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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Honest Truth & Bullies

Howdy blogger world! Well I'm happy to say that we have moved and are finally settling in to our new home. It is lovely, and I'm so happy, but I'm also pretty exhausted. I haven't forgotten about you guys, I just have been swimming in boxes & haven't been able to find, well pretty much anything haha. Through the perils of moving Noah has maintained his good appetite, and still by the grace of God loves his veggies. The move has not been without a few compromises however as for the first time he had french fries, fast food more than once, and most days never got a hot meal. I haven't made his meatballs, or his breakfast muffins in about a month. Good news is, he's still alive, and he still loves his veggies. Happy to see he has pushed through and hasn't regressed at all. Some days he likes certain veggies more than others, but overall still loves them! I started putting a tiny bit of garlic salt on some of his veggies. He really loves them that way, which my mom says is unusual because most children don't like garlic... oh well, give it a try, maybe your little one would like it too!

Moving is not what this particular blog is about, even though surviving it with a 1 yr old could be a whole in blog in itself ahah... Yesterday I had a pretty rough day emotionally, which kind of sparked something in me that I felt like I needed to get off my chest. I was going through some boxes from my childhood that my mother dropped off, and found a couple of old diaries. I've had diaries my whole life, from elementary school and up. It has always been very cathartic for me to write out how I'm feeling. Anyways, I opened up the one from junior high and started reading. Noah was napping so I actually made it through the whole thing and ended up reading half way through my high school one. By the time I finished reading them I was incredibly grateful that I'm not a hormonal teenage girl anymore haha, but I was also so unbelievably sad.

Understand I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life, and overall looking back I've always felt like I had a good child hood. But the one thing I guess I tried to block out was how incredibly unhappy I was being an overweight kid/teen. It was a constant theme throughout my journals, and it wasn't a body dysmorphia issue. It was real, I was chubbier than all my friends throughout my entire time in school, and was the most un-athletic out of pretty much everyone... always. Here are a few key moments that stuck out to me:

- 12.28.98: 8th grade - told I need to go on a diet by an adult
- 12.31.99: while at a friends house overheard a boy (who bullied me for years) say to his friend I was "disgusting"
- Prayed to God for a date to the 8th grade dance, went single w/ my friends.
- 6.20.99: started Weight Watchers (only 14 yrs old)
- High school: tried out for drill team, didn't make it
- High School: Freshman/sophomore/junior year dances got set up by friends for dates to all homecomings
- Sophomore year had a girl in the lunch room tell me I was cute, & had a pretty face, but that I shouldn't be wearing a skirt that short (because I was too chubby - remember that like it was yesterday)
- No real boyfriend until my senior year in high school
- Bullied ruthlessly by a guy who literally didn't leave me alone from junior high THROUGH  high school
- Tried a million different diets, diet pills etc. in attempt to fit in
- High school sweet heart & first boyfriend cheated on me in college (w/ a girl half my size practically) & broke my heart
- Never under a size 12 until after I was >19 yrs old
- Every SINGLE diary entry had some sort of question to God about why I didn't fit in, and why I couldn't be skinny like my friends...
- Another constant theme was hating myself for the way I looked

THIS, THIS IS WHY I BLOG!! This is why I'm so passionate about being healthy and raising healthy children. It is HEARTBREAKING to be a chubby kid. It took me YEARS to learn how to be healthy, the right way. And now I'm so proud to say I'm not obsessed with trying to be skinny, I'm not scared of having overweight children... I'm simply dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, and raising children who are set up for success in life because they are loved, know Jesus, treat people kindly, are healthy, and aren't bullied by other kids or adults for being overweight! It was hard to be me as a kid. I am, and have always been an eternal optimist, but it was really really really tough being an overweight kid/ teen.... I wouldn't change any of it, because it has given me a perspective on life that is absolutely invaluable, and has instilled compassion in my heart for those who struggle with their weight. It has also given me an avenue to empathize with my patients, and to help people, because I have literally BEEN THERE!

It has also sparked a huge desire in me to keep encouraging families to live healthy lifestyles and combat childhood obesity. I'm sure my parents never knew the depths of what I faced, nor did my friends , but the struggle is so brutal with how mean kids can be. Luckily I had a supportive family, my faith in God and good friends who loved me well and I pulled through.

I hope by hearing my story you will be motivated to keep fighting for a healthy family. It's so incredibly hard in  todays' society, but it's not impossible. It's not about being skinny... it's about family dinners, endurance during kids'  picky eating seasons, playing outside, not always opting for fast food, cooking meals together, and being devoted to having a healthy lifestyle in general.

If you don't do it for yourself, please do it for your kids. My immediate family is now the healthiest it has been in years. My husband and I are both committed to raising healthy kiddos in a healthy home, and having him as a support system makes all the difference. Noah is not a veggie lover by accident, it has taken a TON of hard work, dedication, creativity, and patience to  help him develop healthy eating habits. But if it sets him up for a long healthy life free of chronic diseases, and helps prevent people from bullying him about his weight... It certainly has all been worth!

A couple things that might help staying focused on what's most important when trying to have a healthy family:
1.) Give yourself grace when you're in tough seasons.
2.) Give yourself grace in general, raising kids is hard.
3.) Be the light and encouragement in your friends, kids, & loved ones lives who struggle with their weight.
4.) Know it's never too late to have a healthy family.

Keep fighting on ya'll!

Love & Blessings, 

The Veggie Momma