I did it. I worked out every day last week. And I’m really not sure I could have done it without my mom. I don’t think I’ve ever really told my mom’s story on here, but it’s a huge part of why I’m so intent on leading a healthy life and sharing it with my son.
My Mom – The Early Years
My mom used to weigh more than 300 lbs. For basically my entire life until about two years ago, my mom was morbidly obese with a slew of health problems that went right along with it. We lived in Houston for most of my childhood, so it’s not exactly easy to be active outdoors, between the ragweed, heat, humidity and bugs, and it’s a lot less easy when it aggravates severely uncontrolled asthma. She always had an inhaler in her purse, and used her nebulizer on at least a biweekly basis. On top of that, she got pneumonia at least once a year (usually around ragweed season). So working out when her respiratory problems were triggered JUST by her environment? Didn’t really happen.
She didn’t feed us altogether unhealthy foods – yeah, we might have gone to McDonalds every couple of weeks, but generally speaking, she cooked at home and we did snacks after lunch and dinner together. She raised us to be open-minded eaters, including veggies and various ethnic foods. She didn’t subscribe to the philosophy of “clear your plate or no dessert.” In fact, we really didn’t do dessert very often at all. Treats were treated as just that: treats. They didn’t come out often. But she did subscribe to the philosophy of “you don’t have to clear your plate, but you do have to finish this and that,” this and that usually being meat or veggies. However, her issue was portion control. She ate more than any one person should have, and even if she was eating healthy, she would douse whatever she ate in ranch, gravy, hollandaise, or whatever creamy fatty goodness happened to pair well with her dish. The end result was a morbidly obese woman with a slew of digestive and respiratory problems.
The Big Change
Then something happened when my mom opened her flower shop. She was on her feet constantly, she didn’t have as much time to eat, and she had something to take pride in that was all her own. Up until then, everything she did was about my sister and me.
That pride opened up a new sense of confidence in her, so she started doing water aerobics at 24 Hour Fitness. Before she knew it, she’d lost 50 lbs. Then she started taking morning walks at dog beach with Toby, or even just walking downtown. She even started doing stairs on her walks and she eventually lost more than 100 lbs. It was paired with a new philosophy on food, too, though.
See, a friend (who was a personal trainer) asked her when her food started to taste different. Confused, my mom asked what she meant. And again, her friend asked, after how many bites does the taste of whatever you’re eating change? And my mom realized, it doesn’t. To satisfy a craving, she only had to eat a few bites versus a huge dish. She just had to stop once she was full. So she did. Fewer calories in, more calories out, and BAM there went 100+ lbs.
My mom is now about 40 lbs away from her goal of being a size 8 (and able to steal my clothes). She is thrilled that she can shop at boutiques and places like Forever 21, and she has transformed and grown so much as a person in this journey. I can’t say how proud I am of her, and how lucky I am to have such an amazing mom.
So this weeks question, sponsored by Together Counts, is:
How often do you and your family eat meals together and get active together?
My mom and I live together, because being a new and single mom is no easy task, and we’re close enough that we only want to pull each other’s hair out maybe once or twice a month. It’s a huge blessing to have her so close by, and it’s even nicer to have the opportunity to do a lot together, which includes eating and working out.
We’re a bit unusual, though: Cam & my mom are morning people, and I used to be a morning person (until I turned 21). Really, I’m just not a functional person until I’ve done breakfast. So we do breakfast together almost every morning. Cam & I will do family dinner with my sister & dad at least once a week, too, and we try to hang out with extended family at least once a month. This week, we had an extra dose of extended family, hitting Disneyland with my cousin and doing dinner with my Grandparents & Aunt.
It was seriously a BIG week for family getting together, but surprisingly low/no-stress, except for my cousin Bryce trying to keep Cameron. But that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, my mom & I are both working on getting into shape, so we’ve started working out together as well. Last week, my mom and I did three workouts together: we did a 3.5 mile babywearing nature walk (with breakfast as an end destination), a 1 mile walk and yoga at The Strand, and before an entire day at Disneyland (a workout in itself), a 10 minute Billy Blanks Jr. latin dance workout.
So to be concise, we do a lot together. A whole lot. And as we’re getting in shape, we’re doing even more.
This post is sponsored by Together Counts and I’m writing this to be entered into a Qlip Any-where Pedometer giveaway hosted by Mamavation