Thursday, June 28, 2012

Setting a Healthy Example

When I first found out we were expecting a girl, I was shocked.  Both hubby and I had been sure we were having a boy.  I was of course excited; but, I also started thinking about all the things that come with being a girl.

One of the first things that came to mind is the body image issues many girls face.  Girls, from a very early age, are presented with images of how society thinks they should look.  Namely, thin and beautiful.  I can't change the images Squishy is presented with without sheltering her to a crazy person extent, so I made the decision early on that I wanted to set a good example for her.  A good example of how to take care of yourself and be happy with your body. 

Here's the thing, I don't take good care of my body and I'm definitely not happy with it.

Ever since I was in about fourth grade, I've been chubby.  This has been a continuous trend except for sophomore year of college when I dropped weight through a lot of hard work, in a healthy way.  To drop that weight I worked out almost everyday for an hour a day and I counted calories.  I did drop about 20 pounds total over a few months; but, I was healthy and I felt good about myself.  Then people started making comments about "how thin" I was.  Keep in mind, I am 5'2 and weighed 125 pounds which is no wear near underweight.  I found out family members were floating around the idea that I had an eating disorder.  It sucked.  I felt shamed for what I had achieved.  Then, when I suffered some drama in my life I just let the weight come back because it was easier.

In retrospect, I realize people were probably jealous of my success and looked to belittle it. 

It's time to change my life again.  This time for good.  I want to set a healthy example for  Squishy.  I want to be better about the foods I put into my body.  I want to make sure she sees me exercise and stay fit.  And I want to do all of this without her ever hearing me talk about calories or my weight.  I've seen weight obsessed parents raise kids who might be thin and fit; but, they are also unhealthily preoccupied by weight.

So, how am I going about this?  It's starting with working on my fitness.  I signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January 2013.  I've run in the past and enjoy it; but, lost all my stamina while I was pregnant.  So, I'm starting from scratch using my Couch to 5k app (which I love) and when I'm done with that I'll switch over to my Higdon Half Marathon app.  For now I run three days a week.

I've also started doing Turbofire again.  I wait until Squishy is tired and then I put her in her crib while I work out in the nursery using the video from my laptop.  We've only done it once so far but it worked pretty well.

I like Turbofire because it's fast paced so it goes by quickly, it offers modifications, and I get results (I've done it in the past).  By the end of the workouts I look like a tomato, I'm dripping in sweat, and tired.  I did it on Tuesday and last night I was feeling the burn in my upper body.
Before Turbofire workout
After Turbofire workout

I'm also trying to make sure I put better foods in my body.  I'm a super picky eater and I didn't really grow up eating veggies.  I've been working hard to find recipes that make veggies yummy.  I want Squishy to be exposed to a lot more healthy food.

My final mini goal is to stop eating my feelings.  As a teen, I used to binge when I was bored.  I don't do that anymore; but, I do still eat my feelings.  Mainly with desserts.  If I'm sad I make myself feel better with a treat.  If I've had a bad day, I make it better with a treat.  If I am celebrating an accomplishment, I celebrate with a treat.  I don't want Squishy to pick up on my bad habits.

My hope for Squishy as an adult 
  • She knows how to keep her body fit and healthy through exercise
  • She knows that food is delicious but it's fuel and putting crap into your body makes it work poorly
  • She knows that everything is okay in moderation and recognizes that treats don't need to be a daily thing
  • She never obsesses about her weight or calories because good choices and healthy living are the most important things.
I'll be honest, this is going to be hard for me.  I've been living like this for 25 years and I'm not going to change overnight.  And, at first I will be counting calories and weighing foods as I readjust to how much I should be eating and in what portion sizes.  I hope to be food scale and calorie counting free within a year.

I just keep reminding myself that this is for Squishy and for me.  I deserve to be healthy and happy with myself and for once I'm not going to give up on myself in regards to my goals.  


  1. I downloaded the couch to 5K app, thanks! If you like mac n cheese you can hide small cauliflour pieces in it and you can even make cauliflour into a mash which is kind of like mashed potatoes =)

  2. You go, girl!
    I've been thinking a lot about raising my own girl, too, and there are a lot of things that kinda scare me. This whole starving yourself to fit an unrealistic ideal is at the top of the list. I'm trying to be healthy and eat a variety of foods while she's still in the womb and walk as often as possible. I just hope I can keep it up after she arrives!

    1. Get a good stroller and a good carrier to wear her in (if you're into that) and walking afterwards is a piece of cake. Her and I were out and about with two weeks of my c-section.

      You've already got a jump start because you eat healthy. :)