REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
I’m excited to get started here. I’ve wanted to put something like this together for quite some time. I wanted to find a way to share my journey to health with others in hopes that I could help and inspire them on their own journey.
Some Background About Me
As a teenager, I became very self-conscious about my body, as most girls do. I wanted to be pretty, and I felt anything but. The irony is that I was never overweight. However, my distorted, poor body image got worse and worse over time. I started doing every terrible thing to my body in order to be thinner. Some things so extreme I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable sharing completely. I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know there was a better way. I didn’t know that everything I was doing was making it all worse.
My Journey Begins
At the age of 20 I married my amazing husband. He was/is an army man who loved to lift weights, and he enjoyed reading various health and weightlifting magazines. I started reading them, too. In the beginning, I primarily read them for tips on losing weight and for recipes and snack ideas that were low in calories. Shortly after getting married I got pregnant. I loved it and hated it. I liked that I had an excuse to have a belly. I hated that, well, I had a belly. My husband knew I was uncomfortable with the weight gain. He was going to be deploying shortly after the baby was born. We agreed that while he was away, I could join a gym and have a personal trainer. While he was deployed my baby and I moved in with my parents in Utah. We were stationed at Ft Lewis, WA and decided I should be with family while he was away. I joined a gym and got a personal trainer 3 days/week. Soldiers are paid more during deployments so luxuries like personal trainers are more affordable. I learned how to lift weights. I learned that I needed to eat in order to build muscle. My trainers (I had 3 because trainer retention at that gym wasn’t great) encouraged me to eat more protein. They told me to never skip meals and encouraged me to eat every 2 or 3 hours. They also advised me to cut carbs after 6pm. It was easy to follow because I’d always been my own ultimate nutrition enforcer. I worked hard, ate right, and I looked good!
A Step Backward
During my husband’s deployment, I was also working part-time at a salon. At a night out with the girls from work, one of the girls talked about a cleansing tea that she used once each week. Another girl had a friend who used the tea daily, and had a nice slim body. The tea was Super Dieter’s Tea. Even though I’d accomplished so much and my body was looking good, I wanted it. I thought it would make me better. In the beginning, I used it just once each week, unless I slipped up and ate carbs after 6pm. Then I’d use it more. The deployment ended. I left my parents house and returned to Ft Lewis. Without my mom to help with the baby it was harder to keep up on the gym. I deemed it too hard to workout all together. Also, though my husband loves the gym, he also loves junk food and sweets. There was a lot more junk and sweets around me. To keep my weight down while not working out and not eating right, I started eating less and drinking more tea. I ate less, but keep in mind, it was also all of the wrong things. And the tea, by more, I mean a lot more! I was drinking about 8 cups each day, everyday. I would have an epic moment (long moment) in the bathroom each morning, and again around 3pm. Sometimes more. There was a lot of cramping and nausea. My stomach was always bloated. No doubt my digestive organs were all inflamed. I got pregnant again and continued to drink excessive amounts of this cleansing tea and tried not to eat a lot. Luckily, I still gave birth to a healthy baby. Yes, I do realize how selfish I was. Well, my baby was born and I continued eating little and drinking my tea. My baby weight came off. Lots of weight came off. At my lowest, I weighed 95 lbs. I’m 5’4″, so that was not healthy. I thought I looked good.
I was able to maintain this way of eating just a little, drinking a lot of cleansing tea, and having everything go right through me for a couple years. Just as I thought I’d found this great way of living, things stopped working. I couldn’t go to the bathroom. I tried drinking more tea. Nothing. I tried not eating and just drinking a ton of tea. Nothing. I became extremely uncomfortable physically. I started buying enemas because that was the only thing that would get things moving. I would cry a lot from discomfort. It was horrible. Eventually I became so uncomfortable I ended up in the emergency room. The doctor said my stomach felt like ropes. It was completely blocked. I felt stuffy, but there was never any urge to use the bathroom. It was like it just stopped. The doctor in the emergency room referred me to a gastroenterologist. I had a colonoscopy at the age of 24. The gastroenterologist told me that I had irritable bowel syndrome and that abusing the Super Dieter’s Tea had left me with black splotches on my colon. He helped me get away from the daily enemas, but for about 6 months, my stomach was very sensitive. I had very simple starches, pears, applesauce, bananas, and not much else.
Getting Back on Track
Over time my system began functioning a little better. I got pregnant again. After that baby, I still tried to stay slim. I’d become a little more accepting of my imperfections, and I got my bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science. I fell inlove with studying nutrition. I read about it for fun. It fascinated me. I started working at a nutrition supplement store. This gave me the opportunity to talk and learn more about nutrition everyday. I was also exposed to people who worked out regularly. I became interested in getting back into the gym. I decided I wanted to do a bikini competition. I started going to the gym with my husband, but soon after we started, he had to leave for an army school. I continued to train with friends and trainers at the gym. I trained hard, and I ate very strict. I had a friend help me with my diet plans and I made sure I ate exactly as we’d planned. The show was a blast. I placed 10th. I was thrilled to be on stage at the age of 28, next to all of these young 20 year-old girls who hadn’t had any kids yet. To me, I’d won.
Finding the Lifestyle
I continue to go to the gym. I’ve found that I love to workout. It gives me energy, peace of mind, and boosts my self-esteem. I eat a general clean healthy diet. I make sure I don’t miss meals because as I said earlier, you have to eat to build muscle. My husband got me interested in the Paleo diet which we followed for almost 2 years. It was great for my body’s digestive system. Now we eat a bit of a spin off of that. We eat mostly Paleo, but we also eat oats, yogurt, and rice. I find that my body tolerates them fine, and they don’t slow my digestion. With such a clean diet, I also find I don’t have to think about calories and can just enjoy my food. I’ve learned to make a lot of treats in such healthy ways they’re practically guilt-free. I love cooking and baking… And eating, too. Overall, my relationship with food has gotten pretty darn good. I even have a free meal every Saturday with my family. Things are good. I think I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been.
For that Someone
After all my struggles Im so excited about all that I’ve learned. I’m healthy, happy, and amazed by myself. I didn’t have anyone to guide me as far as fitness and nutrition as a young teenager. I want to share what I’ve learned with anyone who may be going through the same struggles. This blog is for you and for me. I’m going to share the lessons I’ve learned, how I overcome obstacles, stay inspired, fun workouts, and great recipes.