Nutrition plays a huge part in our health journeys. It wouldn’t be fair in sharing my health journey with you without sharing my nutritional milestones as well. So, here we go. As a Child Growing up we didn’t really talk about health, healthy foods or going to the gym. My parents didn’t have a gym membership and never had a scheduled work out time. However, they weren’t lazy, we were a hard working family who had a garden, piled wood, and push mowed an acre of lawn. We didn’t eat terribly, but we weren’t super healthy. We ate a lot of Hamburger Helper, Mac n’ Cheese, canned veggies. We never had things like kale, almond milk, Brussel sprouts, avocados, or sweet potatoes. In High School I was the girl who could eat anything she wanted and looked slim—oh, and I did eat anything I wanted any time I wanted. This is when I fell in love with chocolate and ice cream (which now both give me a stomach ache if I have too much). I never gained a pound. Everyone commented that I got my dad’s metabolism. In College An unending array of cafeteria food along with an ice cream bar–enough said. I remember looking back at some college pictures and my husband and I both commented on my weight. At one point, I probably weighed nearly 135 pounds, which for me is about 20 pounds overweight for my height and body frame. I never dieted, although I did try to be a vegetarian for a year, but I never researched what it actually means to eat like one—I just cut out all meats. I didn’t do anything to try to lose weight I just started taking better care of myself. After about a year, I hit a kind of an opposite swing of things. I had been dating my high school sweetheart for approximately five years and we broke up for about a year. During that year, I developed what I now recognize as depression. My depression caused me to not want to eat. It wasn’t that I was starving myself; it is just that nothing tasted good. I remember being alone in my apartment and feeling so sad that I couldn’t eat. On one particular day, I called my ex-boyfriend (who lived about a mile from my apartment) and I said I physically couldn’t eat and wonder if it would be ok if I brought a Subway sandwich over to eat it at his place. For some reason, being in his presence allowed me to eat. During this time, my lowest weight was 101. Some people thought I looked amazing, while other people (like my mom) were really concerned about me. During that time, I learned how much sadness can impact your health. On a happier note, my high school sweet heart and I did get back together and will be married 10 years in January. Food Now My eating now is completely different than before, although I still like chocolate and ice cream. My family and I eat a ton of fruits and veggies. My biggest battle with food right now is sugar. Since finding out I had issues with my adrenals two years ago, I’ve been trying to figure out how to cut out sugar and gluten. When my adrenals were at their worst, I cut out eating any fruits due to the high sugar content of many fruits like bananas. To this day, I try to limit bananas and other high sugar fruits in my diet. When I was a kid, we always had a homemade dessert on the table, so I still have that mentality. We also had a drawer (yes, a drawer) full of candy bars. Breaking those kinds of bonds to food are still hard for me. I’m hoping five years from now I can see this as a milestone and no longer struggle so badly with sugar and having desserts around (or at least to have learned to love healthy desserts). Oh, and I would love to not love CHEESE, because dairy does impact my body negatively. But I grew up in Wisconsin, so cheese is just part of life. Now milk—that is another story, I gave that up about five years ago and don’t miss it at all. It is so easy to focus on all the ways we are lacking in the area of health. We berate ourselves for eating a second s’more (which, yes, I did this week, and it was amazing) or we tell ourselves we have to work out longer because of that piece of chocolate we ate. In all of this, we forget the milestones. We forget how far we have come. I hope this will inspire you to write out your health milestones and encourage you to keep striving towards a healthy lifestyle even when it is hard.
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