Lets Talk.... Healthy-ish Habits!
Gross! I know I know, it’s that awkward, hard, annoying conversation about health! Remember walking down those school hallways, schoolmates shoving you from one side to get to class before that ding of doom rang. Let’s not forget about THAT form. You know the one that your parent had to sign saying it was okay for you to learn about sex education, and during that time everyone squirmed around. What they didn’t tell us, was the ACTUAL balance of healthy living. Sure, they taught us how to have “safe sex” or “Say No to Drugs”, a “Balance Diet” and the on-going mantra of “Eat right and exercise,” but they never told us exactly what that meant. I wish “adulting” meant eating an apple and having that make you healthy enough to keep the doctor away. The harsh truth is that no one tells you how to get healthy the mental way. That’s not taught in school, but is somehow expected for you to know as an adult.
What is disgusting is that by age 13 I was embarrassed at how I looked. Intimidated and dreaded with fear of being called a name based off of my looks or how I talked, which is normal for that age frame. But I started to fall into the pit of hatred for my body. I couldn’t stand how much b
igger my hips were than my friends, my thick thighs weren’t as slimming as the others, my waist wasn’t tiny and I tore apart everything about my body. I heard the encouragement of friends, “you look good”, “everyone has acne”, “thick thighs are in”, “I don’t even see tummy rolls”, and the best: “your frame is bigger, it isn’t meant to be small”. What does that even mean? Well it led to an unhealthy relationship with my body. I would be so anguished that at this point in time I refused food. That didn’t last because my parents saw what was happening and talked about fixing this. Worried I’d end up going to therapy, I freaked out about possible name calling from that happening. I’d learned to actually eat my food and then later I would vomit my food in the bathroom. I’d do this at home and at school, why? Because I wanted that size two body that all the silly boys were talking about and the one that all the girls were complaining about having, saying the workout uniforms were too big.
This wasn’t taught in school. I wasn’t taught that this mentally wasn’t okay. I wasn’t taught somewhere to have love and appreciation for my body, and to be thankful for all that it can and does do. Instead I struggled with this eating disorder and, if I’m being honest, sometimes I still struggle. As I got older I’d actually trained my stomach muscles to hurle my food down the drain without having to throw my finger down my throat. I learned how to “be sick” and no one would hear me. I could even still do this a few hours after eating. So if I went out and had dinner with friends or family, later I’d be able to “undue” what I ate.
Not to get off topic, but at one point I confided in a boyfriend of the time about what I could do, like it was some cool party trick. The outcome was disasteress, he immediately started shaming me for it. Fast forward to a different relationship, who found out one drunk night that I was doing this. He screamed and yelled at me telling me how disgusting I was and I was sick, as if I didn’t already know. For future reference, don't ever let someone make you feel crazy, psycho, mad or disgusting. I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but I didn't need my partner to tell me how awful of a person I am. If a friend, family member, or significant other can't see you in need of love and help, a hug or a hand, then they do not belong in your life. Period. Mini tangent I had to share because after all, it still ties into the whole "Healthy" journey.
After my high school years and living on my own, I actually started to over workout. Why make myself puke when I could just workout. Heck, I even did a regular combination of both. I would go running, hit the gym, and do even more. I clipped out workouts from magazines, bought the $10 dvd workout video, etc. You name it, I was doing it. I joined weight watchers, watched my calorie intake, watched my protein, fiber, sugars and sodium. I even started doing Herbalife. That’s when I got into the mindset of why even eat. I wouldn’t allow myself food unless I had worked out and made my body hurt, and my stomach had to be on its third or fourth rumbles of growling.
