At almost 42, I am probably at my healthiest weight ever. My eating habits have changed drastically since my 30's, 20's and teens. To say I am obsessed with healthy eating would be an understatement. But really what I want most is to eat a diet that fuels my body. Nourishes me. Balances me. Just another place in my life where I strive to create balance. The reason is simple when things are balanced I feel good.
I grew up in a family where there were three vegetables. Potato, Corn and Peas. I suppose a carrot was occasionally thrown into the mix, for some color (they say you should eat a rainbow!)
Bologna was protein.
Lucky Charms were carbohydrates, along with white EVERYTHING.
Margarine not Butter
Getting the picture?
This is just how we ate. As I grew up and my parents knew better, they did better. Despite this overly processed diet. I did not gain weight. In fact I was extremely thin-about 108 lbs 5'5, so much so my brothers and sisters teased me about it.
When I left home at 18 to go to University, I had to fend for myself. I can remember shopping at the local IGA for "groceries" It usually went something like this:
Zesty Cheese Doritos
Canned Corned Beef-I KNOW
That's all I can remember
I also started drinking-not daily or anything, but I did drink some beers, coolers etc. Ah, Frosh.
Started to gain weight-Didn't really catch on though, wasn't enough to "show"
By 21-22 I weighed about 160 lbs.
When I moved to the "big city" Toronto in 1991, the world of vegetables opened up for me. I started eating ACTUAL protein. Still hadn't started cooking for myself much, but I was getting there.
Took off 20 lbs that summer thanks to the 20 minute workout, a track close to my apartment and lots and lots of stir fries. I did consume a lot of pink lemonade though....I guess that was fruit.
After a break-up the summer of '93, the weight came back on. And with that something new. A self hatred and disgust for myself. I felt like a failure at everything I was doing.
I covered it up by eating, drinking, smoking pot and dating A LOT.
I gained weight. When in 1993 I moved back home to "find myself" I weighed about 174. I joined WeightWatchers.
Oh so that's how she became a WW leader. NOPE. I joined got the books took 'em home. Lasted a couple weeks. Then it was Susan Powter-STOP THE INSANITY-pizza with out the cheese, carbs, carbs, carbs. My lifestyle didn't help. I went back to University-grudgingly to attempt to finish my music degree. That meant beer, and food, and fried pepperoni....oh, and I had been smoking for about two years at this point. Then, my mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Frig.
I am so grateful I was home and able to be with her, throughout her treatment, and ultimately her death in 1995. She was very strong until the end, and had a sense of humour that was unbelievable. She was ready. Thinking back now it gives me the greatest sense of peace. Then, not so much. This was when my first clinical depression hit. I struggled my way though it balancing school, living at home, and working a a freelance musician. It was a small city, with not much work so I ended up back in Toronto. Then things started to change.
Lost some weight-about 155 at this point. Finished school with two diplomas in music performance. Not a degree, but something to show for the years of practising and dedication. Still had some vices, smoking, drinking occasionally, still a party girl-but a balanced one.
The year is 2000. I am heavy-ish 155-160, I have a "real" job, I am freelancing as a performer, and generally enjoying life. But I feel like CRAP. I join WeightWatchers again......this time I at least attend the meetings.
On a gig, I meet someone, Kevin, my wonderful, beautiful, amazing husband. My "Upa Guru"
Everything shifts. Suddenly I am with someone who knows ME. Accepts ME. Loves ME.
Now I just had to start loving myself.
Quit WW after losing 20lbs, joined the Y worked out until our wedding-145 lbs.
2006-Build a house
The week my second child was born. My father, my hero, the sweetest, kindest most loving thing I know was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He survived 2 quadruple bypasses. He was a kind, giving man, who dedicated every ounce of himself to music and music education. He was my world.
I thought it would crash down around me.
I started eating better. Clean. Organic. I lost weight, not much but some. I visited, with the baby, he held her-something he rarely did he was always worried he would drop them! he deteriorated quickly. It was awful, unlike my mother he was not ready, he had so much more to do and give.
He passed away April 14th 2008, at home, surrounded by family.
Now I have two kids, no parents, a new house, a job with a two hour commute. Something has to give. I keep up the healthy eating and I feel....awesome.
I get pregnant. Baby 2 is 6mths old. YAY!
Baby three born March 14th 2008.
Three months later I joined WeightWatchers. Went to EVERY meeting. Did the program. Lost 50 lbs. Changed my freakin' life.
I drink rarely, I don't smoke. I don't eat anything refined (well occasionally, I'm not perfect) I try not to eat gluten, I eat a mostly plant based diet, and I am working on finding the right balance with my eating to give me the nourishment, energy and vitality that I feel inside. And I am studying Holistic Nutrition, and practicing Yoga and Meditation. AND I am happy-not uber crazy happy, but peaceful happy. It is an ongoing process. But one I enjoy waking up to everyday. This is my wish for everyone who has struggled with finding the right balance in their life.