My Biggest Health Mistake: A personal confession

The title sounds like strong words to me, but everyday I have to face the fact that I made a huge health mistake. I receive a daily reminder when I look into the mirror and see my big belly. After 6 weeks of giving birth I should have began my exercise regiment again. I should have started doing crunches, sucking in my tummy, or wearing a belly band.

Although my belly is unflattering to me, because my frame is petite and it is very noticeable. I was really hurt when I went to an amusement park and the ride was stalled because one of the workers was debating whether or not to ask me if I were pregnant. Loudly, one of my family members laughed and said, “No” she just had twins. I laughed too, but cried inside because it had been months and months since I had given birth. The days of fitted tops are long gone for me. And other tops that are too lose give the allusion that I just may be about 5 months preggo.

If I knew, the outcome would have been like this I would have exercised faithfully. Instead, I took my small frame for granted and thought I would automatically bounce back like the rest of my family members who had children.  The only problem and difference between other moms in my family and me is that I eat healthy, but I eat really large portion sizes–enough to satisfy a cow. Now, that it has caught up with me, I have started exercising but the rode to a slimmer tummy is a long one.

I also need to develop an even healthier food plan. I currently tell myself that I eat healthy by being a vegetarian, but I need to change the way I snack and fill-up on food by doing the following:

  1. Leave the chips and dip alone. It would be OK if I didn’t go overboard, but the saltier the tastier, and the more dip the better. Comfort food is great, but the entire container is ridiculous.
  2. Stop stuffing my face with wheat and multi-grain bread. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean that it should be consumed without some restraint.
  3. Cut back on all processed foods and eat food in it’s natural state. Moderation is key.
  4. Don’t skip breakfast and make sure my breakfast is the largest meal of my day.  This is especially important for me because it takes a lot of food to satisfy my hunger. If I eat a complete meal in the morning and not just a few small items it would help sustain my body’s hunger throughout the day.
  5. Stay away from juice. I personally need to drink more water and although I am not guilty of drinking soda, I don’t get enough water intake. If I don’t want water, I could always try a variety of herbal tea blends.
  6. Plan my meals better. If I know what’s on the menu, I probably won’t prepare the first thing that comes to mind.
  7. Exercise regularly, more than once a week.  I need to shoot for at least 4 days a week, but that is rather ambitious for me.

I’d love to hear about your own journey, so please feel free to comment.

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  • I totally understand! My girls are 5 months old and while I can still get away with saying I “just” had twins, I should have started exercising and eating well from 6-8 weeks on too. . .and I didn’t. And now I am playing catch up, trying anything I can to get back down to a size that doesn’t make me look like I’m either pregnant or recently post partum. i was hoping since my girls were my first that I would go right back down to size too, but that just didn’t happen. And don’t even ask me what the scale says! Sure, I put on 70 lbs when I was pregnant, but I’ve only managed to take about 50 off, and I am working SO hard at it!
    Hang in there momma! And thanks for blogging about it!

    • elle

      Thanks Megan for commenting, your encouragement means a lot. I also hope and wish you the best in your own journey. I hope to start posting some of my exercise regiments soon and my progress. Thanks for stopping by, I am about to head over to your blog.

  • I love this post! I am your newest follower!

    • elle

      Thanks so much for following. I visited your blog and your life’s experiences sound very interesting. Thanks again for stopping by my site.

  • Montse

    I totally understand. 2 weeks after I had my c-section I lost 60 pounds! Totally happy since it was double what I had gained during my pregnancy with my twins. I keep saying to myself that I would not gain a pound, but 2 years later I’m fatter than ever, exhausted and can’t keep with the exercise. My eating habits are a mess. I wakw up and attend everyone at home but me, I don’t get to eat or drink anything until I’m sitting at the table eating LUNCH with my twins. I’m eating lots of junk and my anxiety is way up. I really want to loose wait but no clue to even how to start. And the worst part is, I see depression right around the corner because of this, or maybe I’m there and not willing to accept it yet.

    • Thanks for visiting, I feel like I have known you for years. I know what you are saying all too well. Yesterday, I wrote a post about women’s health and I wrote it because I needed to remember to add my own health to the equation. http://cleverlychanging.com/2012/04/wo/

      Of course, we both love our kids and our husbands so it is important for us to spend time taking care of ourselves as well (I am sure it is easier said than done). My greatest desire is to be the best Mom and wife I can be for my family. Last year my husband and I had a talk about my unhealthy habits and it hurt me, but it took him to have that conversation with me for me to make some changes. I wrote this particular post last year and I will share with you the changes that I made.

