us headed in different directions. You guys know how that can be. Still, I ate oatmeal nearly every morning and a slice of turkey meat, with a piece of fruit if possible. I did my best to eat well, even though dinnertime was always rushed, too.
But college was different because I was definitely 'out there' and not close to home. I saw the options that the school had grazing their deli and coffee bar menus and I was NOT impressed. Hot dogs, burgers, nachos, chicken tenders, fries, you know the deal. The school didn't have much of a campus, so there was the deli to eat at or else leave the school and walk up the street to a fast food place. I knew I would easily pick up bad eating habits at this rate.
So when I realized what I was up against, I began to really pay attention to what I ate. I brought healthier food from home a lot to warm in the deli microwave. My hubby and I, who were only dating at the time, found a restaurant close by that sold better food, like enchiladas, smoothies, veggie burgers, huge fruit cups, and granola bars. They were expensive, ( 7 bucks and up for a combo meal) but we ate there a lot anyway!
This was when the FUZE drinks had just come out... those and the NAKED drinks. I fell in love with ALL of them. I remember buying the FUZE Green Tea drink almost every day. Also, the Vitamin waters were a fave of mine. I began to not count calories, but to examine each and every ingredient that was in these things. I spent extra after school hours, pouring through the internet and gathering, saving, printing out articles and articles of health information. Yeah, I was a bit obsessed then. I boycotted aspartame and anything that had Splenda in it. I stopped drinking soda completely.
I also had an entire notebook that I used as a food diary. I made sure the best I could that I ate 4-5 servings of fruits and veggies daily, and I guzzled water like a fish. I skipped the shuttle to the train station every day and walked the quarter of a mile there. I was in the best shape of my life then.
I say all that to say that somewhere along the line, I completely lost focus of that. Actually, I already know what happened. I got pregnant like, right after getting married, and because I was already kind of underweight, I needed to eat. Everyone around me fed me! After having Syriah, I was about 135 lbs, which actually looked good on me. But I got pregnant with Jamian when she was 8 months old. Ever since then, I have completely lost my exercise routine and good eating habits, and everything else that came with that. Having baby after baby within a year or year and a half in between had completely transformed my body. I'm not even close to being as healthy anymore. I have poured on the junk foods over the years, not having a job and being a stay at home mom (and dealing with the aftermath of abuse). I had 4 kids and I am currently 165 pounds. 90% of that is my stomach! Now, it is really time for me to take my health back with force.
I have already been working on this since my last child, who is 7 months today, was born.
I recently found this ring that I used to wear back then to remind me to eat better. I think that it came with a FUZE drink back then or something. I had totally forgotten about it, and I am going to start wearing this thing every day again. It used to be so loose on my finger years ago, and now, my fingers are much fatter, and the ring fits perfectly.
It's easy to get caught up having babies and gaining weight on top of weight. But it's not easy to get your health back once it's being threatened. My heart palpitates a lot now, my legs cramp and tingle a lot, and I get a lot of headaches. When I stand up, I feel lightheaded and dizzy. I don't get enough sleep most of the time. I don't move enough anymore because I network online a lot and play computer games (MMOs). My hands and feet swell when I eat a lot of salt as if I'm still pregnant. When I make my kid's food and snacks, I often end up eating tidbits of their stuff, which isn't helping me. So, I really have to do better with my health. I miss the way I used to look, feel, and carry myself. Now it's going to be hard to keep up with a food diary now because I'm a busy mom documenting baby feedings, homeschool lessons, bills, and grocery lists, but I have been eating more fruits and veggies now than I have in the last month or two. I drink more smoothies because they are quick and effective. Oatmeal (not the instant kind) is still my go-to breakfast. Every day, I do a little exercise, even if I don't feel like it. It may be 20 squats, or 20 leg lifts, 10 push-ups, crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, sometimes all of the above. It gets better every day, and I am really taking my health back by force. I have 4 YOUNG kids; I can't afford to be lazy and sluggish!
I keep saying that I will get up early in the morning and go outside and jog, but I have yet to do that. Again, I go to bed too late and get up late. By that time, the kids are awake and mega hungry. Ugh. Oh, well. Good health and fitness takes time and I am steadily working on it every day. It would help if my kids actually wanted to exercise WITH me, but they always decline and dance by themselves when they think I'm not looking. LOL!
Anyway, with that being said, I need to get up right now, put these soaked red beans on the stove to cook, and do some stretches. Sorry for the uber long post that has nothing to do with hair, but I just wanted to share this story with ya. Thanks for reading, guys. Remember to #eatbetter! ;)
What are your health struggles? How have you gotten off the bandwagon?