Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What you eat is what you are...

I grew up eating unhealthy foods. My idea of a great, healthy snack in high school was an over-processed bar with fake fruit filling in it (Nutrigrain Bar)! (I'm not dogging Nutrigrain Bars...I think they taste great. I just don't think that they should be my idea of "healthy"!) Fruits and vegetables weren't absent from my childhood, I just rarely enjoyed them. I would eat fruits more than veggies, and only if they were super sweet. I couldn't even eat a strawberry without pouring sugar on it. A salad was ludicrous for people who were under 30! And if I did have to eat a salad, let me assure you that it needed to be covered in cheese and lathered in Ranch dressing. You probably aren't surprised to know that I was a very unhealthy, overweight child in late elementary school. Even though my metabolism kicked in high gear in early middle school, and I was a walking stick through mid-high school, I always thought I was "fat" and I continued to eat completely unhealthy foods.

Now fast forward to my first pregnancy. Somehow, in my mind pregnant women were allowed to eat anything they wanted. I don't know where that thought came from. I may have possibly deduced that if pregnant women were eating pickles and ice cream, that just meant that they were allowed to eat anything they wanted. Anything. So, I did. I ate and ate and ate all the comfort foods from my childhood...cheesecake, snickers bars, oatmeal cookies (the fake kind with cream in the middle), donuts, oreos, ...the list could go on and on. (As a side note, if you are a "salty dude" like my husband, you may have a stomach ache by just looking at this list. But those of us with a sugar tooth know that these are the best foods on the planet!) It shouldn't surprise you that when I went in for my 7 month check-up and had gained 10 pounds in one visit, the only words that came out of my doctor's mouth when he looked at my weight gain were "Oh dang." I didn't know what I should be eating. I didn't know how to be eating healthy foods.

So as I stepped into Mommy-hood, how could I be prepared to feed my children healthy foods. It was easy at first because the baby food was a given. But once Abbie started eating solid foods, I never considered to feed her healthy foods. It was always the same things I ate. This started a bad pattern. I watched as other children her age were eating really healthy fruits and veggies. I even "tried" to give her these foods, which she just pushed away. I was frustrated, but didn't know how to fix the problem!

When I walked into the grocery store, I walked up and down the aisles looking for "meals". My idea of a "dinner" was a casserole made which was generally a bunch of processed foods scrambled together with cheese on top. (Now, everyone can have even more appreciation for my sweet husband, who put up with this kind of cooking for a few years. He really has put up with so much without throwing a fit or making a big deal of it.)

With all this said, you can understand that I feel like I just opened my eyes. I had some friends go on a cleanse a couple months ago. I started researching what that was. Because I was running a 5K at the end of May, I knew that I couldn't start on a "cleanse" but I did start to eat healthy foods. I started eating all natural (non-processed) foods. If it was processed, I wasn't going to even sniff it! I realized the freedom of going into the grocery store and shopping in the outer edges. When I walk into the store now, my list consists of produce (fruits AND veggies), meat, and dairy! (We buy bread for sandwiches and stuff, but I hope to start making my own soon.) I'm not turning into a healthy eating food freak...yet. :) But I see such an importance to the foods I eat and the foods I give my kids.

I started a cleanse 7 days ago. I feel better. My complexion is so much better. I'm excited to feel the difference fresh, healthy food makes for me. I now know how to make fruit/veggie smoothies! I am learning how to cook different veggies that I never even considered buying! (I must admit this cleanse came to a screeching hault yesterday due to a friend's 30th birthday! But I am back on the cleanse starting today. We'll see how far I go this time! I'm hoping for no more parties!!!)

My kids are eating healthy! They eat carrots! They eat apples! They eat salads! They eat sweet potatoes! They try new things!!!!! Sometimes I laugh when I see what's on their plate for lunch or dinner. I laugh because I can't believe that MY kids are eating healthy foods!! :)

I'm thankful for new beginnings. I'm thankful for a chance to start over! I'm thankful that we're doing this now and giving our kids the chance that I never had at this early of an age!

1 comment:

The Copeland Family said...

What a wonderful revelation, Annie! Thanks for sharing! So happy for you all!