Life is a journey and we all are on one. Some of us are on a journey of self discovery and some of us are on a journey of self destruction. I have been on both. The difference for me is rather simple and comes down to whether I actively work for my goals or whether I just sit back and wait for things to happen. Nothing can change unless we actively try something new and different. I have heard people say this all my life but I will openly admit to not understanding it and believing that life gave me the raw end of the stick most of the time. I sat around believing that there was nothing I could do to change things, I felt as if I had no control over my life. This thinking was especially true in regards to my weight, size, and health.
As I tried to decide where and how to start this blog I kept contemplating at what point my journey starts to be the most significant or important for others to hear. Today sitting at a doctors appointment with my son I realized that there is no starting point and that I truly just have to start writing and sharing. I have wanted to start this blog for a long time and have planned and planned but never felt the plan was right so I continued to wait. No more waiting. I am here to share a story. A story of trial and error. A story of emotional highs and lows with victories and defeats. It will most likely be about me, my faith, my family, and how I approach daily life to be the healthiest and fittest 38 year old mom and wife possible. I guarantee that I will often “squirrel” off into a random direction. The thing is though that I believe I have a lot to share that people, especially women, will be able to relate to and learn from. Maybe I am right, maybe I am so very wrong, either way I have to try so here is my first blog post because today I find I have a lot to say!!
Today I want everyone who reads this post to think about labels. Labels are everywhere and on almost everything. The basic idea behind labels is to give us an idea of what is inside of the “package”, makes sense right? But if we are all being honest how often do we really read the fine print of labels? I personally know for me it depends on what matters to me about the product or item I am trying to get. What is it that I want this item to provide and will it do that. The discussion over labels is primarily about food. I am sure we can all agree we know we are suppose to read our food labels to know if we are getting the right amount of nutrients and if it is low in fat or too high in sugars. Do you know what is truly important to look for on the label or do you end up getting the one that just says “low in fat” or “no added sugar” and call it good?
I am raising my hand and telling you all that I have been the mom who bought the juice that said no added sugar and felt I was being healthier for my kids. I am the dieter who went fat free thinking I would solve all my issues. It is no surprise that this happens because much of the world around us wants to get the biggest return on the smallest investment. This is seen in so many ways…
“I want to get stronger but don’t want to go to the gym”
“I want to get rich but don’t want to work and if I do can it only be part time?”
“I want to get in to college but I don’t want to do my homework”
“I want to eat healthier but it is too much work to cook and prep all my meals so give me another way”
and on, and on, and on….
There is no “easy” way! No secret fix! Truth being told even if a quick fix works, it only works for awhile. Nothing lasts forever without continued effort, continued investment, continued maintenance, and continued desire.
My son has recently acquired a new label and it is the diagnosis of ADHD. He hates this label and honestly so do I. I have fought against this label for him for well 11 years and because of that I have probably made his life tougher. I fought against reading food labels too. I fought against putting in the work to have the body I wanted. I fought these things because somewhere inside of me I didn’t want to have to be different than the person next to me who looked like it was easy and it all came so natural to them. I didn’t want my son to be different. I just wanted to be skinny, it wasn’t fair that I couldn’t eat ice cream every night before bed like my friends. They were skinny and doing it so I should be too!
Today I pray that everyone stops and thinks about labels. What labels are you fighting against? What labels are you ignoring or just not giving the attention that is needed? A year ago I spent an afternoon at Costco with my husband and we read every label for every food item we normally would buy and about 90% of those items where placed back on the shelf. I learned to find the labels with the fewest ingredients because they are the healthiest for me. I learned to get the foods with one label like apple, banana, carrots, and celery. Sounds simple and easy but it has been a struggle and work. Every single day I make a choices that affect my health and fitness both good and bad and it all starts with the labels I choose to accept.
Today as my son battled with his new label my heart struggled on how to help him because he felt he was broken and that if he too came with a printed label the fine print should read stupid and lazy. Both of which he is not true, his fine print should actually say a child of superior intelligence and intuitive thinking! The thing is thought the perception of ADHD label is inaccurate and we have to look deeper to know more.
Please take the time to look at the labels of your life. Start to read more, learn more, and go deeper to understand. I started with my food labels and learned that my choices were ultimately poisoning my body and holding me back from the healthy life I desired. Now a year later I know that no label is as it seems and we must understand them to use them correctly in our lives. My son has ADHD, I have ADHD, we are both on medication. I am not ashamed of this and I don’t want him to be either. We are different but we are amazing and we have so much to offer to the people we love and who join us on our journey. Break down all the little pieces of the labels of your life from food to personality and put in the time and effort to find the healthiest life for you because I promise it will also be your happiest life.