Blogger Biography: From a professional, world traveling, “single and loving it” city lady to a military wife, stepmomma of one, whole food cooking, exercise lovin’ Mamacita. Life is a rather grand adventure.
If you would have asked me about health and wellness in my life a few years ago, I would have laughed, “Does dancing at the club on the weekend count as cardio?” Health to me meant being perpetually on a diet and substituting fat-free and low-carb for everything until I got sick enough to quit over some chips and guacamole with a friend. Meanwhile exercise meant running on a treadmill and enduring the torture my sides, shins and chest felt the entire time. Why would anyone want to do this? Sadly, the day came when my doctor informed me I really needed to lose some weight. I knew I did too, but I had tried for so long with little success that I had finally just given up. I don’t need to tell you my sob story—almost everyone has his or her own. We feel badly about our weight and we physically don’t feel well. We have tried so many things, but nothing sticks, or when we don’t see results, we go back to old habits. We are busy. We don’t have time. It’s too hard with the kids. We can’t afford organic. Sound familiar?
It wasn’t until I started reading and watching documentaries about where our food comes from, what’s in it and how it affects us that I started to really pay attention. The list of ingredients in the daily foods I deemed “healthy” was frightening! All of this processed junk my body didn’t know what to do with was messing up my hormones and storing itself as fat. Not to mention my lack of real exercise was taking me straight down the path toward diabetes, heart issues and every other obesity-related disease plaguing our society today. Instead of crying over the scale, I had finally had enough. It was time for action.
This was right around the time that my husband and I got custody of his 3-year-old son, got married (eloped!) and moved into our first apartment all together. Instead of every other time in my life when there just “wasn’t time,” I found it was imperative that I MAKE the time. Otherwise, the stress alone would have killed me. It was time for commitment. Since then, I’ve been getting up while it’s still dark out, before our boy wakes up and before I rush off to work so I can do my 25-minute, high intensity interval training workouts in my living room. I have found amazing workout programs from home that eliminate all of those “lack of time and money” excuses. My husband wakes up even earlier than I do to go to the gym and do an hour of weightlifting because he is trying to bulk up. If we can’t get a workout in the morning, we take turns watching our little buddy, so the other person can get fitness time in (or little guy just does the moves with me!). We even budget for our workout and meal replacement supplements every month! All of those excuses you have about not exercising? Gone. I learned quickly, NO ONE has abundant extra time or money…they just make it a priority and get it done.
The fitness programs come with meal guides, but I have also found so many amazing resources to support a truly healthy lifestyle on a budget. I use a website that creates clean eating dinner menus for me, so that I am not putting chemicals and processed foods into my family’s bodies. All the planning and grocery lists are done for me (all in season, all within a budget, all under 30 minutes). It’s food my body recognizes as nutrients and knows how to process in a healthy way. Plus, we replace a meal a day with a healthy supplement, so there’s another meal taken care of. After the first two weeks of body soreness, sugar cravings and exhaustion, I can say we both feel the best we ever have in our entire lives! Our days are LONG, our jobs are busy and stressful, my husband is deploying, we are moving and we have a toddler who continues to wake up at 6 a.m. even on the weekends…but we can do it.
If I leave you with nothing else, please remember this: All of this has made us better parents and spouses to each other. Seriously. Even as early as we wake up, we are less tired and crabby with each other at the end of the day. I have stress relief, endorphins rushing through my body to make me happy and I am on an all-natural and free “high.” I can run after my little buddy, swim all afternoon and get activities for him ready during naptime (instead of just sleeping through naptime too). Perhaps most important is the legacy we are leaving for our son and future children. Parents who make exercise and health a priority, who eat out less so they can visit the local farmers’ market instead, who stock up on affordable organic food and who exercise together will live a long and healthy life precisely so they can be around for their children as long as possible.
I am still on the journey to lose a total of 40 pounds by December (down six in the last month so far!). I refuse to give in to the voices in my head that tell me I can’t do it, or that there isn’t enough time, or money, or energy or whatever. It’s all worth it when my little buddy sees me putting on my running shoes and shouts “It’s exercise time!” and runs to get his shoes too. When I can see my triceps for the first time in my entire life. When I can make it through an entire week and realize I haven’t put anything with chemicals or any junk into my body, and it shows on the scale. When I inspire my friends who don’t even have as much of a weight loss journey to take as I do, but who join me anyway. Because we all CAN do it.