Tuesday, June 12, 2012

healthy is the new skinny

it seems that my frustration with my post-baby body follows some sort of inner clock. for the first nine months of each of my childrens' lives, i just tended to avoid mirrors while pulling on the same over worn pair of maternity pants each morning. once the clock struck nine months, however, an alarm seemed to go off in my brain, screaming "WHY ARE YOU STILL SO FAT?!?!" and i'd begin the repetitive cycle of trying to exercise more, eat less, and obsessively weigh myself far too frequently, only to get pregnant again just before hitting my pre-baby weight.

** this time, it's going to be different. **

for starters, i'm not going to get pregnant again. 4 kids just ain't gonna happen, no matter how much my mom tries to convince me of the benefit of even numbers. i am also beginning this weight loss journey with a different mindset: the changes i make have GOT to be sustainable ones. i refuse to commit to anything that i can't continue, not only because i want this to be a lifestyle instead of a diet, but also because i tend to become way too discouraged over my defeats and feel like quitting when i can't stick to something.

so, 5 weeks ago i joined a private facebook group of like-minded women, signed onto myfitnesspal.com, posted horrendously embarrassing "before" pictures, and stepped onto the scale with my eyes shut tight, not wanting to witness how high the numbers climbed. i lost 5 lbs nearly immediately and was elated, thinking this wouldn't be quite so difficult after all. and then i stopped losing weight. i wanted to throw in the towel. why bother with all of this hard work if the result isn't a skinny me?

and then a friend lent me a copy of the documentary "hungry for change." i watched it twice. things started to click in my head, things i knew before, but hadn't really accepted.
i realized that i needed to make a lifestyle change NOT to become skinny, but to become healthy.

i borrowed my father in law's juicer and began experimenting with green juice. i was terrified to try the first concoction i made (a mixture of celery, lemon and pear), but as soon as i took the first sip, i was hooked! the juice literally tasted alive and the energy that followed was even better than my usual coffee induced pick me up. josh couldn't believe how great it tasted either, and now we both start our day with a tall glass of green juice. (i'm going through kale faster than i can buy it!)

juicing was the first step in the right direction and since then i've gradually been adding good things, in order for the healthy stuff to crowd out the bad stuff. i've become familiar with such delights as chia seeds, hemp hearts, apple cider vinegar and collard greens. fruits and vegetables used to belong in the crisper section of my fridge only, but now i have 3 shelves full of them! (i actually have a cute little box of wheat grass in my fridge right now, next to sweet clover sprouts). msg-laden seasonings and boxed "food-like products" have been tossed and replaced with real snack foods like nuts and dried fruit. the crazy thing is, i don't even feel deprived! i have so many healthy choices that i don't have a chance to get super hungry. and when i do indulge in something greasy or processed, my stomach revolts, brain fog ensues and i end up regretting my decision.

i've also decided to stop using things on my skin that are chemical laden. after all, why put something on your body, if you wouldn't put it in your body, right? besides switching to sulfate free shampoo & conditioner, and using mineral salt deodorant, the main difference in my skincare is that now i use coconut oil for pretty much everything. i LOVE that stuff! i use it for cooking too, but i think i use more of it on my skin. for someone with dry/sensitive skin, coconut oil has been a godsend. i was pretty freaked out using it as a moisturizer for the first time, thinking i'd be sure to have an explosion of acne, but its actually done the opposite for me. i even use it in my hair (just a teensy bit) and want to try drenching my head in it, sticking a shower cap on, and washing it out the next morning for what is claimed to be the most amazing deep conditioning treatment ever.

so, i still haven't lost any more weight since those initial 5 pounds, and yet there are so many other positive changes that i see, that it (almost) doesn't really bother me. my mood has improved, as has my energy level. my eczema is fading and my skin looks and feels so much more hydrated & nourished. my allergies are clearing up. my pimples are all but gone, and i never get backed up anymore. (you so wanted to know that about me, right?) buying organic can get quite pricey, so for now i'm sticking to buying only the things on the dirty dozen list organically. i definitely indulge once in awhile and no longer feel guilty about it because i know that the good choices i am making for my health far outweigh the bad choices.

i've still got a long road ahead (25lbs long, to be exact) but i know without a doubt that this time i am on the right path.


Lauren said...

WOW heidi! so motivating! im curious what you eat for lunch? and do you think your juicer ingredients could be used in a smoothie?? love to read and catch up on you guys

Laura Railing said...

Way to go!!! It really is about a lifestyle change and adopting healthy habits rather than seeing numbers drop on the scale. It also feels a lot better too! Coconut oil is AMAZING! Did you know it can heal a sunburn faster? And for hair conditioner, you don't have to use gobs of it to have it work. Just spread some on your hair (unless it's really thick. then you probably would want a shower cap). a little goes a long ways, as you know! I *almost* thought you were going to say you were expecting again!! ;-) But no, just a good lifestyle change :)

Barca Mama said...

