Saturday, January 26, 2013

How 'bout a Healthy Diddy?

I don't really do New Year's Resolutions. I tend to abandon ship after two weeks of any kind of major change. But, since gaining weight after my hip surgery and pulling my back out a couple of weeks ago (talk about feeling like an old fogey), I have been on a mission to take back my health.

It isn't easy to make lots of changes to get healthy. I have made little strides here and there. But, when I noticed myself bailing out of the family football game for the past two years, I realized I was turning into the very person I never wanted to be.

I want to be active. I want to feel healthy. And most importantly, I want to set my family up for success by living an example of healthy living. Not just by eating healthy food. And not by allowing my body to be my obsession. But, simply to teach my children that if you take care of your body from an early age, you will be grateful later.  I didn't realize that health was much more than how I physically looked. I was a cheerleader in High School, so I always prided myself on knowing how to stretch, exercise and work hard. But, knowing how and actually doing it are two very different things.

Now, I can finally say I have had enough.

Enough sitting back while others bike mountains, run races, and chase goals.

Enough feeling sorry for myself and believing that I can't do it.

Enough excuses about how my family takes it all out of me. (That is an ol' trusty one.)

Enough watching my life pass me by and thinking that "one day" it will happen.

I have done a few new things that I believe have set me and my family up for success. I am by no means an expert on any subject. But, I have always failed to "stick" with anything for long periods.  So, here is how I had to change my way of thinking.

I Can't NOT Exercise. (And, yes, Mom. That is a double negative.)

It isn't a choice anymore. I have struggled with depression. My body is headed South, literally. And I finally realized that if I wanted a better quality of life, then I have to be the one to change it. For my mental and physical health, I must do it. The days I don't, I can tell. And so can my husband. (cuz I'm grumpy!)

Make Sugar Once A Week

I kept sugar in my house for years, out of fear that my kids would go hog-wild on the stuff if I kept it from them totally. But, I found myself constantly "cheating" and my boys whining for treats after every meal. So, I came up with a new idea. One night during the week, I let my boys pick out a dessert they want to try. On Friday or Saturday, we all bake it together. It's great bonding time. I'm teaching my boys to cook, and dessert is back to being a treat instead of an expectation. We don't go hog wild on it, but we do enjoy it. And whatever is left over by Sunday, we toss it. I know my boys will have the occasional birthday cake or a sucker after a haircut, but for the most part, sugar is out. (And might I add, it is FUN to sit down as a family and pick out fantastic desserts to try together!)

Stick to Whole Foods

Whole wheat products. Fresh or frozen whole fruits. Fresh or frozen whole vegetables. Beans. Low-Fat Dairy. I have not (nor plan to at this point) jumped on the gluten-free band wagon, so it's not difficult to stick to this. Best rule of thumb? Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. Don't buy snack foods and treats for your kids. They will survive. Mine have. Organic Tortilla chips and salsa. Hummus and carrots. It might take some convincing and even some determination, but your kids will follow suit. I promise. (And Peanut is still a challenge!)

Only Water and Tea.

Not sweet tea. I'm Southern. Tea wasn't tea unless there was four cups of sugar in it. I fought this one long and hard, but finally cut out coffee and traded it for hot tea. Among my favorites? Peppermint, Chamomile, Green and any citrus flavored tea. Add a little honey and voila! You have a new low-cal treat. Don't expect it to taste like a latte. But, stick with it. It will grow on you.


I hate vitamins. I always buy them and intend to be good. But, I take the horse pills for a couple of days and then tap out. But, while visiting a friend whose genius husband is a biologist, I was told how Fish Oil is literally the BEST thing you can do for your nutrition. So, while weaning off a certain medication, it has been vital in helping me maintain my mental clarity. I take Fish Oil (3500 mg per day), Vitamin D3 (1000 mg per 15 pounds of body weight), Vitamin B Complex (I double the recommended dosage), and Emergenc-C (two packs a day during cold/flu season). My kids take chewable organic Multi-vitamins, Fish Oil (that they love!) and Vitamin C. As we all sit down to eat breakfast, I pull the huge basket off the top of the fridge and divvy up our goodies! It's now a part of our routine and the kids don't let me forget! If you are uncertain about which vitamins you should take, go to an herbal specialist. I buy mine from various places but Swanson is a great website with amazing prices.

Think About Your Future

We have good friends in South Carolina. The husband was wanting a work-out buddy to get in shape. He approached a friend of his and asked if he would be interested in working out with him. The guy said, "No." When our friend asked him what he planned on doing if he wasn't going to get in shape, he replied, "I don't know. I'll probably just get old and die." Wow. Now there's a quality of life worth fighting for. No thanks. I'm not going down without a fight. I know there will be uphill battles, injuries, surgeries, sickness, and a lot of other trials, but I want to live a quality of life that allows my family to do more than we can imagine. I want to kayak, bike, hike the Grand Canyon, do a Mud Run, etc. And it's not going to happen by me sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

So, there it is folks. My new way of thinking. The old way trickles back in. But, I just force those thoughts out. God has given me this body to take care of to do His purposes. How can I do that if I'm constantly sluggish and mentally exhausted?

And I by NO means have conquered it all. In fact, I hesitated to write this because some people will read it and feel worse about themselves. DON'T! It took me a lot of inward soul-searching and physical hurdles to get to this point. Just don't sell yourself short. You are worth the investment. Stop doing it to be skinny. Do it for your kids. For your spouse. And look forward to the many years ahead of living.

PS. My first priorities are my time with God, my family, and my gym time. So if I can carve time out after fulfilling those things, I plan to post some of my new favorite quinoa recipes. It's pronounced 'keen-wah'. If you haven't tried it, don't be intimidated. It's easy as pie to cook with. Promise.

'Til then! Live Well!

He's One of the reasons I want to Live Fully. My silly boy!

And I'm Going to Have To Be Healthy To Keep Up with Peanut!



  1. We went to the grocery store today. First stop: Produce department. When we left there, the only things left on the list were eggs and baking soda.

    And the baking soda is to put in the refrigerator and freezers!

    THAT is what I call a good trip to the grocery store :-)

  2. Great post.. thanks for the pep talk and inspiration! I've got to up my intake of fish oil and D3! :) AND of course increase my desire to EXERCISE!! I always enjoy reading your blog!

  3. Yay you! Take every thought captive to Christ and RUN with it, girl! What an inspiration this post was!