Wednesday, July 18, 2012

side-tracked, and totally confused

Alright, first I'm going to preface this post with the fact that this will probably not be well organized - or have lots of backed up facts as I go, and also that I'm NOT the healthiest person in the world - nor am I the persona of a great, athletic figure. However, the information is out there, I just can't take the time right now to list every article, study, documentary....what have you, that supports the facts that something super, serious is going on. First, read this:

Read it? Great! what the heck?!

How has our health and nutrition mentality gotten SO SO incredibly messed up? I will give a little information about how I was raised in the 90's, and then mirror it with how I "hope" I feed and raise my children someday down the road, and then look at what seems to be happening with the rest of the country.

Let me just say, I was and AM a junk food kid. I crave french fries, rich cheeses, chocolate, pizza, anything dairy, pasta....whatever it is that is covered in grease or fat, I'm all up on that, buddy. My parents did NOT feed my sister and I organically or focus on raw foods and minerals. They did not feed us as vegetarians. They were NOT rich, and could not afford to have a cook that made everything healthy taste fantastic. My mother and father cooked all of the food we ate. It was not always from scratch, but most of the time we ate a meal that had three different food groups, and didn't make us hyper or sick before we went to bed. We're talking casseroles, leaner meats with rice or noodles, mac and cheese, hamburger based noodle-nonsense, sides of canned green beans or corn, sliced bread with butter.....Midwestern, middle class food. I wouldn't say my parents enforced portion control, but simply put - as little girls, we ate about as much as my mother ate. We had sandwiches at lunch, and if we wanted to eat a bunch of chips we could. If we wanted one ice cream cone at night, that was fine. We were never limited at holidays or special events to the amount of helpings we could have.

That being said, my parents also would say things to my younger sister and I such as, "Didn't you just have an ice cream sandwich a couple of hours ago?" or "I thought we just bought this bag of Cheetos, why is it empty already?" or "I think you've had enough of that, if you're hungry before dinner you can have carrots or an apple." And because my sister and I respected their knowledge, we obeyed. Not rocket science.

I played a lot outside as a child, but not any more than the rest of the kids in my age group at the park or pool. My sister and I were not very active in athletic sports, however we were both in dance classes and dabbled in having fun in a new activity here and there. And you know what? We were skinny little bean pole children. I'm serious. We couldn't have been thinner as kids. I really don't feel like this sort of lifestyle is difficult to follow. Is it?

Now the only thing I would change with my children (if I ever have them), is that I would probably not introduce them to much fast food until they were way older. This would be as a gift to them, because I know how hard it's been for me over the years to not be a total junkfoodaholic. I think, honestly, my parents did a pretty good job feeding my sister and I on the income they had, in the generation we grew up in, and without giving her and I any "I'm too fat" complexes.

Now when I read articles like the one above, I'm absolutely heartbroken. Is this really the point we are at? Obesity has become such an issue, that we have to spend radical amounts of money on finding a pill to burn fat? Whhhhhhhyyyy? Why are we at the point where children have a type of diabetes that most people haven't gotten until they are elderly? Why are school lunches and snacks comprised of the absolute WORST food ever? Why aren't parents taking this more seriously? Why is my gym totally empty almost ALL of the time other than the week before college spring break? I really don't understand any of this, I don't understand using pills like this to be a proverbial band-aid on a huge hole in the head. Why has our relationship with food, and with what our bodies REALLY need gotten so totally lost and mangled.

I'm not mad (well maybe a little mad), I'm just totally afraid and saddened for the generations of kids that seem to be living a life that is less healthy, active, comfortable, and happy than the ones their parents probably got to live.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I recently turned 25 this summer. It was sort of scary for me (as was the birthday before it), because I feel like even though I'm not even close to being old, a lot of my "stupid years" are behind me. When I say "stupid years," I think everyone knows what I mean. There's a select gap in someone's life where drinking cases of beer and running around town playing pranks with your friends is considered relatively normal. These are the years when it's okay for you to drop classes and change your college major, and it's okay to have four different boyfriends over the course of your sophomore year.

Then you graduate. You get a job (hopefully). You start paying back all of your college loans at ridiculously high interest rates. You try to get your own place and buy some household supplies that aren't a Pizzaz or a beer pong table. You start traveling a little bit if you can afford it.

You're supposed to be becoming an adult. This can be super scary/unappealing for multiple reasons, but here is just a list of things that I love and hate about turning 25:

- I love being done with college. As much as I really enjoyed a lot of my classes, my friends, the relatively care-free schedule, I do not miss being at school and working a full-time job while trying to maintain some sort of social life. It was exhausting being that busy and poor.
-I love paying off all of the debt I accrued. I remember laying awake at night in college imagining my debt going up with compounded interest by the second. I would stare at the ceiling and PRAY that I would be able to pay my loans off before I turned 80 years old.
-I hate people pitying me for not being married with two kids already.
-I love people for respecting me that I made a decision to wait until I finished school, saved and paid off some debt, traveled and did some things for myself, met the right guy, enjoyed time with the right guy, AND then moved onto that phase of my life.
-I love have weekends off.
-I hate paying "big people" bills
-I love owning all of my own stuff, and really accumulating adult things
-I hate that I didn't work out more in college
-I hate working out now
-I hate that I'm supposed to eat like "an adult"
-I love having a 401k and health insurance
-I hate feeling like some of my adventures are going to take a backseat to being responsible the way I'm supposed to be
-I hate living with my parents because it makes me feel like huge baby
-I love living with my parents because I save a butt-ton of money and I get to spend more time with them

That's a pretty good list I think....I feel very torn about my current state of life. I feel very lucky about my current state of life. I feel very unsatisfied at times with my current state of life.

I feel like all of this defines being a 25 year old in my generation.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Soaking it up

I wanted something this summer. I felt restless. I kept thinking I knew exactly what it was I needed, but I was never right with conclusions I dreamt up. Everything felt far away from the real reason I was so disinterested and lathargic to every entertainment being thrown my way that normally made me distracted and content.

And then finally - I figured it out. I was doing everything half-way. I was lying to myself about all of the things I thought I was satisfied with, even when I wasn't satisfied at all. The idea of having everything everyone else had, seemed like enough to make me happy. But, I hadn't been listening to myself. Not at all. I hadn't been pushing myself to seek out, to learn, to take care, to nurture, to listen to my inner wants and desires, to breathe in deeper, to taste that food I'd always thought looked interesting, to go run through that sprinkler in someone's yard when I knew it would mess up my hair and make-up. To accept some things I could never change and start jumping on the things I could change.

I'd been hiding from all of this - and I have no idea why.

But I'm not going to hide from it anymore. I'm not going to keep being a separate and totally inactive portion of the life and world that is going on around me. There are things I see and experience everyday that I need to absorb.

I'm going to start absorbing. I'm going to start trying. I'm going to start exploring. I'm going to start challenging myself, and everyone around me. I'm going to start soaking every beautiful, sincere, authentic thing up. Because otherwise - what the hell am I doing here?

A few days ago I went to an old abandoned shop that I'd driven past a hundred times in my life. It has one long, rectangular window in the front, and from the road you can tell that there are items sitting on shelves directly behind it. I've always wondered what was  behind this window - and then that afternoon I asked myself "Why have I not just gone and looked inside? What is the worst that could happen?"

So I did - I took my mother and we went and looked through the window. And you know what? It was darling. There were brass trinkets, necklaces, old collectibles...and the best part was that it was all sitting in there undisturbed. It was very cool. It was better than I'd expected it would be.

Here's to things being better than you expect them to be, and daily challenging yourself to explore.