I have always loved staying healthy

Since I can remember I was taught that staying healthy was really important. I grew up in a divorced home but both my dad and mom taught me to be healthy. It wasn't perfect (when I would enjoy many cereal nights. Pops, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and more.) but it was ingrained in me to think about my health and my body image. Yes, I said body image. They didn't teach to obsess over what I looked like, but they did teach me to be wise in what was going in my body and that staying fit was important. I know everyones bodies are different and we all feel comfortable at different weights, sizes and we all view food differently. So please know as I continue this post that this is about me, what I feel comfortable with and how I choose to live my life. No judgement here, just purely sharing my love for health and fitness. 

I remember learning to workout with weights from a young age, 14 I believe. (PS women, you can lift weights and not get bulky). I was trained by both parents separately. Both of my parents were into weight lifting. I was taught what the right form was and how much lifting benefited me.  As I learned, I really grew to love it so much. It has always been a great outlet for me and over the years I have been in and out of the gym, but for the most part I have always gone. When I was pregnant with the twins I would swim (I swam competitively for 7 years) a few times a week. I knew I needed to keep moving even with two babies growing within me. After having the twins I didn't make it back to the gym for a while but I would push the twins in their stroller on a walk  several times a week for about two hours a day. I knew I wanted to get has much of the weight off as I could. I knew I needed to keep my energy level up as much as I could to keep up with becoming a mama.  I had Greyson a few years later. After Grey it took me some time to get back at it. I was in deep with three kids. Also I had started my photography business right after the twins, so I was really in deep with small children and a business that took off. So my focus shifted and allowed my fitness to be set on the back burner (I do not encourage this but sometimes life gets crazy).  BUT, what I did do over those years was focus on what I was eating. (it is said that abs start in the kitchen). I began to really shift my menu at home. I knew that all that bread and pasta, all those tortillas, all that late night ice cream treats needed to become less. I really ended up never buying pasta again. To this day I haven't bought any kind of pasta. Desert is a treat, no longer a daily ritual. 

So though my focus wasn't working out like I once I had, I tried to eat healthy. I didn't get rid of all the weight I would have liked but I was trying to do my best in the season I was in. My husband didn't love the change at first but became grateful over time. A couple years after Grey I started lifting again and Matt joined me for little bit. It became doable and a priority again. I would go about 4 times a week and my eating habits continued to evolve into more healthy ways. I learned more and more as time went on about how much eating affects my mood, my weight, my gut, my mind and so I really found it important for me to change. I also think it's important for my kids to understand what it looks like to eat healthy. So much processed food has left our home and has been replaced with meals that I have to actually prepare and cook! 

Okay but don't get me wrong, we don't just eat veggies everyday. Taco Tuesday is still a really real thing in our home and pizza, well who can live without it, NO ONE! I mean Matt couldn't live the rest of his life without a Snickers Bar and sometimes I just really need some cookies. We still have freedom to enjoy things we love, it just looks totally different then what it once looked like. 

In the last year even more has changed. I thought I had eliminated enough sugar but I have learned even more about how much sugar we were still intaking. Vanilla creamer in our coffee each morning (I mean I was buying the "healthy" kind), dessert was still being enjoyed a few times a week, mixed drinks with yummy syrups, iced chai's, and more. We still were taking in more sugar then needed and even realized. And carbs, yes there are healthy carbs and that's all good, but eating a whole bag of chips with a bowl of salsa every night wasn't the best, nor was Matt's constant homemade quesadillas (multiple times a day). We just realized that even with all the changes, and yes the benefits, we felt like we needed to make even more changes. So we did. 

Some people have asked if our kids eat the same as us or "how do you get your kids to eat that way, mine won't". I personally feel it is my responsibility to feed my kids the best. I am the one who goes to the store. I am the one that chooses what is brought in to my home. I am the one who is responsible for what goes in their bodies. It is a choice on my part.  Yes they are kids but that doesn't mean I need to feed them "kid food".  I have chosen not to buy Lucky Charms (maybe a treat once a year) nor do I feel like I need to buy them Doritos for their lunch. All of that is sooooo bad for them. (Again, please remember this is how I have chosen to feed my family and their is zero judgement if you feel comfortable with feeding yours differently). For me, I have chosen this because I want my kids to feel good, understand what it looks like to eat healthy and that sometimes we have "treats" and when we do I think we should enjoy it fully. My kids ask for salad, cooked broccoli, and water! They love the meals I feed them. Kelsey actually just told me she was telling her friends what kind of meals we have and how she likes that we eat healthy. And yes my kids drink water and not really anything else. Juice hasn't been purchased in years. Soda is a treat. Some people might think I am the crazy one here, and that is okay with me. I feel really good about the way I am feeding my family. I see the results not just in my weight or Matt's but in the moods of everyone. I see how much we all benefit in the way we feel and I really am thankful. 

I mentioned that in the last year we have learned more and what has helped us learn is Matt and I started the Ketogenic diet. We chose to do this. We heard about it and all it's benefits and so we chose to do it with a group of our friends. This diet eliminates all sugar and limits you to only 20 carbs a day. Matt lost 25 pounds and a friend lost 50 pounds. Yes, it is a high fat diet but the science behind it is awesome. I want to speak more about this in a future post. I wanted to mention it for now briefly because I am blown away about how great I feel.  The physical results have been beyond encouraging. I feel good in my own skin again!  I struggle with feeling super bloated to the point I would be hurting every night, even on the days I was like "I ate so healthy today, why am I hurting so bad." I have been on keto since August and my whole world changed. I no longer bloat unless I cheat on the foods I know will cause that to happen.  I learned more about food and along the way I started hitting the weights 5 times a week and now I am at the gym 6-7 days a week. I also do cardio 5 days a week. Again, I feel good in my own skin. It has been a lot of years, especially after babies that I just haven't felt as confident as I once did. I didn't think I couldn't actually feel confident.  I think part of my confidence has not just been loosing the weight, tightening my body, eating healthy but also being in my 30's. I feel like being in my 30's has really shifted my mind set from worrying about what others think of me, to not caring. I am less insecure and I just feel like I have my shit together more then ever. BUT, being able to love what I see physically has also boosted that confidence. I also have to give the biggest SHOUT out to my husband. He makes me feel loved in ways I have never felt loved no matter my weight or lack of confidence. He chooses me daily. He sees me as the most beautiful woman (according to his words) and he told me the other day he loved me before I knew him. (He saw me working in a coffee shop, I forgot to get him his coffee and he told himself he would marry me one day). Anyways, so eating and working out are both so so important to me. I am thankful for parents who ingrained in me to live a healthy lifestyle. I will share more of how working out has helped me in other ways soon. 

This is the beginning of many posts about my love for health and fitness and I hope that you all are inspired, encouraged and hopeful to meet whatever goals you may have or are thinking to set. Excuses hold you back but when you really set your mind to achieving your goals, you will realize how strong and capable you really are. Once you achieve your goal, you will want to set more and you will pursue more of your dreams beyond just health and fitness! 

What goals are you working towards?

What goals do want to begin pursuing?