Wednesday, June 11, 2014

to break the cycle...

I have EVERY intention of helping women develop the tools to keep their families healthy but while I have a strong passion for helping women get healthy, I have a deep passion for helping children get healthy as well.

For me growing up I was always bigger.  I never remember being "small"...always larger than my family and friends and I HATED IT.  
I recall many moments in my childhood where I felt uncomfortable and awkward in my own skin.  It seemed like I was always the girl you wanted to be around because I was fun and funny but never because I was beautiful...ever. 

I turned to food at an early age for many reasons.

I think a lot of it had to do with my Dad leaving...being "busy" and often away from the house even prior to the divorce.  The food would be there when he wasn't.  It became a crutch for me to lean on.  I guess I never felt important enough for him to stay.  There was always something bigger and and better for him to get to instead of spending quality time with me and to solve these problems, I'd eat.  And it worked. Almost like drinking, I'd just eat until I felt nothing.  My mom had enough going on trying to raise me on her own while working full time so my weight took the back seat, understandably.  Plus when she would bring up losing weight or eating less to me...well that was more the reason to eat even more.  Not sure why that is but as soon as someone brought up my weight, I'd get defensive, angry and eat twice as much :(  a sad way to live especially as a child.  
I loved McDonald's and it makes me sick to hear family and friends talk about how I had to have it almost every day or I'd cry.  Who does that?  It wasn't even good food...it's awful.  
And this continued through college.  I remember driving through McDonald's or Taco Bell, ordering enough to feed a family of four, driving off and finishing it before arriving at my destination.  Ughhh almost like those bad habits I developed over the years had taken over my life and there was no way out.  I had no clue how to get out of the dark place I had created for myself.  

It was like food was always there.  And if you gave me 15 healthy options and 2 bad ones, you can take a guess at which I'd choose time and time again.  
I NEVER made healthy choices and when I did, I ate so much of it that it was no longer good for me because I was overeating.  The chips and queso always sounded better, the bread with butter would ALWAYS win.  But not only one slice of bread-but three, four or possibly five.  It was like it was never enough.  Mindless eating would leave me wanting more and more...knowing it would leave me feeling blah! I kept doing it over and over.  Like I was purposely self-destructing.  
Ugh it makes me sick to think I lived that way for SO MANY YEARS.  
And because of my weight I had little to no self-esteem my entire life...it is still hard for me to accept a compliment because the only one I'd hear as a child was, "your face is so pretty".  


So becoming a PE teacher meant so much more to me than simply teaching a child how to jump rope or play basketball.  I wanted to be that role model for children.  
I want them to see that healthy living is FUN.  
Exercise, being active and eating healthy food IS important and necessary every day 
especially if they weren't getting it at home, 
I had to show them WHY it was so important to take care of their health.  



My most important goal is TO BREAK THE CYCLE...
For my boys, my husband, my family, friends AND children everywhere.  So while I thoroughly enjoy helping the Mom's, I truly want their choices to trickle down to their families and make an impact...and trust me IT WILL.  



We discuss healthy eating often with our boys.  Every day.  They ask questions and we are honest in telling them about our childhood and how healthy eating is something EVERY person should focus on, but sadly many do not.  We teach them not to judge others for their food choices and we stress the importance of portions and balance with our meals.  They know that a treat is in fact, a treat.  Eating out is okay but we don't do it every day and while my children eat french fries and hamburgers, it is NOT often at all and they know why.  
I am a firm believer in practicing what we preach.  If they SEE us leading a good, healthy example with our workouts and food choices, they will follow...hopefully.  While nothing is guaranteed, I want them to know and understand their bodies, their heart and why we must take care of ourselves.  They know that we were unhealthy children and that we do NOT want the same for them...

And when I started making lunch today and the boys asked to help, I was thrilled!  They washed their hands and jumped right in.  We cleaned fresh fruit, sliced apples and created a delicious sandwich while I opted for my sprouted bread but filled mine with egg whites! 


My son was so proud!  He kept saying, "this is healthy, take my picture Mom!"
That's two wheat rolls filled with Boars Head low sodium turkey and lettuce, apple slices with a 1tbs PB, some strawberries and grapes.  
And this healthy choice was made AFTER he attended Move It Mommas boot camp and he and the other kids ran the track right along with us!  SO PROUD! 

Moments like these help me understand that I AM BREAKING THE CYCLE with my boys.  

If we grew up struggling and were always self-conscious about our weight, 
why on Earth would we want the same struggles for our children?
  
I wake up every day being so thankful that I was able to learn how to take care of my body, appreciating every step of the process and knowing how grateful I am for changing my life...
every day!  

HOW ABOUT FAMILY PIZZA NIGHT!
Get those kiddos in the kitchen with you and help their taste buds go on an adventure!
I buy these Trader Joes whole wheat pizza dough's and freeze them!  They are $1.99 and so easy!  You can top them with SO many varieties.  Last night was topped with Tuscano low fat sauce from TJ's, turkey pepperoni's, Italian veggie medley and a little Mozzarella cheese!  My husband and I like our's crispy and the boys prefer soft, so we cook these at different temperatures and we're all happy!  The smaller two are whole wheat NAAN pizzas that I make at the same time to enjoy all week for my husband at work.  We serve with salad and grilled chicken on top...or whatever you'd like!  

My lunch today was a slice of sprouted bread topped with 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites pan-cooked in coconut oil spray, some berries, grapes and apple slices!  So filling and delicious.  

The most freeing feeling in the world is putting myself in charge of my life.  NOT the food.  
It led my life down a destructive path for so many years so being able to find a happy place for food and giving it only the credit it deserves...after all, it is ONLY FOOD was one of the best moments on this journey.  It is still an every day struggle.  A battle within myself that I must consciously think about and overcome EVERY day.  I celebrate each day that I stay in control.  I am proud of how much my life has changed.  I am proud of the victories that the women I am helping are reaching.  They should be celebrated and rewarded for simply showing up.  For taking that first step out of the car and admitting that they seek their healthiest life.  They should be proud knowing that their children are watching as they put their healthy as a priority.  When they put on their workout clothes, grab their weights and mat...their children are watching!  Always watching.  Keep that in mind with everything that you do.  Whether you struggled as a child or not, it is our JOB to show our children how to live healthy.  How to embrace their bodies, how to feed them and get the blood pumping.  We must show them that exercise is a necessity and taking care of our bodies IS important no matter what age.  

1 comment:

Taylor LeMay said...

Great post!! Growing up, my mom was the opposite - instead of my weight being on the backburner, she was always constantly telling us what to eat and what not to eat. I dont think she did this maliciously, she just had no idea how else to live besides deprivation - so when I went to college, forget about it. It was a disaster plus twelve more years of quieting my inner voice. She's whispering now, but she's there!

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