      1. I get up early, I wake up and get up when my husband gets up for work. This gives me a chance to shower, have devotion on my own, eat breakfast and do some work before my kids wake up. It also gives us a chance to spend a few moments together just being around each other without the kids.

      2. When I eat breakfast in the morning, I usually go for something quick like oatmeal (not my fav. but it is healthy), cold cereal, or a breakfast sandwich. I prefer to eat leftovers for breakfast because I like regular food more than breakfast food. When I eat leftovers from the night before I eat a larger portion which helps sustain me throughout the day. Lunch and Dinner are usually smaller for me and I eat what the kids eat.

      3. When my husband comes home I take a few minutes to gather myself. LOL, yes seriously I take a few minutes (probably more like 1hr or 30 minutes) to be alone. I may read or play “words with friends” but I regroup and do activities that I enjoy. My blog also has become an uplifting outlet for me because it feels good to write out my thoughts. Usually, I write my post based on what I am going through. I share quotes that I need to hear, I also write for my church and find and share verses with the congregation that inspire me or cause me to think.

      4. Because I enjoy writing, I write down everything that I need to get done. In my house we have a white erasable board in the kitchen. My husband use to use it more than I did, but he writes his to-do list, and then he started writing things for me to do as well. Now I take the initiative to write the things I need to do myself, but he encouraged me. I don’t usually get everything done in a day, but gradually I am able to check things off of my list. I recommend doing something similar and at the top putting something encouraging on it like a quote, you can write one thing that you like about yourself at the top as well, and a message of love to your husband.

      5. I came up with some goals and started getting to know other people. I’m actually an introvert, I have many extroverted qualities but I’m reserved so I have to make an effort to get to know other people. One of my friends and I visit with each other once a week to have a play-date with our kids. We talk about adult things and I kids play and sometimes we do crafts together. Having her visit is a great outlet for me. I also started getting more involved at church and going to museums and other places on the weekend with my husband as a family. One day during the weekend I try to spend time by myself, not always the entire day but for several hours. My kids are feel to enjoy their dad.

      6. I hate going to the doctor, but I found a doctor that I really love visiting she is great. I see her as my friend. She is also very encouraging, which adds to the positive people that I try to let into my life. I talked to her about the pregnancy weight I had trouble losing and a plan to get in shape. She helped me come up with a plan to tone up. She cared, and didn’t judge me that is what I appreciate about her the most.

      7. At the end of the day, I feel so privileged to be a mom and wife to a beautiful family so I thank God for His blessings. Career wise, I would love to have it all figured out, but as I gain courage to do more and become more involved I am learning what I should do. While I don’t have it all figured out. I feel that I am doing exactly what I need to do at this time. I am learning more and trying to cultivate my talents and remember the things that I am good at. I shared this post, http://cleverlychanging.com/2012/03/parents-you-fulfilled-career/ because it helped me find clarity and contentment. Taking the human metrics test helped me realize that I have already accomplished fulfilling goals in my life through public service. I am considering going back to school to get my Masters and then my doctorate. I will probably get my Masters from a school online and get my doctorate once my kids are in school. I am sharing this with you because there was a time when I feel like I had stopped dreaming for myself. My hope was wrapped up in everyone but me and I didn’t know what I really desired for myself. Through writing I have discovered a new side of myself, the passionate and hopeful side. I would love to change the world and let everyone know that hope can be found, but I know that I can a do a little here and a litter there to be content and share my joy with others and that is what I am try to do.

      You have to find your joy and go for it. Everyday I look forward to connecting with you. You are very caring and thoughtful and you do a wonderful job of making people feel good about themselves. You have helped me, not give up and I appreciate you. I will be reading a new book “Write Down, Make it happen” by Henriette Anne Klauser I am buying a new journal and will be writing my goals down. I am trying to find a way to share this with my blog and I think I will try to do a video diary about what I think about the chapters and how it applies to my life. In fact, I plan to share the first two chapters tomorrow or Wednesday.

      • Montse

        I look forward every day to your posts and tweets. I thank God everyday for your friendship. You’re always so nice and knows exactly what to say to cheer me up.
        I definitely need to start taking some ‘Me Time’, I need it and I don’t get any. Thank you for tips, I’ll start taking the tips you shared. Thank you so much for all your help.
        Big hug!!!!!

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