I’m a crazed, full-time working (M-F, 8-5), gluten intolerant, wife and mom. I have made health and fitness a priority in my already hectic life.
I started blogging to show everyone that there will always be excuses not to focus on your health. But if you make a conscious decision to have time, it can be done. Even small efforts count. You may not be able to go to the gym 6 days a week, but you can get up 30 minutes early and pop in a workout DVD (this is where I started). You may not be able to spend 2 hours preparing and cooking a healthy dinner, but there are fast alternatives (the slow cooker can be your best friend). There are even ways to cook healthy and gluten-free and work full-time and exercise and be a wife and mother. There are ways. I am proof of it.
My fitness and health story go back a LONG way. It’s probably like yours in some ways. I’ve had ups and downs; failures and successes.
I was the second child of four; one of three girls. I was the loud one. The entertainer. The center of attention. This was probably to make up for the fact that I was the biggest of the 3 girls.
I was never really overweight, but I was definitely heavier than my sisters. And I was dreadfully aware of my body. My mother was born and raised in the South, where women are supposed to be pretty and thin. I wanted to be as thin as my sisters. I felt like a huge disappointment. So I was the larger sister all through adolescence (imagine the fun). Then in high school I started smoking to lose weight and magically, I did! I was fully aware of the dangers of smoking, but to me it was a small price to pay to be what I had never been – skinny. I stayed thin through my first years of college until I decided to quit smoking. The next 5-6 years were a yo-yo diet drama of smoking and being thin and not smoking and gaining weight. I finally kicked the smoking habit in 2005. I look back now and see all the horrible things I put my body through, and I’m thankful that it didn’t decide to bail on me.
I finally found balance after my divorce in 2008. For the first time in my life, I was completely in control of my life – financially and otherwise. I was also left to care for my 2 year-old son by myself. Knowing that he only had me to depend on, motivated me to take care of my body. I wasn’t really concerned with how I looked, although I wanted to look good. It was more about prolonging my life and quality of life so that I would be around to take care of my son.
I started waking up earlier through the week to fit in 30 minutes of exercise via a workout DVD. I had a tiny 1 bedroom apartment where I shared a bedroom with my son (it was all we could afford), but I made room for exercise. Throughout that year, my finances improved and I was able to afford a gym membership. I started working out 3-4 days a week. I would go into the office a little early so that I could leave a little early. I made my health a priority.
It was around this same time that I discovered my gluten sensitivity. To accommodate my gluten intolerance, I cooked simply – baked chicken, brown rice, and a steamed vegetable. I didn’t know how to cook healthy. I was raised in the South – where we fry EVERYTHING. However, just because I wasn’t a trained nutritionist or chef didn’t deter me from making lifestyle changes. I dug in with the limited knowledge I had at the time and I was finally able to get to a healthy weight that I was comfortable with using a process that was easily manageable for me. And I’ve been able to maintain it since then.
In October of 2010, I married my wonderful and supportive husband, Adam. He’s also experienced ups and downs with his weight but has made his health a priority in his life. We share our interest for working out and cooking healthy, and it has made all the difference in the world. I love having the support.
If you don’t have a built-in support system, find a friend or workout buddy at the gym. Find someone who supports you eating and cooking healthy. The internet is filled with forums that offer support. Don’t let the fact that your significant other or family doesn’t support you hinder your progress. You can do it.