When Brandi first asked me to guest blog, tons of ideas ran through my head. But nothing I stopped on was quite what I was looking for. The realizations that come with being a mother? Old and tired. Blogs about breastfeeding versus formula feeding? Been there, done that. You get the picture.
But then I landed upon something that I am constantly thinking about and struggling with. FOOD. If you read my blog you know that I’ve been struggling so much lately with this. Do I eat dairy? Give up gluten? Give up animal products? What do I feel my son? Do I want to live on just vegetables alone? More importantly, CAN I stick a vegan, mostly raw diet for long? (The answer to that one is no, not for more than a couple days, so really what good does it do me?)
Yup, something that simple. FOOD. Is it the enemy or is it our ticket to health?
For so long I wasn’t sure.
I wasn’t always fat. I actually used to be the “tiny one” among my group of friends. I still am if you go by height. But weight? Ha. That’s another story. Even during my pregnancy I didn’t feel fat until the very end. I gained weight like I was supposed to (and was all belly) up until around my 3rd trimester when all of a sudden my body packed on those pounds. I couldn’t even blame it on the baby. At 38 weeks I delivered a 4.5 lb little boy.
Yet here I am, 9 months later, and still about 40 lbs over the weight I should be and 30 lbs over my pre pregnancy weight. The saddest part? With the exception of a few random shots when he was first born (in which it’s okay to look fat and ugly, I guess?) I have absolutely ZERO photos of my son and me together. Heartbreaking.
In the past (when I thought I was overweight, ha!) I tried a variety of diets. Which is funny because I am the first to say, “diets don’t work” and “you should just eat healthy and make a lifestyle change”. But what the hell does that mean?
I thought I accomplished that “lifestyle change” when I learned more about whole foods and organic foods over the past few years. (Yeah, I am that girl… “eat organic!!!”) But I recently came to the realization that while eating as much organic food as you can is great, I’m not doing myself any favors by the constant cheating. A little here and a little there adds up. And I don’t just mean eating something that isn’t organic, because, let’s be real, it’s very hard to do that 100% of the time and I don’t think we absolutely need to. But eating fried foods, processed/white carbs, etc. was easily sneaking into my diet as well.
Take ‘Qdoba Tuesday’. My husband and I, for the past year or so, have been eating Qdoba every Tuesday night because you get double points on your card on Tuesdays and end up with a lot of free meals. But are they free? What price was I paying for them? And telling myself, “well at least it’s not McDonald’s” wasn’t helping either. Let’s take a look at my beloved Qdoba burrito, shall we?
-Monster size white flour tortilla
-white rice (with God knows what added to flavor it)
-grilled non organic chicken (what seasonings are on that? What kind of oil?)
-non organic beans, possibly coming from a can containing BPA
-salsas which include things like non organic tomatoes and also corn which is not only not organic, but almost definitely genetically modified
-non organic cheese (would you like some added hormones with your burrito?)
There it is. My “healthy” eating out.
Really? REALLY? What was I thinking?
I could say I knew it all along, but it’s really sunk in since I began reading Jillian Michaels’ book, Master Your Metabolism. (I know, I don’t like the gimmick of it either and though “what the hell does she know about proper nutrition”after watching what they push on The Biggest Loser. But really, she gets it. She’s looked at the research. She believes that all the crap in our food is hurting us). The “diet” is really quite simple. Get rid of all the crap we eat and then eat real, whole, organic whenever possible (esp meat and dairy) foods. Everything else is totally effing with our hormones. Two things (among MANY diseases and issues) that can happen from having your hormones out of whack? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Auto Immune Diseases. Guess who has both?
So how about I start being honest with myself? The $200 trip to Whole Foods purchasing a cart full of organic foods does nothing while rotting in my fridge while I go out to eat at Qdoba and other various ways still continuing to eat. I will admit it, I threw away about $20 worth of organic chicken a couple weeks ago because we didn’t get around to making it or freezing it time, most likely due to ordering in or eating out somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t think a splurge every now and then is going to kill me or make me pack these 40 lbs back on once I lose them, but multiple times a week? Not good.
The food companies have us addicted to things like trans fats, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners (oh yeah, I am a recovering Diet Coke addict – about 6 years clean) and other artificial chemical additives and colors. We have to say no! We have to realize that it’s not the extra fat in an avocado that’s hurting us, but the fake foods and fake crap added to foods with think are healthy. Foods that shouldn’t even be considered food anymore. We’ve been so fooled.
I used to be really jealous of those girls who stayed naturally skinny while stuffing their face full of complete junk (I won’t lie, hearing that ‘pop’ of a can of Diet Coke opening makes my mouth water most times and walking past Cheetos at Target is akin to some sick form of torture) and okay, and maybe I still am a little jealous of their perfect looking bodies, but maybe I should be thankful I have a body that forces me to eat healthy. Maybe my son will grow up without all of these chemical in his body and avoid disease. Maybe in the long run I will be better off because I stopped putting junk in my body and started treating it right? And I don’t mean buying my organic veggies and then stopping at Qdoba on the way home for dinner.