The Nitty Gritty on Nutty
We all have our stories as to why and how we decided to take the health plunge, well this is my story:
I think I will start off by stating that I did not grow up with a healthy lifestyle…um like at all lol. The only point I may have on my side is that I did play outside…I wasn’t much of a TV watcher (and I’m still not ☺). I was enrolled in gymnastics, swimming, and karate but I quit them all. I got bored. I grew up on what every average child from my generation grew up on: unrefined carbs, sugar, and dairy. And, I LOVED my food. I was a binge eater and an emotional eater.
When I was 21, my only brother passed away at the age of 19 of a rare and harsh cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. My mother, who always struggled with self happiness in life, was destroyed after this tragedy. She went into a deep depression and really, who can blame her? I couldn’t ever imagine losing a child. A couple years went by. A couple years of me partying and continuing to eat shit that contained next to no nutrients…perhaps this was my “life is too short stage, do what you want and live it” stage, maybe it wasn’t I’m not entirely sure. My mother was still hurting as much as the day that my brother had passed. And one day, I woke up and thought “Omg what am I doing!? I need to take care of myself. If anything happens to me, I do not know what my poor mother will do! I need to make sure I stay healthy, for her.” Now I realized I had NO control over freak accidents or life’s destiny, but I did realize that I could help drastically control MY HEALTH. I mean we hear it ALL the time: Exercise. Eat healthy. Vegetables and fruits help prevent cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and other fatal illnesses. I mean everyone knows that right, it’s DOING it that’s the tricky part.
So, for my mother, I joined a cardio bootcamp and went 2x a week as well as a bosu ball cardio class. I even went to yoga. I ate “healthier” and by “healthier” I mean what everybody usually thinks is healthy. Low fats, Fat-Free, Sugar-Free, 100 calorie pack snacks, tons of fruit, and salads with iceberg lettuce as my “vegetable” intake with a chemical creamy salad dressing. Whole wheat everything, granola bars made of sugar, etc. I was uneducated. I trusted commercials and I believed what dieters told me.
That went on for almost 2 years. During that time, I did lose a bit of weight but I never felt like I did. I also realized a few things. 1) I was an adrenaline junkie. I loved the rush an intense workout gave me. 2) I wasn’t actually “fat” I was in fact bloated, and 3) I was still tired as *#$@ which lead me to think something was up. I thought you were supposed have this endless energy when you are eating right and exercised regularly…what a bunch of BS! I couldn’t get through one day without a nap! And my stomach…why am I and have I always been so uncomfortably bloated!? This is when I decided to do some research. And this is when I decided it was going to be for MYSELF. I wanted this. I wanted to be healthy and happy-for ME.
And, so my journey began. It was long, it was rough, and it was worth it. I remember reading “Skinny Bitch” (awesome, and eye-opening read for those who haven’t read it) and I remember thinking “Pffftt are these girls crazy? I cannot give up my Special K Strawberry bars-it’s the highlight of my day!” Of course, when I think back to that moment now I just chuckle. I studied. I made a huge ass list of things I knew I needed to change to actually be healthy and things I wanted to try changing (to see if it would help my bloat situation). And I tackled that list, one thing at a time. I did NOT move to the next goal until I KNEW I was fully commited to the previous one. Sometimes this meant not taking on a new challenge for over a month! I wanted this lifestyle to last forever, so I needed to do it right.
And here I am. Obsessed with Clean Eating-healthy eating the REAL way. I do not take naps as I do not need them. I sleep like a baby. My hands that I use daily for my career (I’m a Registered Massage Therapist) are no longer swollen or in the beginning stages of arthritis. I know now that I have IBS and am always working on mastering my diet to fit my personal needs due to my condition. It’s been a tough few months with crazy flare-ups and frustrating thoughts of wanting to give up- but I can now say I have never been closer to actually seeing what my stomach has the potential to look like-sans bloat. I will not give up. There is always more to learn and more goals to achieve! I will keep striving one day at a time and I hope you all wish to do the same!
💐If I could, I’d love to thank my brother. Although I did not have that immediate reaction you might think I should have to whip my ass into gear after his death, I got here. And I think of him daily. Maybe if he ate better, he could have been spared, maybe not. I’ll never know. But what I do know is I will do everything in my power to help keep myself and my loved ones happy and healthy!