Yes I’m Vain….But It Keeps Me Healthy

When I was 15, my metabolism quit. Like it got up and said “F*** you” and left. Prior to that, I was a super skinny kid and didn’t really worry about what I ate. After that, it’s like everything I ate just stayed on me. I ended up at around 130 pounds at the time. For a 5’2″ girl, there’s nowhere for that weight to really go that will look attractive. I wasn’t consistently athletic at the time so it wasn’t even muscle weight.

Now take a look around you. Take a look at yourself. Are you in shape? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you being healthy?

If the answer (the honest answer) is no, join the club. There are way too many of us out there that aren’t taking care of ourselves. The American Heart Association recommends walking around 10,000 steps or 5 miles per day. This is hard. I bought myself a Fitbit because I thought I must be easily hitting this number daily chasing my kid around plus working out once a day but nope. I still have to take another walk and really push my activity levels to hit this number. I rarely ever reach 5 miles. It’s frustrating.

After my metabolism quit, it took me another 6 years to come out of denial that I couldn’t just eat what I want and not work out and look like how I wanted. I always wanted to have the perfect body. I’ve always been a perfectionist. And somehow I thought that it would just come to me without me having to work for it.

One day, I looked at a picture of myself and saw how I looked in a shirt I really liked. It felt awful. I realized that I wasn’t just going to magically get into shape. It was, at the moment, I decided that I didn’t want to feel like that again. I joined a gym and started counting calories. I lost a ton of weight and not only was working out regularly but had joined a professional dance team so I was dancing regularly. I felt stronger and healthier.

I’m writing this because when I look around me and see so many people who don’t seem care, it’s frustrating and scary to me. My metabolism quit early and it took me 6 years to figure out what to do about it. But, mine quit earlier than it does for a lot of others. For those of us who are entering our 30s and inching towards our 40s, there are things that won’t work as well as they did before. We are at higher risk for health problems if we don’t start taking care of ourselves as soon as possible.

I’m sure a lot of you are thinking that you like the way you look or you’ve accepted your bodies for what it is. I applaud that. Here’s the thing. We don’t have to have the perfect bodies but we shouldn’t be treating our bodies like trash cans either. We don’t have to not enjoy food but we shouldn’t ignore the consequences of what we are eating as well. The point is that we aren’t eating healthier and exercising to look like supermodels. We are doing it so we feel better about ourselves. We are doing it so we can be there in the future to take care of our children. We are doing it so we don’t miss out on something just because we thought it was too much work when we were younger and couldn’t be bothered.

Unfortunately, I see way more people around me who don’t care than do. I hope they realize that change starts when you take the action to change. I’m hoping that most people understand that those who are physically fit really work hard at it. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Even for those people who are naturally thin, they have to watch what they eat and work out so they don’t end up with other health issues. In the end, we should all feel better about ourselves not only physically but emotionally.

Exercising and eating right does wonders for your mind and soul as much as your physical body. For me, it’s a coping mechanism. It helps my stress levels stay down and for me to deal with whatever problems happen in my life. It also boosts my confidence levels regardless of what I look like or how I’m feeling at the moment. There are plenty of times I’ve gone into a dance practice or work out feeling down or mad and 3o minutes later, I will feel really good about everything because I just needed to take a break from my mind and focus on my physical activity instead.

There are plenty of groups and articles to help you learn how to take care of yourself if that is where you are stuck. This is something I really believe in (even if I slip up every so often and eat a bag of jelly beans myself or have more alcohol than I probably should have). I hope you will be inspired to take the step to treat yourself with the respect you deserve.

Why Can’t You Vaccinate Your Child Again?

I can’t think of anything better to discuss considering we are in the middle of a measles outbreak. I’m not going to sit here and report every fact and figure that is already out there. I’m just going to state my opinion on the whole situation.

It sucks. It really does. There have been reported cases of the measles with 20 miles of where we live. Our kid is still below the age where she can be vaccinated for the measles. Which means she is at risk every time we go out somewhere because someone else didn’t vaccinate their child.

My husband and I aren’t overprotective. We took our 6 month old to India and just tried to keep her protected. She made it through the trip fine. We are the types who believe exposure will build up her immunity to a lot of things. When other outbreaks have happened, we speak with our pediatrician and see what the reality is of the situation.

The reality of this situation is that our child does go to locations and events that involve other young children who can’t be vaccinated yet. And none of us has any way of knowing if any of these children has been exposed to someone who has the measles.

Here’s my question. Why? Obviously, the idea that measles vaccination causes other diseases or developmental problems has already been proven wrong. Even if it did cause problems, the chances are so low that is it really worth taking the risk of having your child catch something that they could have been protected against?

