POP TARTS, MEAL PREP, & SWEAT
There were about ten of us sitting at a rectangular lunch table in the gym when one of the girls asked how much I weighed, & I was nervous to answer. That was the fourth grade. Then there was the time in middle school when we were all being measured for costumes for our school’s production of The Sound of Music. I still remember the waist measurement of the girl in the grade ahead of me I wanted to copy in every way. All the boys liked her.
That’s how it all started—an insecurity that left me feeling like something about me was wrong & I needed to change in order to be fixed. The feelings only increased in high school. I still ate junk food with my friends, but I was aware it was junk food & without knowing how to change things, I wore skirts to hide my legs & cried in the dressing room when my mom took me jeans shopping.
College only normalized my food and body obsession. My two roommates were equally focused on what they ate & who was working out the most (I never won that silent contest). Still unaware of what healthy eating really looked like, we binged oatmeal, fiber one pop tarts, & prunes. DELICIOUS. Not knowing the cause at the time, my blood sugar would crash at a moment’s notice, & I would then eat more sugar to ease the symptoms. I stayed away from meat because celebrity vegetarians were really pretty, & I started doing more Pilates hoping I’d wake up one day looking like Hilary Duff. What a shock that blonde highlights didn’t help, either.
It wasn’t until Blake & I got married when I started shifting how I saw food & working out— & even still, it was a slow moving train north. I started reading things nutritionists & health experts had to say. I made time to read recipe & healthy lifestyle blogs & books. I started realizing this itching desire in me to be healthy wasn’t the annoying problem. Rather, it was my insecurity that took a good desire & abused it into being something negative & harmful.
Whether we want to face it or not, we function better when we treat our bodies well. Working out relieves stress, keeps our focus sharp, & recycles energy back into our bodies so we can keep up with our kids & each other. You may never be the girl that lives for half marathons. Good news. You don’t have to be! I’m sure not. This is about allowing wellness to fuel our lives instead of feeling out of control about it all. Our bodies were not created to eat artificial sugar made from corn grown in a lab. They just weren’t. It’s not even about the calories here—this is about putting good food in our bodies so we can operate at a high level. All the other goals you have? Much more achievable when you’re taking care of your body.
When we start to lose motivation—either it feels too uphill or it’s all-consuming, we have to remember our why. WHY do you want to be healthy? Your why may look nothing like mine, & that’s great—but here are my why’s:
- I feel my best when I treat my body well, which means more confidence, less stress.
- I’m more flirtatious with my husband because the strength I feel on the inside projects to my actions on the outside.
- I want my kids to see what a healthy life looks like up close—that it feels good to make positive choices for our lives.
When you have any type of goal in your life, you put thought into how you’ll make it happen. The same goes for health. It was never meant to be this separate thing outside of regular life you are forced to squeeze into your day when you’re no longer a size 2. Health is the fuel that gives you the freedom to live your best life.
Check in with yourself:
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Do you drink enough water? (your body weight in pounds divided in half = number of ounces you should drink a day; 150lbs divided in half = 75 ounces of water)
- How much time do you put into thinking about your meals ahead of time?
- What kind of food do you keep in the house?
- How much do you move your body during the day, & how much are you sitting?
- Do you feel stressed all the time, or do you make time to laugh & play?
Being healthy doesn’t mean living on kale & sweat for the rest of your life. Being healthy means feeling strong in your skin and being the best version of you.
And PS, I don’t think anyone can be the best version of themselves without a slice of pizza & some chips & guac in their near future. Let’s not get out of hand here.