Eat a cupcake – Run a mile. This is balance.

Lately I’ve had several of my internet friends ask me – after seeing all the pics of my latest food creations, “How in the world are you not fat!?” Nice question, huh. I suppose that I would wonder the same if I didn’t REALLY know me. I LOVE to cook! Cooking and baking bring the joy of a true challenge to my heart – probably because I am semi-self taught – and if you know anything about being semi-self taught  you know that a LOT of mistakes must be made in order to progress in the kitchen! For this reason,  I am always thrilled that my cakes and pies are actually edible – and GOOD! There was a time (and still are times…) when more recipes flopped than flipped. I know it’s flopped when Michael doesn’t finish his plate… for real. When my recipe flips – I put the pic on my Facebook page. So my friends that I don’t hang out with in “real”  life wonder why my BMI isn’t off the charts. It’s simple, really….I don’t eat that junk! JUST KIDDING!

It’s all about balance.

I am a woman in love with food and being healthy. These two passions CAN live in harmony. I’ve always loved me some food – but not always the being healthy part…Before I had my first child, Maggie, I didn’t think about the foods that I put into my body and I wasn’t concerned with exercising or being active in general. While I was pregnant with her my daddy had triple bypass surgery – that really got me thinking about my own health. At the time, that’s all it was – a thought. I didn’t put that thought into action for quite some time. After having Mag, I made losing the weight a priority – I walked and tried to eat more healthily. Honestly, I didn’t know what eating the “right ” way was.  I ate 2-3 bowls of cinnamon toast crunch a day and thought that I was on the right track! I was very thin after having Maggie – but certainly not healthy. Being thin does not make you healthy.

With Baylor’s pregnancy I again gained a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight 🙂 After having her – I got all “Becky OCD” on the situation and lost the weight straight away. This time I decided that I wanted to get in shape – I thought I’d try to really get healthy. So my dear friend, Amie’, started training me. What were we training for you may ask? My life! I needed to be in tip-top shape to take care of my two kiddos! I was a wreck when we started. I couldn’t do ANYTHING! But I was determined to do it…She told me that if I didn’t do my homework, that I would never progress. She told me to run a mile – twice a week. So I did. And that is where my love/hate relationship with the pavement began 🙂 With all of this exercising – I had to start eating more – and eating GOOD foods. I learned to eat fresh vegetables and fruits  – less canned foods – and more lean proteins. Amie’ trained me for 3 years. She pushed me hard and didn’t let me quit. She reached down inside of me and pulled out my inner-athlete – the one that I didn’t realize was still there…She was pivotal to me making a REAL change in my health. The time I had with her was a gift to myself. I took it seriously and appreciated the time set aside just for me.

I’m a sissy when I’m pregnant -So I stopped training about 10 weeks into my pregnancy with baby Miles. Then my Amie’ MOVED! I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get back to “me” again without her. But I was determined to lose the – wait for it…..SEVENTY POUNDS that I had gained! Holy moly, right?! I never knew that I was so stinkin’ determined until I had something that I REALLY wanted..While I was pregnant with Miles I had a real revelation. A light bulb came on for me. I had to love myself no matter my shape, size, BMI, ability, etc. – I am me, no matter how I look. If I can’t love the spirit of me – the person that God took such care to form in my mother’s womb – if all I can see is my reflection in the mirror…I’m in bad shape…figuratively speaking. With this revelation came freedom. I freed myself from the burden of losing so much weight and took on the challenge because I wanted to – not because I felt that I had to in order to be “me” again. So I worked at home while Miles would nap and slowly got back on my beloved pavement. I was also blessed to  start a relationship with a new trainer. She has been a true gift from God – I’m always thankful to make a new friend.  🙂

I decided to be more free with my eating. I stopped counting calories and didn’t turn down a gift of food from a friend. I’m still a very healthy eater – just not quite so rigid and hard on myself. I don’t cook meals with butter very often – PAM is my best friend for meals. When I bake – I don’t skimp on ingredients! I use all the “real” stuff 🙂 I only buy whole grain pastas and breads – I buy light or fat-free dairy products for Michael and myself. The kids need the fat and calories, so I feed them regular dairy products. When I bake – I always taste my creations 🙂 I have to! I love to give my food away and it’s imperative that I know that it’s worthy of their precious tastebuds!

The point of all of this is to say that a healthy lifestyle requires balance. I haven’t always loved training and running – I conditioned myself to love it – but time and a desire to be better were necessary components. I know that heart problems are in my family history and I don’t want to have to go through the same situation that my daddy and his biological father did. I’ve decidedly taken steps to prevent that. Am I certain that it still won’t happen to me? Nope. But I’ll still work to prevent it. I’m not delusional about my knowledge of true healthy living – I have no degree to credit myself –  I just know that this is working for me right now.  I look forward to expanding this little bit of knowledge that I possess in the future.

Be active – Eat “good” foods – Love the person that God created you to be.

Hugs and kisses…