What an inspiring and uplifting post! I wish you the best of luck on your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

(CHrista )Wow, Heidi we're doing to same things around here too. I've found some cool recipes for creams and deoderants online and we're having green smoothies for breakfast and eating way more veggies...especially raw ones. It's tough sometimes but I know it's the best for all of us. Have you watched FoodMatters? It's a great documentary too, might be very similar to the one you mentioned

HollyM said...

Hey my second attempt at leaving a comment it didn't work last night. First of all good for you! I've been trying to eat better and exercise and the weight is very very slowly coming off. But I am feeling better.
Do you just have juice for breakfast? Do you have juice at any other point in the day? Can you recommend a reasonably priced juicer?
What shampoo and conditioner and creams do you use? Also did you buy coconut oil from

heidi said...

@lauren: i usually make a big pot of veggie soup on mondays (w/ cabbage, northern beans, carrots, dill...sort of like a meatless borscht) and i keep that in the fridge all week and have a bowl for lunch, or i just make a gigantic salad with as many veggies as i can load onto it with walnuts or pepitas and squeeze a lemon over it instead of salad dressing.

green smoothies are fantastic as well, but certain things (like apples and celery) are better juiced than blended. with smoothies you get the whole food including the fiber, but with juicing, the juicer removes the fiber, in a sense pre-digesting the food and making it super fast and easy for your body to absorb the nutrients. i love smoothies with a handful of baby spinach, strawberries, banana, greek yogurt and flax & chia seeds mixed in.

@christa: i've wanted to watch foodmatters, but our library doesn't carry it yet. foodmatters created hungry for change, actually. i figured you may be on the same track as me with your recent fb posts!

heidi said...

@holly: i just have juice for breakfast at this point. its quick to make, but the cleanup is a pain. there are lost of juice fasts out there where you juice 3x a day, but i'm still nursing ava, so i don't want to go that extreme. i'm thinking a pick-me-up mid afternoon juice will be my next step though! honestly, i only have used this one juicer, which is just over $100 retail, http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Lalannes-JLSS-Stainless-Steel-Electric/dp/B000GHIVO4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1339601173&sr=8-5 and its great for most things (just not great for smaller stuff like berries, wheatgrass and baby spinach). btw, if you're interested in getting into juicing and blending, watch this video: http://crazysexyjuice.com/ (kris carr is my new heroine)

i use nature's gate brand shampoo & conditioner mostly cuz i LOVE the scent. aunt patty's organic coconut oil comes in a little jar and is reasonably priced....i found all of these things at my cute little local health food store, but i'm sure a place like trader joe's would carry this type of thing as well.

good luck on your own healthy journey and thanks for the encouragment!

Amylee Adams said...

Sounds like you are making some awesome changes, way to go! I am reading Nourishing Traditions right now too, it's an interesting book. We also follow Ben Greenfield, he has great nutritional information and is a really cool guy (we got to meet him last month)(you can find him at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/ if you want to check him out.) I love coconut oil too, I have been using it on my face since I was pregnant with Scarlett and love the way it feels. It works great for a hair treatment if you wash your hair, rub a few tablespoons in, braid your hair and just leave it in until you wash your hair the next day.

kelly ens said...

This is awesome, Heidi!!! We would have loved to have you back in our fb group, but i am SO happy that you've found a group of other like-minded women to journey with.
it's awesome that you're feeling a change in your energy, mood, skin and more!
SO exciting! :)

Anonymous said...

Love this post Heidi! You've also got to try coconut water - me and Rocco are hooked. Read about it and you'll see. Oh and since you are breastfeeding those hemphearts and walnuts will be great for omega 3 intake. And you've got to try quinoa - i have an amazing 'live food' recipe if u want. Xox
P.s. As a busy mum i have a really hard time fitting exercise into my life (other than lugging kids around of course) but my brother, who teaches crossfit, has me doing tabata squats every other day. It only takes 4 intense minutes and rocco does it with me and ive seen such a huge difference in only one month. It boosts my metabolism and helps me burn fat for the rest of the day. I dont know what u can do since the accident but if u are up to it give it a try! Sacha Wright

Natasha Kay said...

I really hope you post this link on your Team Page, girl!! AWESOME to read! So glad to have you on the Train. :)

rachel joy said...

good for you! I've been thinking a lot about pesticides too. Unfortunately, where I live, I don't have many options. I have about the same amount to lose as you, maybe even 10-15 more. We love green smoothies here at our house, but now I WANT A JUICER! Looking forward to hearing your progress on your new lifestyle!