I get it, what is the whole point to this long ass story? I was there and again I’m still there, as of recently I turned to the fact of: It's time to have a fully healthy mindset towards my body. Meaning, I work on myself mentally, using positive mindset work, knowing my triggers, being kind, physical workouts, and the cliche healthy eating habits. With that being said, knowing my clean eating habits, not following the popular movie stars health diet fab, or even that one girl on insta, and mostly not the temporary feeling, but the everlasting process of healthy food. I’ve also paid attention to foods and feelings, where if I’m craving ice cream I don’t ignore it. I let myself enjoy it, and I usually just go with that healthier option and I don’t eat as much so I don’t feel so grossed out. I started allowing my body to rest and not pushing it to workout 2-3 times a day. Is it easy? F^*< NO!
Adulting is hard! Hello?! That's why I'm here. Again, I am not expert and I can't tell you the right way to do things. However, I can say that if you struggle with the "healthy" side of eating or not eating, the best thing you can do is tell a friend, a doctor, or really anyone.
Tips that I am realizing as an adult are that staying "healthy" is a STRUGGLE, and it's very hard! Healthy, clean food can be expensive, which means watching what you spend at the grocery store. So, how do you afford the gym or workout videos, buying healthy food and working on positive mindset while also doing laundry, going to work, taking care of pets, and remembering to pay your bills on time? That list could really go on and on! I wish I could say, meal planning is the key, but again we don't always have the time. Ugh, and I am not here to give you that ever so made quote "you can make time, if you really want to see a change", EWE!! As an adult, you suddenly become faced with running super late to work or skip the shower, throw on deodorant, cover your head in dry shampoo, give yourself a "styled messy'' bun and pencil on that eyeliner calling it good! Now read this carefully, NO ONE has their $+!% together. We all put that smile on and say "I meant to have my eyeliner running up into my eyebrow line!"
Healthy isn't easy when you are running late to work and already on the road only to discover you left your lunch at home. I know what you are thinking, "I will never be that unorganized”! Well, if you ever master that, please share the secret sauce. Do I have your attention?? Good, now PAY CLOSER ATTENTION. What I am trying to share with you is: Yes have a plan, pick the healthier options, find the right movement for your body to get in exercise, and don't be obsessed about being perfect or not sticking to that plan. You will gain weight, you will lose weight, the same with muscle and everything that goes on with hormones because every person's body and chemical balance is different. Why?? Welcome to being an adult! There is no “one" diet, or a certain workout that is made for everyone. Trust me, DO NOT buy that EBook titled "Everyone is losing weight doing these top 5 tricks"! Nope, nope, nope!
We promised you the truths of adulting, and while you have great intentions and massive goals, LIFE happens (que world pandemic music)! It’s more than likely that when I said "remember those high school days?” you instantly had PTSD, or maybe a flashback of finishing "The Electric Slide" dance off, and that’s okay. I think I lost myself somewhere in the tiny tangent of ADULTING IS HARD! HA! The takeaway? Practice positive self talk, water intake (literally the best liquid for your body), movement of any form (everyone is different and just because it works for Karen doesn't mean it will work for you), and decent eating options. I would say “healthy eating options”, but again, that's different for everyone. Sorry... but there isn't one diet out there that "is the right one" for everyone to follow.
I’m just gonna say it again, the best possible advice I can give you all is to practice positive self talk! It's the hardest talk you could ever give yourself, yet it will help in so many more ways than expected. Start with books, podcasts, songs, heck really anything that helps boost confidence, and then start adding the little things. The little things include more water intake, if you have food allergies learn to modify, and if you just plain out need help finding food that is healthy but good to cook, go to someone who specializes in that. Don't find the latest Jenny Craig magazine and follow the fab. For movement, start with a walk (easiest and cheapest activity), and YouTube channels have so many name brands or even instructors who are promoting that "healthy at your own pace push”. I mean it when I say that there is an unlimited amount of apps and workout places that have free trials. But again, these will mean nothing unless you have a strong sense of why you are doing this and what your goals and intentions are.
Sip that tall glass of water, enjoy that red wine, pop the bubbly, stir your frothy milk or whatever you are drinking, and tell yourself cheers to a better you because YOU decided to be a better you!