I asked the following question of one of my mommy groups. If the risk of having problems with the vaccine is lower than the chances of your child being in a car accident (especially in Southern California), then why would you continuously put your child in a car but not get the vaccine? It doesn’t make sense to me.

We all want what’s best for our child. We want to protect them against as much as we can. I hate when she cries for anything. So why are we ignoring something that has obviously worked over so much time?

I’m so frustrated that I have to be careful of where I can take my baby to right now because a few people decided to ignore years of progress. And this question will come up again and again when we decide to put her in school and activities.

I come from a family where half of the people are doctors. My family comes from a country that would love to have all the vaccinations the US has for their children. Why do these parents take these vaccines for granted?

I don’t know what the solution to easily resolved problem is. How can you convince people who refuse to vaccinate their kids? I see the posts in my mommy groups and the debate goes on and on and on. The only thing I can think is that if it’s just one simple shot, why doesn’t everyone do it? If it’s shown to work, why is there so much of a fight? Why do we all run to believe people who aren’t qualified to give their opinions?

How can I protect my child against other people’s decisions?

What Is Too Much When It Comes To Parenting?

Parenting has become such a big thing. I am constantly trying to schedule activities for my baby daily so that she’s stimulated and doesn’t become bored. At the same time, I keep wondering if this was the case 30 years ago. Did parents back then constantly entertain us? Or were we left to our own devices? Sometimes, I wonder if we’re doing too much.

I keep trying to figure out if all of this makes sense. I met someone recently that has flash cards with pictures and words for their 7 month old. It seemed a little overdone to me but considering my baby has recently started getting bored with the same old stuff, I wonder now if it’s something that we need to be doing to keep our children entertained. Did our parents do this?

Do we need to let our children kind of figure out how to entertain themselves? Or should we be planning every minute of their day? Is it bad if I let my child sit in her crib and babble to herself? I know I need time to just be on my own so would she need the same thing? Or should I be doing something with her as soon as she wakes up? What are the lines and boundaries? What is too little and what is too much?

I remember when I was a kid, I did play a lot with my siblings or by myself. I didn’t constantly have someone trying to entertain me. We used our imagination and created things. Now, I don’t know if this was the case when I was just a baby. I want my kid to learn how to use her imagination and be able to play on her own. I want her to have patience and be independent.

In a time where so much is done with the focus on our kids, what exactly is the best thing to do for them?

A New Mom Reclaiming Her Life

We all talk about how you shouldn’t lose yourself when you get into a new relationship. We work so hard to maintain our individuality while merging into a relationship so that we still feel independent but can enjoy the aspects of spending time with a partner as well.

Well, what happens when you have a baby? As a new mom, I found myself really losing who I was.

Even before I had the baby, I didn’t recognize myself. I define my self worth by what I do (and if I really do it well). I had been working for the last 8-9 years and I had been dancing for a really long time and finding peace and happiness in that. But, as soon as I was a few weeks pregnant, I left my job due to the distances I was driving and I wasn’t allowed to do any other physical activity other than walk due to doctor’s orders. It was really hard for me. I still did see my friends but a lot of the activities I used to do were limited.

After I had the baby, there was obviously the time I needed to heal and get used to having a baby around. So that’s all I was doing for the first few months. But it was hard. You give yourself so entirely to this little human being. All of a sudden, the only label you have is mom. All of the other things you were disappear. At least, that is how I felt.

I’ve never been able to function in a one dimensional sense. Even though I worked in one profession, I was involved in so many other activities that really helped my life be well-rounded. So this was really a difficult way for me to live. There are women who fit so easily into the mother role and make themselves so well-rounded within that role. I’ve seen moms who plan activity after activity for them and their babies and it sounds amazing. I wish I could do that. But, after a recent breakdown, I realize that it’s not me. I need certain things in my life for me to feel like myself. And feeling like myself is the best thing I could do for my child.

I felt guilty wanting to be back in the workforce or wanting time to myself. I still haven’t gotten up the courage to have a girls night out without my baby. I want her to be with me at all times. But I have taken steps to reclaim who I was. I joined a gym and get an hour workout in a day which has done wonders to my self-esteem. I am looking to find other moms to hang out with. I have a found a new dance class that I’m really excited about. I also have taken steps to see if I can find a job that fits a schedule that would allow me to be home for my child whenever I want.

As much as I really wish I could do the stay at home mom thing with great joy, I know it’s not me. I need to find the things that help me feel like me so that I can really show my baby my best self, the person that I’m proud of, the person I want her to be proud of.