I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. Joyce Meyer
Human beings. Funny little creatures, we are. We rocket back and forth between diet fads. We think about how we want to feel good, look good, and be our ideal selves. We worry so much about what other people think we forget that sometimes it’s more about how we think about ourselves.
Or how we think about our futures.
We want to fit into those jeans, or we want to see ourselves in that super skinny crop top. I’m not innocent of these thoughts myself. I find myself with clothing I haven’t work in years thinking, “Man, I’d love to fit back into this…” or even looking at my renaissance corset and saying to myself, “God, it’d be nice to be able to put this one without it literally being a squeeze!”
Lately, though, I’ve found a different motivation. You see, just over a year ago, I gave birth to a beautiful and sweet 9lb 3oz boy who was 23 inches long. Yes, I know that’s big. And he sure did a number on my size, as well. But even more than that, he changed how I think about myself and my future. He changed how I felt about me.
The best I ever felt was while I was pregnant. The worst I ever felt was before I was pregnant. I was sick all the time and could never seem to get better. Then, when we found out I was pregnant, we started looking at other things to determine how to keep myself healthy. I was placed on disability leave for various reasons and ended up being home a lot. I switched to whole food vitamins instead of synthetic, and I ate as much from stove and oven as I could without using the microwave, or anything prepackaged.
If a man achieves victory over his body, who in the world can exercise power over him? He who rules himself rules over the whole world. Vinoba Bhave
Suddenly, I was better. Migraines went away, bloating was gone…I was even able to wear dresses while pregnant and bumping that I hadn’t been able to wear before pregnancy because that’s how much I had bloated! We figured out that it was the building I was working in, which was full of mold and making not just myself but others sick (and they won’t listen, so it’s not worth trying to fight them on it…) The entire time I was pregnant I was home, researching, studying, learning, eating healthy, doing yoga, craving steak, making mashed potatoes, and overall being me. For the first time I felt like I was supposed to feel. I felt happy and healthy.
Baby came, and that took some adjusting. Over time it was a bit easier…but I’ve started to notice something. I’m getting back into old habits. I’m drinking most of a pot of coffee a day. I’m drinking each night again, like I can’t take the day. I’m unhappy, I’m miserable, and I’m feeling downright done. Just done. Over everything.
What changed? My eating has been getting worse…which started when I started working evenings. My happiness has gone down, which started around the time my grandmother passed away. My overall feeling of me has diminished….which seems to be more around when I stopped taking the vitamins and started eating processed foods again.
A year on as a mom and I’m realizing the issues I’m facing. And while feeling done with everything, I look at my son and I say to myself, “I can’t wait to see the man you become. I can’t wait to see you achieve what you want. I can’t wait…” and then I think about my health. I’m at my highest weight I’ve ever been, save when I was pregnant (though I’m only 10 pounds off that…) I’m eating all this junk food again, and I feel miserable.
You can’t be a parent and say, “I need you to be more active and I need you to eat right,” when you’re still choosing to have poor eating habits. Bob Harper
I look at my son and I realize I need to change. For him. For myself, sure, but for him. To see him succeed. To show him the path to health on his own. To be an example. I need to change. I need to be healthy.
That’s my inspiration. What’s yours?