Being a little more personal on the blog today. This was supposed to be a straightforward recipe post, but then I started writing. Maybe it will speak to other women who’ve had similar experiences.
Getting back to my healthy, fit self has taken an enormous amount of time and effort. December 26, 2014, was a defining day for me. I stepped onto my scale and burst into tears. I had an idea of what the number was going to be, but seeing it for the first time hit me like a ton of bricks. I was ashamed, ashamed of the choices I had made that brought me so far from the real me.
Weight is incredibly personal. We have the habit of linking our value and self-worth to a number. I know I did. While it’s not the be all end all of our health, it’s certainly a vital metric. Of course, what our weight means for each of us varies. You can be the picture of health at 175 pounds, or in dangerous territory.
Because I’m tall I hid my weight gain well, but I knew how bad it was, and so did my husband. What I know now is that the weight wasn’t the problem; it was the result of the problem. I had no idea who I was anymore, and I was making unhealthy choices across all aspects of my life. My choices left me puffy and bloated, my face grey and broken out, I was lethargic, exhausted and quick to temper. The weight gain was only one of my many issues.
I vowed that day to turn it around. What followed over the next two years was a textbook experience of every dieting stereotype known to man. I lost weight, then gained more back. I crash dieted. I compulsively weighed myself every day, sometimes twice. I feel into a depression. I ordered every system on the market to help with portion control. I worked my often starving body out to the point of exhaustion.
I was a mess.
This was all new to me. What I’m about to say is going to sound insane but, I used to think I didn’t have a lot going for me. I wasn’t particularly beautiful, smart or popular. In my mind, I was downright ordinary and unremarkable. (It’s something I still struggle with, just not as much. The thought is always right under the surface.) But I never had to worry about my weight. I never had to diet. I honestly thought this was a redeeming quality. I was in new, scary territory and started to realize I was in the midst of a real struggle. It was during this time that I saw just how low my self-esteem was plummeting.
After a lot of work inside and out, 2016 was a turning point in my health. I finally saw my doctor and had my thyroid and hormone levels checked. I completed an elimination diet to determine my food sensitivities, and my diet and workout routines feel into sync. There were so many days I wanted to give up, but something in me kept going. Thinking of my gorgeous daughters, and how I want them to remember me in their childhood memories, gave me most of my motivation.
In the last ten months, I’ve lost 30 pounds. I’ve gained impressive muscle mass (well, impressive to me!), stamina, and speed. I’m not bloated, and my skin and hair have never looked healthier. Best of all I’m more calm, which is making it easier and more productive to take on some more personal challenges. Now that I’m on the other side of this part of the struggle, I can see what was happening that lead up to all of this and I own all of my choices. Like Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”
Proper nutrition is essential and was a significant component in why I was spiraling. I had a tendency to completely over schedule myself (something I talked about in this post last year). So I would grab something terribly unhealthy or just skip meals altogether. Bottom line, I had zero nutrients in my body. I don’t know how I didn’t collapse. To find something that would be healthy and easy to fit into my day, I started playing around with smoothie recipes and came up with the combination below. I drink it every single day. It’s filled with all sorts goodness, tastes amazing and fills me up for days with even the craziest schedule. Play with the recipe. The measurements are all estimates; I just throw everything in and blend.
These plastic cups with lids (pictured above) are super convenient for mornings on the go. I even make a big batch on weekend mornings for the whole family before hopping in the car and heading to all the kids’ sports practices. The girls love them as much as I do.
My Go-To Green Smoothie
1/2 cup Frozen or Fresh Mango
1/2 cup Frozen or Fresh Pineapple
1/2 Banana * Freeze the other half for the next day.
One pack/scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder *I like Shakeology.
1 cup Coconut Water * Add more for the consistency you like.
1 – 2 cups Fresh Baby Spinach and Kale Mix
1 tablespoon Chia Seed
1 tablespoon Flax Oil
1 tablespoon MCT Oil * MCT is a healthy fat that helps increase energy. I order mine on Amazon.