The stages of healthy living

I wanted to share a little truth about me.  I am living a health-ier life.  Not a healthy life.  I created this blog, and my business page to showcase my journey to healthy.  I post a lot of things that are healthy, and I do those things.  But I haven’t always.  I grew up in a home where my mother cooked things from scratch and we didn’t have junk food, or artificial anything in the home.  My brother was hyperactive and my parents researched to discover artificial things can trigger increased hyperactivity.  So we ate healthy-ish. My point is even though we were eating home cooked and not out of a box or fast food, we didn’t necessarily eat the best we could.  My dad always had a vegetable garden, and in the summer we did great.  But in the winter, often our meals consisted of a meat and a starch.  And usually that meat was cow.

Fast forward a few years, and when I got out on my own, let me tell you I indulged in the junk I was not allowed at home.  I didn’t put on the freshman 15 in college, mine was 25.  That was ok, I was underweight in high school, so I found a healthy weight in an unhealthy way.  But it was the start of more issues.  Fast forward again to the birth of my first child.  I had a host of issues, and ended up on bed rest for 5 weeks.  I gained a lot of weight!  The complications continued and it took me 6 weeks to heal enough to begin moving without pain.  At this point I had a good 30 pounds of extra weight hanging around.  And I was still eating junk.  I started walking with my cousin but eating better didn’t really happen.  I dropped maybe 10 of those pounds, and then baby #2 was on the way.  This time, I started to eat better, I did yoga daily during the pregnancy.  Aside from a bout of high blood pressure, this pregnancy went better.  I had a c-section but the recovery was only 2 weeks, and the pregnancy weight came off pretty easy this time, but I still had the extra weight from the first baby.  My husband at the time was also packing some extra pounds and I started doing research on ways to get us healthy.  Enter the first stage of healthy, less junk.  I started planning meals and exercising some but this pretty much just got me back to what I grew up with.  Mostly meats and starches with some fruits thrown in and summer vegetables only.  It wasn’t until my son was in preschool that I started to revamp our diet.  Artificial things were the first to go, because guess what, he was hyperactive too.

Fast forward again to diet by divorce.  I finally lost the extra weight I had been carrying.  My marriage was falling apart and suddenly food didn’t seem appealing at all to me.  So still less junk, but not a healthy way to lose weight.  And no surprise, when the depression of losing my marriage subsided, and food came back in, so did those pounds I didn’t want.  Eventually I ended up being tired of feeling like garbage and decided a gym membership was the answer shortly after getting married again.  Unfortunately my timing was not epic.  Baby number 3 was on the way, unbeknownst to me when I began my gym journey.  The gym definitely helped me stay healthy, but age was not in my favor and dropping weight after a baby at 37 is not easy.

Fast forward to my husband having a heart attack.  Enter stage 2, health-ier.  We switched the bulk of our red meat consumption for healthier meats, added salads, and more vegetables, reduced sugar and fat intake and really made an effort to do better.  It worked for a while.  But old habits and busy lifestyles creep back in, as do unhealthy food choices.  We still kept vegetables as a regular part of our diet, and if you compared what we had in our home to the average US household we were still winning in the healthy race.  But realistically, that isn’t enough.  We still snuck in the junk, we still had dessert more than we should, we still ate too many grains and not enough vegetables.  And the number one killer of the healthy lifestyle, we still hit those fast food restaurants 2-3 times a week.

That brings me up to today.  I am on a journey to overhaul my pantry for good.  I don’t just want to be healthier, I want to be healthy.  What does this look like? Well, that’s why I have this page. I want to share this with you, because I know a lot of people don’t really understand what keeps them from being healthy.  And it is so much deeper than just your food.  But food is a good place to start.  So keep buying those vegetables, hit up the farmer’s market or even buy more from the produce department at your grocery store.  Plan your meals, look for recipes that are loaded with vegetables, go for more walks, or bicycle rides, swims, whatever suits your fancy.  But my advice to you is this, don’t try to go all the way from junk to extreme health.  Take steps, get used to stages of healthier, and then move up.  You are more likely to stay there when you get there if you don’t feel like you gave up things to get there.  Believe me, I am just now getting to the stage where I am ready for healthy and I have been on this journey for over 15 years.  I am not saying it will take you that long, but don’t rush it.  We have been taking those steps consistently though, so we can achieve that goal for life.  Join me in making healthy choices to change your life too.  Thanks for reading and I always love to hear success stories too.  Feel free to share yours with me!

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