Thursday, February 16, 2017

More Than Fine

 I love my body. I have always loved my body. I consider myself lucky to be perfectly happy in my skin. I was raised in a family that has amazing body acceptance. I was taught that the outside appearance is not nearly as important as what is on the inside. Are you kind, giving, loving, nurturing, happy, grateful, and funny? If you answered yes, and other people could see those things in you than you are perfect just the way you are. My family is all shapes and sizes and no one has ever cared. The physical body was never called into question. I am so glad that all of the females in my life have always been comfortable with their bodies. Some are bigger than average, maybe a bit soft around the edges, but these women are strong! 

In high school while many of the girls were struggling with body issues or announcing things they “hated” about themselves I didn't engage in that talk. I was who I was and I was fine. I dressed how I felt comfortable. I didn't find it necessary to enhance things or hide things about my body. I was active in martial arts and physically healthy. Growing up my body just was. It wasn't to big, it wasn't to small it was just fine in my mind. 

As I got older I never gave it a second thought. While other women in their 20's were talking about medical things that could make them prettier or change their appearance I didn't even give it a passing thought. I am who I am and I am fine. I had put on a few pounds since high school, but then who hadn't. 

Being pregnant was something new. My body changed in ways that no one expects no matter how many times you read “What to Expect When You Are Expecting”. I didn't gain an huge amount of weight, but enough. My body has never went through large weight fluxes. I've always been pretty consistent. I was still fine with what my body was during and after pregnancy. The weight after wards melted away with breast feeding and was once again fine. Do you notice that word I keep using? Fine. I'm fine. My body is fine. Just fine. I knew the important part of myself was growing in leaps and bounds. My confidence, my nurturing, my loving and giving. I had never been so grateful in my whole life. Maybe I was just a little bit funnier than I used to be. How was my body? Fine. 

At this point my husband and I were just eating. I've always cooked meals and we were never much for eating out, but maybe I wasn't cooking the right things. We were both consuming way to much sugar and we knew it.   After a doctor's appointment, my husband came home with news. His blood sugar levels, liver enzymes, and triglycerides were all way to high!  Mine have always been just fine. I'd had a few bouts with elevated blood pressure, but nothing ever to really be concerned about.My doctor kindly suggested I lose a few pounds as doctors often do. After my husband's doctor's report I realized we just couldn't be happy with fine. It was time to make a change. Fine is acceptable, but healthy is achievable! I was adamant that we weren't going to “diet”. I hate that word. It has always meant something negative to me. Most people I had seen diet didn't like their bodies and seemed to be punishing themselves for it. I made it clear to my husband that this was a lifestyle change. Once we stepped foot on a healthy path we were heading down the road together, for good. 

Down the road we went, after sifting through what seemed like a ton of facts and fictions on healthy life styles. We decided to try the ketogenic lifestyle. I'm not qualified to explain it fully, but we cut out all grains and processed sugar. We watch carbs and limit artificial sweeteners. We indulge in healthy fats  and protein. It was so easy! Way easier than I expected. Kicking the sugar was the toughest part! Doing it as a team made it all the easier. I had someone to cheer me on and someone to watch dog. I'm downright militant. When I make up my mind there really is no changing it. The disapproving  looks and disappointment are enough to make my husband back away from the cake at family gatherings. 

After just a month my body started changing. My belly was a bit smaller and pants a bit looser. My husbands belly started disappearing too. More time passed and more of my belly melted away. Things I had tucked away in the closet started fitting like they should. I had less chins! (multiples run in the family)  I decided doing a bit of physical activity might not hurt. I dusted off my yoga mat from college days and gave it a go. I found I really enjoyed the time I took for myself to be aware of my body and how it feels. Settling in for just a moment and then moving on to the chaos of the day. My husband returned to doing some martial arts and has found it very rewarding. He described it as being hungry. He didn't know he was, but one taste and he was hooked. 

Now after almost 10 months of our healthy journey I have lost 70 pounds! My body has emerged from it's cocoon of fine and blossomed into something that makes me feel absolutely amazing. Sometimes I look in the mirror and can't believe I am the person standing there. The weight loss was a pleasant surprise, but the healthy feeling was the goal, and I have achieved it. I find myself encouraging others to take a look at their lifestyle choices. Don't be just fine, be who you want to be! My husband is doing amazing and had a near perfect report from his last doctor visit. The doctor was stunned with the turn about. It makes me so proud that we have made this decision. It also means I'm raising a little girl with healthier habits and even better body acceptance. She won't be just fine, she will be amazing! Giving the tools to her to make healthy life choices has been a huge factor in our healthy choices. I want to raise her to know that no matter if she is short or tall, big or small she is perfect. I want her to understand that what other people see on the outside isn't important, but it is important for your own eyes to see what you want to see. Don't settle for fine. You don't have to. Make the positive changes and you will certainly be rewarded. Don't feel you have to fit into a mold. The beauty of the human race is that we are all different. Embrace that beauty. I'm not just fine, I am beautiful. 


I'm a 30 something mom, wife, and artist. I enjoy spending time creating and teaching my kiddo to create. Born, raised, and currently residing in the upper Midwest. Proud to be a North Dakotan! Always inspired to learn and create in new ways. Married to my high school sweetheart. We enjoy the outdoors as a family. Total geek!  Learning to live by the mantra "Why not!" 
Instagram: alwaysinspiredmomma 

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