I can remember the first time I tried to diet. I bought a book, leafed through it, looked at what I was supposed to do and then thought that if I followed it closely that I should be able to get the weight off. Totally possible, right!?!
However, It seemed that when I planned to start things that something would get in the way of getting started. I already worked lots of hours and my girls were young. I didn’t want to spend any more time in the kitchen or hours at the gym. Some of the recipes seemed a little more complicated and then there was all that slicing and dicing to do while trying to spend time with them. It was hard and I felt guilty. And, add to it that I felt that I needed to find a sitter for while I worked out because the girls had already been at day care for the day. I couldn’t allow them anymore time with someone else. I have to tell you that I thought “no way” and made a decision that “some day” I would get to it.
That “some day” eventually lead to more than some day; it was more like almost three quarters of a decade. Now, looking back, I have realized that I should have done things differently. My girls never told me that they didn’t want to eat healthy or help in the kitchen, that they didn’t want to exercise or that they didn’t mind if I just took 10 more minutes to do something just for me after working all day. I just assumed that they missed me and that they wanted to spend all their time with me and that there just wasn’t any other way for us to live. I felt like I need to constantly entertain them or just be around because I had already missed out on so much of their little lives already. I needed to learn to let go of my “mom guilt” and thankfully I eventually did.
Looking back, we could have actually made it a family affair by living healthy. Oh, how I wish that we would have taken our bikes out or went for walks on some of the beautiful trails here in our area more than what we did. I wish for the times that I could have showed them that you can still be a mom and have your children join you in your workouts, and that you can cook together and eat healthy. And then, it took this moment to open my eyes and allow me to make a decision…
Our family was on vacation several years ago and Morgan, my youngest, asked me when “our” baby was due. When she asked, it was totally innocent. She knew that a mommy’s tummy got bigger and well, mine had definitely gotten bigger. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt as if I had let myself go. I decided that someday was now and that leads me to where I am today. I’m active, energetic and so is my family. I’m also 20 pounds lighter.
Instead of trying to do things all on my own, I decided to involve my family. As a result of making these changes, I no longer feel the guilt. We sit down and talk about the things that we eat for dinner each night and we all contribute to living a healthier, more energetic lifestyle. My girls are now both athletes, not because I make them be but because they want to be. They’ve run track, played softball, basketball, have participated on swim teams, dance and soccer. And, guess what!?! Both of them are MY role models. When one of us feels like giving up, we lift one another up. My girls inspire me everyday, whether they realize it or not.
As they get older and eventually start their own families, I hope that they realize that there should be no guilt in living healthy and that everyone can be involved. I hope that they make it a family affair and get everyone involved. Not just because of weight loss but just because there is so much joy in doing healthy things together.
Are you waiting for someday like I did? If so, I encourage you to find something fun and energetic to do. No matter if you have children or not, get out there and be active and eat sensibly, even if weight loss isn’t on your agenda. You’ll be surprised at how it will change your life just like it did mine.
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