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My Diet Story

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When I was younger, I was what doctors would call an ectomorph, or thin-boned. I was small, almost Tinkerbell tiny, with the chicken legs to prove it. Growing up I was always somewhat of an adventurous eater—I would eat most anything, but only in small portions. I was often told I ate like a bird. When I was younger, I always enjoyed the fact that I felt like I could eat anything and instantly burn it up. I thought I had the metabolism of a hummingbird. It often was hard to find clothes that fit me at the stores—I usually had to have them altered to fit.

Of course in college I survived on fast food. But as soon as I had a little money after graduating from college, I loved to go to the local fresh market where I tried very hard to not purchase pre-packaged foods, and instead focused on fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit. I enjoyed eating this way, but often ended up throwing out unused produce. I have always been relatively active, either with sports or exercising at the gym or home.

As I have aged, my weight has crept up. My doctor has wondered if my thyroid could be malfunctioning, but tests always come back negative. I have realized that as I continue to age, I will need to work harder to maintain my petite size. My hummingbird metabolism has been flying away.

Childbearing hasn’t helped much; I had a tough time getting the baby weight off after delivering my first son, so during the next pregnancy, I vowed to practice better nutrition. I cut back on the Doritos and ice cream. I practiced yoga almost the whole pregnancy. I felt good, and didn’t experience as much tiredness as with the first.

Post-partum, I continued to try to eat well. I slowly got back to doing harder work outs regularly. I dropped the weight easier than the first time, and found that just a few months post-partum, I was back to my pre-baby weight. I wanted to go farther and get back to where I was when I got married. Any parent knows, though, what a snack cabinet is to a 2 and 4-year-old. We are inundated with goldfish crackers and granola bars. We try and keep it relatively healthy for our boys, but they're kids and have their own tastes.

So here we are. If everyone could eat what they wanted and never have to be concerned about their weight, we wouldn’t need to talk about our ongoing nutrition and exercise battles with ourselves. Personally, I don’t believe in restrictive "fad" diets. I believe in sound nutrition, and moderation when it comes to what I eat and drink. I believe if I need to lose weight, I need to modify my lifestyle and make good choices to get to where I want to be. I accept my shortcomings that way and forgive myself the random Oreo cookie.

So now, teetering between my 30s and 40s, I work out as regularly as I can, and I do charity races whenever I can. I subscribe to an organic produce delivery service, and I use or freeze almost everything before it goes bad. I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to prepare food, and enjoy when I can create in the kitchen. I love starting with a recipe and making it my own through improvisation—sometimes it works better than other times. I am happy to have friends close by who will try things I make, since I live with three non-adventurous “meat and potato” eaters.

Through my work with EmpowHER, I have been blessed to have my health at the front-and-center of my thoughts instead of running third behind everyone else’s needs. I know one of the best things I can do for my family is take care of myself so I’m here and active as the years pass.

I started a Diet group to discuss topics of interest related to nutrition and being fit. It's about taking care of yourself from the inside. It's amazing how good nutrition and being fit can affect your overall health. I hope you’ll take the journey of your own health with me and other EmpowHER members. Participate with links, articles, comments, questions, and whatever else you think may interest others. Check it out! https://www.empowher.com/groups/diet

If you are looking for a gathering of like-minded support in any area, check out www.empowher.com/groups and find the Group that is right for you.

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Very sound advice, Christine.

August 3, 2010 - 6:59pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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