Monday, November 18, 2013

Nitty Gritty -Don't Be Sorry : Tend to Yourself as Well as Your Family

As I listened to Dr. Phil one afternoon years ago when the Sweet Peanut was a baby, I remember he spoke about his mother. He had been angry with her for focusing so much on her family and not enough on her own health. She died early and left a devastated family behind. We didn’t have a television at this time (still don’t) and this was back when you could catch a couple of tv stations on the radio. I didn’t listen to Dr. Phil regularly but happened to tune in this day. I don’t remember anything else about the show but I remember thinking that I was going to make sure and take care of myself. To be there for my family as long as humanely possible. I feel like God helped me keep this promise early on because in my mid 20’s my body decided that soy was an evil ingredient. Overnight I had to remove it completely from my diet and bath and body products. No easy feat in the 90’s. No more fast food restaurants, convenience foods, most snacks and candies, and even most makeups. Oh woe is me! I was devastated but it was all for good.
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That kick in the behind sent me halfway to a much healthier diet. In my 30’s people wondered how I looked so good and so much energy. Now don’t get me wrong. Just because soy was gone didn’t mean I wasn’t getting my share of sweets and goodies. I’ve always liked to bake and cook so I would just cook up my own. They might have been a little better for me because they lacked the fillers and additives but fat is fat and it can all catch up with you. So I still had halfway to go. It wasn’t until my 40’s that I to start on the other half. Until then just eliminating soy and being myself had been all I needed to keep looking like a 20 year old and have as much energy as a kindergartener. But almost immediately after the big 4-0 it started to really matter what I ate, how I exercised and the amount of sleep I got. And now I had a family to look after too! I had changes to make and I knew it.

Growing up with a grandmother who got a monthly vitamin delivery and whipped up soups in her Vitamix and with a mother who shopped regularly at the health food store when it was still tiny and owned by the people who lived above it. I knew where I wanted to turn for long term health. Slowly I did things like eating more fruits and veggies. Then cut out coffee altogether. While that took a while to get out of my system the I wouldn’t go back. I also drank more water. Ate less homemade pizza and used more ground turkey. Little tweaks here and there that made a difference. It’s not been easy and I’m still tweaking here and there but one of the best things we can do as busy moms is take care of ourselves. No matter how busy your family will thank you for it.

As a mom I know how easy it is to get so involved in the day to day cares of the family that you put yourself on the back burner. I’ll eat later, you say. I don’t have time to work out, you think. Yes I feel bad or I’m in pain but I’ll think about it later. I’m too busy right now. Most recently I’ve had to make sure I keep up with my own health as my days became busier than ever. I realized how quickly, when things got harried, I was ready to drop everything that I knew was good for me and just go with what was easiest. For me I know that means suffering in the long term so I had to reign it in. That meant being prepared and creating a healthy, on the go breakfast instead of, heaven forbid, going without. It meant, go on and take those vitamins even though you have to slow down and eat something to do it. It meant saying no when I was so used to saying yes. And finally accepting help from others when I was so used to going it alone. So what are some other things you can you do to make sure you keep in good health when the days are rough and busy? Well everybody is different. Has different needs and different situations but I’ll tell you how I’m trying to do it.

Make it a Family Affair The best way to keep me on track is to make it a family affair. If I eat it they do too. Early in my marriage my husband would chow down on his soy filled foods while I had my own diet. Now that doesn’t make sense anymore. Financially and time wise. Health in our family is important. Since we don’t eat out but about once a year food is a big focus in our home. We watch cooking shows, try new dishes and cook together as a family. Meals have plenty of veggies. We started juicing (kids and all) last year and we grow our own veggies in the summer. We live near a u-pick farm and grocery shop weekly at a local produce store. Vitamins play a big part in our health and we notice the difference with them. We all keep each other on track and our 8 year old daughter seems to have a great affinity keeping a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t Let Bad Days Derail Me I’m one of those strange ones that enjoys exercise. But as I get older I have less time for it. Gone are the days of hour long workouts. As much as I like my Firm videos I don’t have the time for them anymore. I had put down the weights and stopped exercising altogether but then rediscovered Denise Austin. Her short workouts made me realize I could keep fit in just 20 minutes a day. And then later on I discovered T-Tapp. Only 15 minutes her workouts are detoxing and provide many more benefits than just a fit body. I’ve also discovered I don’t HAVE to exercise everyday. Keeping a more relaxed workout schedule means I’m less likely to miss my days. And with the past few busy months we’ve had I haven’t missed a beat. It’s easy, when the kids come along, to focus so much on them that you don’t realize you need some focusing too. I’m realizing, as my daughter grows, that she’s watching everything I do. She’s also learning from what I do. I want her to learn to take care of herself too.

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  Kemi Quinn is a wife, mother, church musician, and amateur cook. She loves to read about how women kept home in time’s past (aka Vintage Homemaking). She blogs over at Homemaking Organized
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

1 comment:

Leah Courtney said...

I know I need to be more diligent in caring for myself. This is a good reminder.