As you all must know by now, I am an avid scrapbooker, and have been since I was about nine years old before people really knew what scrapbooking was. I have a passion for preserving photos and memories. And After having my beautiful boys there was even more passion behind my love of scrapbooking. They are now six and seven and when I look back on their early years there is something noticeably missing… me. And I can’t blame it all on the fact that I was the one behind the camera. The truth is I deleted most of the pictures with me in it. Mostly because it shocked me at just how bad I had let myself go, and I tried not to think about it. But this self neglect seeped into every area of my life, until it became the elephant in the room. Like so many women I was sold on the hole idea of motherhood being an all encompassing job that I had to do 24 hours a day and If I did anything for myself I felt guilty and selfish. That that was time I could be using to benefit my family or home. I think I let the light slowly drain out of me and I soon had little to give. This turned into unspoken bitterness and joy became increasingly hard to find. I started not going out in public as much as I could get away with. I even loved getting sick because it was like someone was giving me permission to take time out and focus on myself for a day or two. This was now way to live. At 25 years old I thought all my best days where forever behind me and this was the rest of my new life as a mother.
I was sick of being in the back stage of my own life. I was missing so much. Something had to change. It wasn’t until about a year after I started loosing weight and eating right that it finally donned on me that I needed this so I can give more. And that it was okay to not be 100% mother. That I am a dynamic person and have many areas in my life that need care and nurturing so I can grow and be productive. That I can be my own kind of mom (and wife) and draw on my strengths and have fun being a mom in my own way. I let myself be okay with not knowing how to sew or bake bread. I do other things really great, like making crafts and playing Uno with my boys, and going on bike rides. I’m not saying gaining new skills and improving isn’t great Im saying if Im going them at the expense of a healthier lifestyle than its not right for me.
One of the things that Im grateful for in my weight loss journey is that I started this all when my kids where still toddlers so that they can be raised in a healthier home with healthier meals and physical activity. I want to help them be set up for success so that it wont be as challenging or foreign for them to be healthy when they become adult and move away from home. As a kid I grew up on spaghetti, mac and cheese, hamburgers, hotdogs, and top ramen. My husbands families’ diet was even worse. They rarely ate fruits or vegetables ever. So talk about challenge. Over the course of four years we have had a lot of ups and down with getting our family on the right track but I will tell you one thing… every time we have a “down” our “up” goes a little bit higher each time.
If you are looking to make a life style change and not just loose some weight but get your family on track with you leading the way I completely recommend “Fit Moms for Life” written by Dustin Maher. My favorite part of the book was “Fit mom, fit family” section. There are some great advice for going about getting your kids active and healthy and doing it the right way not only physically but mentally too so they have a healthy outlook on health and fitness. One of my favorite things he wrote was “Talk about it in terms of health and energy and how they will feel and what their bodies will be able to do if the eat well and exercise.” My mom used to get me up at 5am before school started to have me do a workout video with her. She would say things like “I noticed you are getting a little chubby” your cheeks are getting really round”. And at dinner she would only let my brothers have seconds. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, and I have not doubt she loved me. She just didn’t know the right way to go about getting her kids fit and healthy, and doing it in a way that would last. I wish fit moms for life was around for my mom so I could have had the benefits that I am trying to give my kids. The truth is, its about educating ourselves. And thats just what this book does. It not only educates us on nutrition and fitness but teaches how to get started the right way so that it will last, with things like taking your “before” picture, setting the right kinds of goals, printing out your food journals, learning positive affirmations, and so much more. He even wrote about not going overboard and giving yourself some “free meals” a few times a week where you can eat some of your favorite foods. I love that this is such a realistic approach with smaller steadier steps towards transformation and its geared towards busy mom’s and their specific needs.
I have kept off and lost 30lbs in the last three years and have lost another 18lbs just in the last six weeks and I feel younger than I did five to seven years ago and am doing things I thought I would never do like white water river rafting for my birthday. Now instead of cake calling to me on my birthday I rather go on an adventure every year. And this is just the beginning.