Most of my life I’ve eaten what I wanted within reason. I’ve never needed to worry about my food intake. My weight had never been an issue until recently, either. I guess getting older and having two babies changes things. Not only that, but at my most recent physical, my cholesterol was alarmingly high.
Beyond eating what I wanted, I’ve always had a healthy relationship with food. I may have a sweet tooth and prefer eating out to cooking, but food has never owned me. Lately, however, food and I have been involved in a sultry love affair- one that has taken me by surprise and left me frustrated and confused.
I think a lot of it has to do with where I am emotionally and mentally at this juncture in life. I’m not going to lie, this stay at home gig is tough. It’s not tough in the way working outside of the home was, but it is a whole different animal. Even though I’ve been home for 9 months, I’m still finding my feet. I’m still trying to find peace with this new role.
Susie Homemaker, I am not.
Part of my binge eating stemmed from my frustrations with both myself and my kids. Cleaning does not come naturally to me. Cooking doesn’t either. Loving my babies does (thank goodness!), but they are both pretty awesome at testing limits and my frustration level. I’ve put a great deal of pressure on myself to be the best at everything in my role as stay at home mom. In reality, the house is always messy, dinner is usually something I’ve quickly thrown together, and I lose my patience with my kids more often than I want to admit.
Over the last couple of months, a few things have happened that have helped get my health and well being (and my family’s) to the forefront of my mind. Coming to the realization that my mood and emotions were in direct correlation with my eating and weight loss (or lack thereof) was eye opening. Stepping on the scale for the first time in months was pretty huge, too.
I also read one of those “success stories” in a fitness magazine. I can’t remember which magazine, but part of the person’s success was that she started eating foods with 10 ingredients or less. I’ve heard about cutting out processed foods before. I’ve tried half heartedly a few times, too. But for some reason, this idea stuck with me. Maybe because it was a tangible goal.
As I started looking at ingredients, I realized (or admitted, rather) that my family consumes a lot of processed foods.
At first, it was just a bug in my ear. I checked ingredients, counted them, tried to buy more items with less ingredients. Still, I had my fair share of Pringles and Little Debbie’s and Hawaiin Sweet Rolls.
Then, I was introduced to 100 Days of Real Food, specifically the article, “7 Reasons I Hate Artificial Food Dyes.” (Thanks, Marie!) I have to tell you, this was my turning point. It made me really want to start eating (and feeding my family) better.
I’m currently resisting the urge to rip every single item out of my pantry. Instead, I’m taking small steps toward better eating. I know getting healthy is all about making daily, conscious decisions. It is about making a lifestyle change, not embracing one fad or another.
I know so many have already discovered the joys of eating better. Some have done this by watching calories. Some have done this by eating more fruits and vegetables. Some have done this by watching carbs and sugars. Others have done it by cutting out processed foods. It is my hope that I’ll strike a nice balance somewhere between it all.
I’m not very far in to this new adventure, but I’ve decided to chronicle my successes and struggles along the way in hopes that you’ll follow along and share your own (and to hold myself accountable). This won’t be a regular series, but I’ll probably post or update my progress a few times a month.
Do you have any suggestions as I embark on this new journey? Where have you found success? What do you struggle with most? Is it time for you to start eating better, too?
Life happens when we get healthy!
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