Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Skinny people like you....

Skinny people like you…

I hear so many excuses from people for being the way they are.  A person who wants to lose weight after having a baby will tell me they don’t have time to exercise because they are nursing through the night. Or, they can’t change their diet because they’re nursing. Well, the truth is, that person should eat healthier, cutting down on processed foods because it is actually best for the nursing infant. As for being tired from nursing through the night, that’s just something that is hard to deal with. But, we all make choices, and for me, I prefer to exercise on little sleep because it actually makes me feel much better. A person who wants to lose weight but can’t find the time in their day always tells me their priorities will not allow them to exercise or prepare healthier meals. We all have the same 24 hours in our days, it’s just that some of us prioritize differently. I have two kids, but I still prepare our meals in advance. I do think throughout the day about what we will be eating next, but that is important to me. I plan everything we do around meals, the kids’ naps, my workouts, and the kids’ activities. If I have to workout at 4 AM because I need to get in my workout before the kids wake up, that’s what I do. If I have to make an enormous load of chicken and freeze it in single servings because I know it will be a busy month, that’s what I do.

Then there are the people who tell me I’m skinny because it’s in my genes. I cringe any time I hear this. Someone told a friend of mine the other day that she’s lucky because she’s “naturally” thin. Really? My friend is thin (and strong) because she kicks her own butt in the gym consistently, and makes healthy meal choices. I would love for anyone to spend a week in my shoes, working out with me and eating with me. You would see that I fight cravings for ice cream and nachos like any other person, but only allow myself to indulge less than once per week. At all other times, I am chasing my kids, working out at least once per day, lifting heavy weights, drinking my coffee black, eating a great deal of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts and seeds, and never EVER eat fried food. To some people, this seems like it’s just not worth it.

This brings me to another point. There are people who think that in order to be fit, you have to deprive yourself of all kinds of foods. This bothers me so much, and mostly because it’s what is advertised all over the place. Some people are thin because they eat 800 calories per day and workout like crazy in the gym. This is ridiculous and terribly unhealthy. There are people who replace two or more meals per day with protein shakes. This is also awful. Then some people take supplements everyday in order to get results, but no supplement is ever needed to lose weight or get healthy. It is incredibly important to understand that being thin should not be a person’s only goal. It is more important to be healthy, which means eating a balanced diet loaded with fruits and vegetables, paired with lean meats, and including nuts and seeds. I also believe that some unrefined whole grains as well as soaked legumes are a healthy addition to diets. Instead of depriving yourself of candy or bread, pack your day full of the healthy stuff, and leave no room for the stuff that isn’t so good for you. Nourish your body. The more you nourish your body, the less your body will crave the stuff that makes you feel less than your best.

I keep coming back to what a professor said in a lecture recently. She asked, “Are you simply surviving or are you thriving?” Feed yourself so that you are thriving, and you won’t want to eat things that only allow you to survive very often. Be your best self. Stop making excuses. Make better choices. And most importantly, nothing is going to work for you until you take responsibility and kick your own butt. A personal trainer, a meal plan, a workout video… none of those are going to help you in the long run unless you are willing to work hard. Once you establish a routine you love, you will find that after plenty of hard work, the hard work becomes less hard, and more enjoyable. Even further down the road, when you’re in maintenance mode, you will be living a much more lovable lifestyle.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's Kai's (and my) 2nd Birthday.

Two years ago today, I became a different person. I am worlds away from who I was before January 15, 2013. One moment, I was just another woman in my mid-twenties who was only concerned with my own well being, and my marriage. The next moment, at exactly 8:55 PM, I became a mother. I experienced a thousand different feelings all of the sudden, and I was forever changed. I became a mother, a feminist, a baby-lover, someone who sees love in every little thing, and am more joyful than I have ever been in my whole life.

Due to my unnecessary c-section, which I still struggle with, I learned things I never thought I'd need to know. But that experience made me a feminist. That experience helped put me where I am today. On Kai's 1st birthday, I cried because I couldn't help but remember that his birthday was the absolute most worst day of my entire life. My firstborn was cut out of me and I was told it was because I am not able to birth a child. But not this year. I'm only crying tears of joy this year.

I have feelings I believe you can only have as a parent (regardless of how you got there, or whether or not you are a biological or adoptive parent). Although I have always been a happy, optimistic person, I truly feel joyful every day of my life. Although I know that God is absolutely everywhere, I now see God unmistakably, everyday. Every time I look into my 2 year old's eyes, I see God. Before having children, I didn't love everyone's kid. I figured I'd be a mom who loved my kids, but other people's kids... not so much. But after having Kai, I love every single kid. I'm that creepy lady who smiles at your kid in the mall just because I think they're sweet.

On the plane the other day, I heard the man behind me say "I'm so glad I don't have kids to worry about" as he was looking at my husband with my 2 year old and me with my 6 month old. I just thought how that man will never experience the joy I feel everyday. I am tired, nervous, paranoid, and overwhelmed much of the time, sure. However, I laugh every single day. I have cried sad tears twice in the past 2 years. I cried when I was struggling with finding someone to attend Luca's birth, and I cried when my Grandfather passed away. Other than that, I have spent hours upon hours laughing until I cried.

2 years and one day ago, my water broke and I went straight to the hospital (mistake number 1). 5 months and 1 week ago, I thought my water broke and I had a fetal non-stress test since Luca was 2 weeks "late" at that point, so I stuck a pad in my underwear, went to my hospital doctor where I refused a cervical exam, then went to Panera for lunch. I think that sums up how much I've changed. 2 years ago, I did what people thought was right. 6 months ago to the day, I proved that I was a changed person when I brought Luca into the world in my own home with only people who loved me and my child, and supported what was best for us.

Kai (and Luca) has shown to me what kind of love still exists in the world. The kind of innocent love of a child who loves you just because you're his world. 2 years ago, God changed me. God made me the person my child needed me to be. God made me the wife I needed to be. My child and husband had who they needed. 6 months ago, God made me see that I was the person everyone else already knew I was.