I've had a few things on my mind lately, and I write blogs in my head all the time. I just never actually sit down and do it. One reason, is when I'm at work (where I spend the majority of my day, in front of a computer), I get "quota" time for "restricted" sites, and blogger is one of them. So, I get 5 15 minute increments of time to use throughout the day on restricted sites. And I just don't make blogging a priority. (Hey, a girl's gotta check out the free books on Amazon ever day!) So, lately, I've been stuck in a plateau in my weight loss journey. A 3 month one! And it sucks! So, I'm back to tracking everything on My Fitness Pal. And I swear to you, I ate everything I normally do yesterday, and by the pure act of logging my food, my weight was down this morning. We'll see what happens throughout the week. I HATE tracking and counting, but I think I need to do it. I've got a good topic coming to you tomorrow, about determination and beating that little voice in your head. So stay tuned.
Today, I've had the television on for noise and it's played several infomercials about "healthy" things. There's been the Body Revolution by Jillian Michaels (my dream trainer), and some kind of blender/jucier thing by the people that make the Magic Bullet. There was a book about something related to our diet in today's society, and the man made a lot of sense. He said that foods today don't hold the same nutritional value that they did years ago. He held up an orange and said that an orange today has about (I'm making up a number here, but it is close to what he said) 1/3 of the nutritional value that oranges did 10-20 years ago. He said that it takes time for food to develop, and due to the growth hormones and pesticides used today, the foods don't have enough time to fully develop and gain all of their nutritional values. Farmers don't get paid on nutritional values, they get paid on full bushels. Wow! That made me stop and think. It's no wonder we have such an overweight society these days. Even when people think they're doing the right thing by eating their fruits and veggies, they're still not getting what they need. So my wheels kept turning.
It's only been in the last 5-10 years that I've had to struggle with my weight. I never thought about eating healthy, dieting, working out as a child. This was not the case for my brother though. My brother is 4 years younger than me and is one of the people I admire the most in this world. He started out as a chunky baby, but most babies are. Then he was a very thin child until about elementary school. That's when he started putting on weight. He was a very picky eater and his diet consisted of mostly fried or breaded chicken, pizza, and potatoes. I don't blame this on him. He was 5 years old for crying out loud! And he wasn't into sports or playing outside very much. So the pounds came.
Now, my parents were very good parents while we were growing up. They are crazy now (one more so than the other, but not by much), but this didn't happen until I was in college. Of course, my brother was still in high school and to this day, I wish I could have made things different for him, especially during those years. But our struggles make us the people we are. However, I don't see how my parents never saw his struggles with his weight. Or why they didn't try to help. I remember two separate occasions, where my brother saved up his money, and purchased things that he saw on infomercials. First, he bought one of those "fat belts" where you put the jelly on your stomach and the belt sent electric waves to the muscles, to work your muscles and get rid of your fat, while you sat around on the couch. I don't know what ever happened to that thing. I do know that he tried it though. He also bought some kind of fold up, in home, gym/ weight bench/ workout thing, by (I think) Body by Jake. My dad helped him pack it up and send it back in time for his "free trial" so he could get his money back.
I wish I would have known then the things that I know now about health and fitness. I wish my parents would have done something differently to help him. I feel that they were just as uneducated about health, nutrition and exercise and my brother and I were though. And I feel like this is the case for most of the country, and I even go as far as to say the world. It's one of the reasons we have the weight problems that we have today. Our family meals then consisted of spaghetti with buttered toast; fried pork chops with green beans from a can, mashed potatoes with butter and whole milk, canned corn and canned baked beans; beef stew from a can with peanut butter sandwiches on white bread; hamburger helper with the "vegetables" already listed; frozen lasagna; steak or hamburgers on the grill; breakfast at night; or fast food. We always had a "junk" cabinet full of chips, cookies, candy, whatever we wanted. We didn't go hungry, and food wise, there wasn't much that we wanted that we went without. This obviously caused problems for both my brother, and me (later in life).
I know that as a parent (even though I'm not one yet), you want the best for your children. You try to do the best that you can with what you have. But I feel like as adults, we have to do better for the kids in our world. We need to get educated and teach them the right things. They shouldn't have to struggle the way some of us have had to. They shouldn't get picked on because of their size or because they're not active. But to go along with that, they also shouldn't know the words "fat" and "pounds" and "diet." I remember a good friend in college telling me that she was ALWAYS on a diet growing up. Kids don't need to feel deprived. We need to teach them to be HEALTHY. We need to lead my example. No child should be obsessed with the scale like we are. They shouldn't even get on one except for at the doctor's office. They should not call themselves fat. I HATE when I hear a child say that. It means the parents aren't doing something right.
So, I write all of this to tell you to be the example for the kids in your life, whether your own children or not. Be active with them. Teach them about eating healthy. Show them that they can reach their goals. It starts with us.
And for any of you wondering about my brother, he didn't fail to amaze me again. Here are some pics of him:
My college graduation
Being inducted into the Police Foce
Earning a medal at a 5k
Two of the most important men in my life, my brother and my husband, on my wedding day