My Health Journey

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“When you know better, you do better.”

Considering that I’ve started this blogging venture, I thought I’d share my health journey. I’ve been told several times “you’re so blessed to have easily gotten back in shape after babies.” Well, I’m going to be honest. It was NOT easy and I spent many years between babies yoyo-ing up and down with my weight. I have been at a consistent weight for 2+ years now and feel more energetic and healthy now than before I had children. Here’s my story.

**I don’t post this to offend anyone…just to inspire**

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LEFT: Me at my heaviest, 3 months post baby #1 in January 2009. RIGHT: Me after 3 kids, 7 years later in January 2016

After being relatively small my whole life, I gained 10 lbs after I got married in 2007 (honeymoon and the holidays) and another 55 (!!) with my first pregnancy 6 months later. I blame no one but myself for my excessive weight gain–I ATE ALL. THE. FOODS. and enjoyed it! I taught at a Montessori school in California surrounded by amazing women from Sri Lanka who knew their way around the kitchen. I was showered with food during the work day and would go pick up Greek food on my way home 3-5 days a week in addition to regular trips to get tacos and burgers. Needless to say, the scale didn’t creep up, it jumped!

The pic on the left is me 3 months post baby #1 (January 2009). I couldn’t tell you what size I was wearing, because I refused to go shopping. I just wore baggy sweats and maternity jeans if I HAD to wear real clothing. It took over a year to lose most of the weight that everyone told me would just “fall off” with breastfeeding. I was unhappy with myself, exhausted all the time, and uncomfortable in my own skin. I did what I thought was “healthy.” I tried calorie counting, South Beach diet (low/no carb), not eating after 6 pm, working out 5-6 days a week, drinking only “diet” drinks and it took over a year to lose 40 lbs. I still had another 15 to go when I got pregnant with #2.

I gained another 45 lbs! Where was this magical 20-30 lbs of baby weight that all the baby books promised?! Because my second baby was nursing every 2 hours (for 16 months!), I lost the 45 I had gained with him within 6-8 months. That darn extra 15 from pregnancy 1 hung around till after #3 (40 lb gain) when I decided to get serious about my health.

Clean eating and moderate exercise… I never focused on calories, but more on the quality of the food I was eating and how the food I ate made me feel. I realized that I have pretty significant diastasis recti (split in ab muscles which causes my back to “go out” more often than I care to admit) so that really limits some of the exercise that I can do until it gets healed. I modify everything and do at least some type of exercise 3-4 days a week.

The more I studied health and nutrition, the more I wanted to learn and it’s led me on an incredible journey. It’s really changed the way I live and eat and by extension, my family. We have settled on a whole-foods, plant-based diet as the basis of how we eat. As a mom, I am the gate-keeper of the home and the kitchen. My kids (and husband) eat what I serve them and that’s a HUGE responsibility! I do not take that lightly! I know I can’t be perfect 100% of the time, but I am going to do my darndest to make sure that my kids get the best, most nutritious food I can give to them and set them up for healthy futures. I’m still learning and changing, but I can’t use ignorance as an excuse for bad food choices any longer. I love my kids too much to feed them foods that are going to diminish their health.

Food is the fuel by which you power your life. You can fill your tank with garbage and just trudge by, or you can eat vibrant food full of life and THRIVE! So much of our health depends on what we feed ourselves. You can eliminate or greatly reduce MANY diseases by just feeding yourself well!

So that’s it. Me. Healthy, happy, and full of life! Tomorrow is a new day! Make it your HEALTHIEST yet by nourishing yourself from the inside out. Start small and swap out one unhealthy habit for a healthy one every week. Each change will be the catalyst for the next. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner 🙂

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