Before my children came I was a 5th grade teacher who occasionally thought about making changes to become healthier (lose a little weight, look better in a bikini etc), but it was difficult to control my food choices. Working in an elementary school means there’s always temptations of birthday cupcakes and donuts in the teacher’s lunchroom. Mr. Mockingbird and I had gym memberships and worked out most evenings after work, but slowly as I got older I seemed to start having trouble keeping my weight where I wanted it!
I had never “been on a diet” before, but I was starting to understand that what I ate was just as important as exercising. Clean eating was new and fun and I found by making small changes to what I put in my mouth, I was able to feel good about how I looked. My sister’s wedding in Mexico was approaching and this helped to motivate me to stick to lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. I ate about 6 small “meals” a day and drank lots of water.
I felt comfortable in my own skin on that trip!
Well things started changing soon after we arrived home and found out that we were expecting our first baby! Clean eating was still in my mind, but I was pregnant…and I like cupcakes. You get the picture!
My pregnancy was great and I gained an appropriate amount of weight. I was even able to lose it at a comfortable pace by breastfeeding and going back to clean eating. I didn’t go back to teaching after Sissybird came and surprisingly it turned out to be the right decision because I soon learned I was expecting again! Our babies would be 18 months apart…oh boy!
Oh BOY was right…Buddybird came along healthy and by VBAC (one of my proudest moments) and now I had 2 children in under 2 years!
While I enjoyed both pregnancies and remained healthy and active during them, I was still left with a different body! Thus begins my journey to wellness. I did stroller strides, Zumba, & mommy bootcamps. I realized pretty quickly that I could not put myself at the bottom of the list of people to take care of…it’s easy to do! I’ll workout tomorrow, I’ll just eat easy mac etc… I was at times barely surviving the day as a mom. This was not acceptable to me.
I spent a lot of time praying and asking the Lord for guidance as a mom and a woman. Leaving my job and becoming a stay at home mom left me longing for something. While of course I loved being home and spending quality time with my children, I needed other outlets too! I tried direct selling and that helped! I was able to get out of the house and have adult conversations. I was starting to feel better about myself and wanted to keep that feeling going. I knew I needed to get back to eating healthy and exercising.
Through research online I found great blogs, articles, and books that were encouraging whole foods and less packaged foods. I learned to flip products over and read the list of ingredients. I started paying attention to what was in my “food” or so they call it! I slowly made changes to my family’s habits and started to see very positive changes in my mood and body. I found myself reading anything I could get my hands on about “REAL FOOD”! A trip to the grocery store would take me a few hours because I had to read every ingredient list on products I used to buy and often would put them back on the shelf when I learned what was in them! At times it was overwhelming and frustrating, but I’ve always been of the mindset that this is a journey.
I’ve also had a ton of help and support! My husband and family have encouraged me all throughout these 5 or so years of making healthy changes. I’ve also found tremendous support by joining Crossfit Hershey where I found people who are also working on their health and wellness and are always pushing me to do better! This is where I first heard about “Paleo” and decided to give it a try!
Meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fat?!
Yes….I ate…. repeat… I ATE and lost weight! Ok, so I did eliminate grains, legumes, most dairy, and limited my sugar but I certainly wasn’t doing the “not eating so much” diet thing most of us try to to. I also only ate 3 times a day.
With this new way of eating I feel good, have more energy, less cravings, sleep more soundly, and feel nourished! I can go on and on about this (and I will…that’s why I started this blog ha!) but for now this is what is working for me.
It is my hope that more people will begin to take care of themselves with delicious, nourishing food.