i told myself, "i will start tomorrow." one too many times. and by start, i mean start eating better. my body deserves healthy and i genuinely enjoy eating healthy. fruits and veggies are yummy to me! the problem i have is ice cream and cookies are incredibly yummy to me.
i've always struggled with moderation when it comes to my sweet tooth. i was on a first name basis with my local froyo joint in utah, and once they asked if they offended me because it had been a week since they had seen me. yes, i was once addicted to frozen yogurt. i make a batch of cookies or peanut butter bars and if i don't give some away, i will end up eating the whole batch. within a day or two. it's sick, i know.
before craig and i got married i was exercising regularly and eating healthy and i felt great. i indulged in frozen yogurt regularly but never felt the guilt because of my other food choices and the fact that i was exercising on a regular basis. my friends at work would tease me as i munched on my "rabbit food". they thought i was eating like a rabbit and i guess sometimes i was... celery, carrots, salads. but, i really do enjoy all of those things.
off and on over the last year craig and i have done really well with healthy eating and finding balance and then every once and a while we find a reason to celebrate and the celebration lasts a little longer than we anticipate. things get crazy busy with work, moving, church stuff, baby.... sometimes just one or two of those things and sometimes all at once. i adore my baby and would never want to go back to the way things were before, but my body before baby is quite a different story. (and an entire post all in it's own for another day!)
when i first found out i was pregnant i was determined to eat completely healthy so i could be healthy and my baby could grow strong. then i got so sick that absolutely nothing would stay down and eventually top ramen became my diet. (and yes, i know this was not a healthy option but when it's the only thing that sounds good and that would stay down, it's better than nothing.) eventually my appetite found me and i'm pretty sure it was trying to make up lost ground because there was a point i wanted to eat everything in sight. and i mean everything. nacho cheese and watermelon, (no, not together... although i wouldn't put it past a pregnant lady!) cookies and cucumbers, pickles and steak... it didn't matter what food group it fell under, i wanted it. and i wanted all of it.
well, of course you gain weight when you have a baby. and i did. and i'm okay with that. my body did what it was supposed to do and i'm so grateful for that. but, once gracie was here and no longer in my belly i could no longer use her as an excuse. i know a lot of people hate hearing, "i'm eating for two". yes, we all know you don't really need to eat for two... but if you've ever been pregnant, you can relate to feeling so hungry you feel like you want to eat for five. (i'm pretty sure that's to combat the months of not eating much besides saltines, top ramen and applesauce.) but, i could use the "i'm nursing and need extra calories" excuse still. although, i only feel justified in using that as an excuse to eat three extra cookies for so long. and even then, i know it's not what my body needs. or what my little one needs for that matter.
i entered a giveaway on small fry blog for a spot in a "new year, new rules" program hosted by prescribe nutrition. i was excited and not entirely sure what i was getting myself into. turns out i won and it was just the boost i needed. the program consisted of some tasty recipes, a message board with great questions from other participants and two amazing nutritionists. they weren't promoting a "diet" but more of a lifestyle change. the challenge? two weeks with no dairy, no gluten and no sugar.
when i first heard i thought uh, no way, no how, not gonna happen. but then i pondered on it and thought about the benefits that could come. as hard as it would be, i used that to fuel me and told myself to prove to myself (did anyone else just imagine jim gaffigan's voice? (if you have no idea what i'm talking about watch mr. universe jim gaffigan, hilarious. like, pee your pants funny. one of his bits will help you understand the previous comment, the rest of the show is good for some comedic relief...sidetracked. anyways..)) that i was strong enough to do this.
and so, my hubby joined me on this adventure. we headed to our local amish store for some goods, a few stops at kroger and sam's club and we had a plethora of new ingredients to use as we experimented with this "lifestyle".
what do you eat when you have no dairy, no gluten, and no sugar? fruits. veggies. nuts. quinoa. brown rice. eggs (we switched to cage free). chicken (we switched to hormone free). seeds. black beans. sweet potatoes. new pantry staples for us include chia seeds, coconut oil, almond butter, honey, quinoa, and oat flour. we rocked it for the whole two weeks! we had fun shopping for new ingredients and cooking together. some recipes were amazing and others left us hungry. the first couple of days were majorly hard- cravings and headaches galore. but then, i have never felt better!
i had more energy and i slept so much better at night. the aches and pains that constantly ail me body were far less aggressive. and yes, even my digestive system worked much better- if you know what i mean. craig and i had a lot of fun experimenting with new ingredients and new recipes and we added a few new meals to our favorites!
during those two weeks i rarely had cravings (after the first couple of days during the adjusting...) and i felt so good i didn't want to put junk into my body. i was exercising and eating right. i was determined this was the way to live. whole foods, not processed pretend food. would i ever eat a cookie or a scoop of ice cream again? sure- i don't want to cut out the things i love. but, i was determined to cut them back and find healthier options that would allow me to enjoy the yummy treats. after our two weeks we decided to celebrate. first thing i ate was a five guys burger. i was sick. so sick. (which i expected but wasn't enough to keep me from celebrating)
well, unfortunately it has become one of those times where the celebration lasts longer than intended. let's just say until two days ago we were still "celebrating". here is where i have a problem. once i start, i can't stop. (and no, i'm not talking pringles.) the junk in general is truly addicting. and yes, i can use excuse after excuse. i know what it comes down to is me finding the will power and determination to just do it.
you would think the numerous benefits i saw and felt would be reason enough to find the self discipline. and maybe it's just me being lazy and not pushing myself hard enough but i have been struggling, big time. there is a constant battle in my head lately and it is exhausting. i want to be fit and healthy, i want to be thin and in shape... but i also want pizza for dinner and ice cream and cookies for dessert. i want to eat whatever i want whenever i want and see or feel no consequence. i completely understand it does not work that way and it never will as badly as i try to force it to. it's not that i hate eating healthy, because i don't. as i mentioned, i enjoy fruits and veggies and all other natural and healthy food. (well, maybe not all but most.) i just have a problem with fighting the junk cravings and pushing past the enticing flavors.
so here i am. frustrated, exhausted and feeling guilty. no, i don't eat like a pig every meal of every day. but i also don't eat the way i know is best for my body. i know what i need to do, so why can't i just find the determination to do it and stick with it? when that little voice comes into my head telling me i want to indulge in 'ben & jerry's red velvet cake' one night and pizza and cookies the next why can't i find the moderation and just eat one cookie and the rest healthy?? for me, i know i can't cut out the food i love the most forever. it's just not practical. who knows, maybe at some point it will be. or maybe i'll come to the realization that if i want to avoid binging on those foods i'll have to cut them out entirely in order to fight the cravings all together. i don't know.
but, what i do know is how good it feels to treat my body right. i want to feel that goodness. i want to have the energy and strength to fight the nasty cold that hits. i want to feel like the hours of sleep i do get are worthwhile and not wasted. mostly, i want to know that my body will be strong and healthy to run and play with my kids in years to come. and for now, i want my body to be whole and well to be able to nurture and provide for my little girl. and for myself.
i don't expect to go hardcore and remain that way forever. i don't know if i will go straight to no dairy, no gluten, no sugar. maybe it's best i do just a little at a time until i can develop healthy eating habits. whatever the reason, i just have to do it.
i came to the conclusion the other night that if i can't find the determination to do it for myself then i will do it for my gracie. because she deserves a healthy mom.