When I began these Health Challenges, I did so for two main reasons. The first was weight-management. At that point, I had reached a higher weight than ever before, I no longer fit into any of the jeans I had been wearing for years, and I was constantly feeling unhealthy when I looked at my ever-expanding stomach. I read about weight gain in the abdominal region being the most potentially damaging type, and was becoming worried about my future ability to ward off disease. I will be turning 30 in just one month! So all this year, future health has been on my mind.
The second reason was that I wanted to begin seriously preparing my body for the possibility of becoming pregnant. I would like to be living in my youngest-feeling, most-healthy body possible when I have children . . . not only so that I can carry them healthily through pregnancy, but so that I can roll around and laugh and play with them once they arrive! I want to offer my best to my kids . . . but even if for some reason I never bear children of my own, I know that I want to also offer my best to myself. If I'm ever going to teach my younger siblings, nieces & nephews, or students that they are deserving of all the best this world has to offer, I have to start believing that for myself! And if I deserve the best, most healthy body possible, I know I have to show myself that I am worth cooking & exercising for.
This Holiday Season has already begun, and I recently celebrated the best Thanksgiving of my 30 years alive so far. With family on Thursday, and friends on Saturday, I managed not only to refrain from over-eating and to take smaller samplings of each available dish, but also to lose 1 lb. the week of the feasting! I haven't been depriving myself of things that I love, so much as I have been celebrating all the many delicious (and nutritious) things that I love, that my body also loves. I've been listening to my body (which rewards sugar intake with headaches) and reacting to my hunger and thirst in healthy ways. It's a beautiful thing, tracking every bite and sip we intake, increasing our awareness of how we are treating the body we are living inside . . . this is it, folks. This is the body you were born into, and it's the body you'll leave when you die. We should treat it as the precious, surprising, amazing, curious, living, breathing flesh it is!
I hope, if you are reading this, that you will remember to breathe and listen to your beautiful body this winter, as well -- may your Holidays be Happy & Healthy!