Met my back-in-those-being-stupid-years-we-wish-we-could-forget friend for breakfast this morning and was reminded of all God has made beautiful in our lives. I was mad at myself for standing Jillian up last night, but then I was able to button these shorts that haven’t been pulled over my thighs in two years. We rescheduled for tonight. As I sit singing harmonies with C next to me on the back porch I know everything will be more than ok, because we all woke up with our health today. Let’s do this.
My cozy covers and heatlamp husband may have served me better than the emotional roller coaster of today, but if I opted for a day in bed I would have missed T’s volleyball camp. Her determination gave me life, for that and for her I am grateful. I also managed to stay on the diet wagon one more day, and Jillian Michaels and I have an appointment later where she plans to kill me. High-fives all around.
I remember scarfing down a bowl of Captain Crunch in the morning and a bag of chips when I got home from school. Dinner was balanced with generously salted meat, a side of bread and buttery vegetables, followed by ice cream. I was not a healthy kid — not the tall, lanky cheerleader, not the bloated tuba player, but not healthy. I ate what tasted good. I avoided exercise like the plague, except for junior high volleyball because it didn’t involve running.
Nutrition wasn’t a focus in a home managed by two working parents and a non-stop schedule, because convenience and affordability were the Nazi dictators. I was mortally offended when I was questioned by my husband as I poured vegetables out of a can for the first dinner I cooked for him. It was all I knew, to no fault of my parents because it was how they had adapted according to what worked for them. Fresh was expensive. Or was it? It certainly took more time to prepare. Or did it? Natural flavors were boring. Or were they? I was well into my twenties before I realized food had to become my fuel, not my crutch, and in order to know what that meant for me I had to educate myself.
Last year I turned forty. I have finally accepted that following the birth of two children, certain areas of my body are going to permanently jiggle no matter what I do. My stretch marks are my medals, but I can control how much real estate I allow them. My varicose veins give really colorful highlights to my pale thighs, but I can limit the amount of cottage cheese dimples they have to dance in. My body is beautiful because it is my body, and I have to take care of what I have been given. I can only be successful at taking care of it, because I found out how. I put my nutrition knowledge into practice in slow stages, because I didn’t want my husband and children to move out. I want to be around as long as I can, and so I can quietly laugh when my daughter calls me to relay the first story of her child throwing an epic tantrum over food choices. I want my husband’s food decisions to be as easy as possible, and let me worry about Panko vs Shake ‘N Bake. I want my children to have all the health knowledge they possibly can when on their first grocery trip they learn they can feed themselves for a week on frozen burritos for $10.
So why Goodtrition? I have been a food education advocate for twenty years, and I have read everything I could get my hands on. Last year I completed my health coach certification through Dr. Sears, and I am currently working toward my degree in Nutrition. I want to help busy parents figure out how to feed themselves and their families well, because let’s face it —- our control is sometimes limited by other people and environments. I can feed my kids baked chicken and spinach salad three times a day, but the minute they hit Nana and Papaw’s front door they want one fistful of butterscotch candy and a Dr. Pepper.
I am an emotional eater. I have to fight that with every fiber of my being, but my will to have a healthy family is stronger. It is a decision I have to make every day. How can busy parents keep everyone happy with food? The short answer is, you can’t. So what’s the point? Long-term health is the point, and in order for it to be manageable it has to be a commitment. I don’t have all the answers, but I want to help you find them. Let me journey with you, because I have been there. I am still there.