Shared with us by: Clarice Lazary, LMSW (Outreach Coordinator for SPCC’s WIC Program)
March is National Nutrition Month. So, naturally, a WIC Nutritionist would be the logical choice to write the blog. A Nutritionist knows how to “eat right” and “be healthy”. We have all heard it before…eat less, exercise more, and make it a life style. But, eating and “being healthy” is harder than it sounds. In today’s complicated, busy, hectic world it can be so overwhelming that we tend to decide “I just can’t do it”, “I don’t have time”. But, I have a feeling, like so many other challenges we face, “being healthy” is a multi-layered, life long process. So, at the risk of offending our professional, well educated, very experienced SPCC WIC staff, I am going to share with you my views.
Living healthy is a commitment, an activity, a lifestyle, a group activity, a personal goal. It can be about eating right, cooking right, exercising, just moving, clearing our minds, taking a slow and mindful breath, breaking bread together, eating our guilty pleasures and ENJOYING them occasionally but more often than not, getting back on the “good food” wagon, again.
All my life have I struggled with weight…but WAIT – that is a WRONG statement!! I used to be skinny! So skinny, that my family called me “beansy” (I think that means tiny). And then, puberty and all the emotions and doubts that come with it, enraged itself upon me. I had an average body in adolescence but thought I was fat (when I look back at my high school yearbook I think “What was I thinking?!”). But my family controlled my food. Where I ate, what I ate, what kind of foods I ate, how much I ate, what I was “allowed to eat “ (no soda except on Sunday with Pasta, only homemade cookies and only 2 a day, and no candy). All good choices, mind you, but not the environment that could be sustained for a lifetime.
Then I went away to college and started eating on my own. Oh boy…I was NOT prepared! So much “bad” food to indulge in! I remember a lot of pizza, fried foods, cookies and candy! I attempted to eat healthily and ate a lot of salad, but with tons of dressing which tends to defeat the purpose. Ever since then, I have been on a twisted and turning journey of weight gain and loss. Each time for a different reason. But, each time I learn a new coping mechanism or new trick that I like or a way to avoid an old habit, or introduce a new one.
Being healthy, for ME, is a journey.
There are many people I know, where “healthy” is a lifestyle. Call it genetics, self-control, smartness, but I have had to take the long road. I am still on the trip. I probably won’t get there for another many years to come. I have hated a lot of it, but I really love some parts a VERY lot!
I know that I am not alone in this journey. Our lives are filled with challenges and choices that we all make. Some come easier to others. I have chosen to nourish my life with loving friends and co-workers and a giving husband and healthy happy children. I have learned to accept what comes my way. The good and the bad. I have learned to enjoy “good” foods and figured out ways to share them with others and break the cycle of “over eating” at holidays and at social gatherings. I appreciate that moving and exercising with people that you like, makes the torture of working out a better thing.
But back to this complicated hectic world and National Nutrition month. We will feel better if we nourish ourselves, nutritionally, physically and spiritually. We have to prioritize health over the other chaos in our lives. Baby steps. I am at the toddler stage in my life, and I only have about another 30 years left! I better start running soon!