REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
Our writing assignment for today is actually a great follow up from my last post, As Kids We Just Ate. Almost like a part 2. Today, our prompt refers back to where we were when we were 12 years-old. That was a very significant time of major changes for myself, and my family.
I was born in Quebec, Canada. During the early 90’s, there were some economic problems. There was a movement for Quebec to secede from Canada. There were different opinions on the matter. The French and English didn’t entirely agree on everything. It led to a lot of people leaving. My dad was/is a home builder. With everyone trying to leave, he felt it was best for business, that we leave, too. He had two sisters already living in Utah, in the United States. In Utah, the market for homes was booming. He and my mom agreed that that is where our family should go.
We sold our house, packed our stuff, and in the summer of ’95, we made the big move. We drove our big family van all of the way to Utah. Utah was really pretty. Mountains all around. The cities and subdivisions were very organized in a grid-like sequence. It was very crisp and clean.
One of the first things I noticed, however, was that kids didn’t play outside as much. I don’t know if it’s because now I was a pre-teen and it wasn’t the thing to do, or if kids really just didn’t play outside as much. Maybe in Quebec they didn’t either, and I’d just been lucky enough to have the one other person who loved playing outside for a best friend. Maybe I just didn’t notice that we were the only ones out there. I’m really not sure. I just know that in Quebec her and I were outside almost everyday, rain or shine, hot or cold. Once I’d moved, it was harder to find kids to play outside with. Lucky for me, I have 5 sisters. We did keep up the wild play times outside for awhile. Eventually, it wore off and we succumbed to the ways of the other kids around us. Our imaginative, active playtimes came to an end.
Another thing I remember that changed for me was my awareness of food and fat. In Utah, people were more into healthy food… and salad. Lots of salad and fruit. And people were more into being in shape or thin. It mattered more. At least, I think so. I’m not sure if the new awareness was because of my age, and I was just noticing it more, or if it was in fact different there. Either way, at this point in my life, I noticed it around me, and because of that, I was more aware of my own body. I too, wanted to be thin and therefore ate salad and fruit.
This was the beginning. I was just a 12 year-old little girl. I became less active, ate less, and dreamed of being thinner. It was all very backward, I admit. I was following my own 12 year-old perception of what to do in order to be beautiful. I thought meat would make me fat. I didn’t know about protein and how it feeds your muscles, and how muscles burn fat. The only exercise I knew were sit-ups and crunches. Ha! I remember doing an awful lot of crunches at night, right before bed! I thought I’d get abs. I’ll tell you what, I sure was dedicated.
Anyway, I’m glad I grew up and figured a thing or two out. I still eat salad. Actually, I love salad. However, I eat a variety of healthy things. And, I’m aware of the benefits of healthy fats and protein. I eat them, too! I get outside everyday. I enjoy the fresh air. I workout at the park, walk, box, lift weights, etc… I really mix it up. Who cares if anyone else is outside! Besides, once they see you, they’ll join in! I’ve noticed that. Just today, my husband and I were working on our apartment garden. We were adding hanging tomato and strawberry plants to our container vegetable gardens. He said people probably thought we looked ridiculous. I told him, no, we’re inspiring people to plant a garden wherever they are. It’s ok to be the first and set an example. Lead the pack. Set the precedence.