I’ve been posting quite a bit lately about a book I’m reading. It’s called Big Girls Do It Running by Jasinda Wilder, and it’s created a pretty big buzz in the indie community. Jasinda has changed her lifestyle and possibly changed her family’s life.
The book is great, and I’ve enjoyed it. Jasinda tells her story honestly and openly, and she shares what has worked for her, for her family and for her beta team of the Wilder Way. There’s a story, an explanation, a plan and recipes. It’s well-laid out and easy to understand and follow!
But I have had a few people message me and say, “Uhhh . . . why are you reading this book? You’re not heavy. You don’t need to lose weight!” While I appreciate the sentiment, I think this misses the point. And it’s made me think about my own journey.
(This is long. Sorry, but I’m a storyteller, and this is part of my story.)
Food has never been important to me. I was a picky eater as a kid, and it didn’t improve much as I got older. My mom, a true housewife of the 1970’s, had embraced the convenience food culture, and we rarely saw food that wasn’t pre-packaged or canned or frozen. If it could be made in the microwave, so much the better. I survived on peanut butter and Pop Tarts, mostly, until I went to college, at which point I began to expand my palate. A bit.
But before that happened, I had struggled with an eating disorder while I was in high school. I had never been heavy–okay, I was a chunky baby, and I had a little baby fat until I was four or five. But beyond that, I was pretty average. In high school, though, I had several experiences that caused me to feel out of control in my life, and that resulted in anorexia. I stopped eating, which wasn’t that big a sacrifice anyway. Controlling my weight was a way of controlling my life, or so it seemed.
Happily, I had parents who watched out for me and got me help. I met my husband during my senior year in high school, and he never made me feel anything less than beautiful, smart and fabulous! I eventually had four wonderful children, and even though I gained sixty pounds or more each time, I lost the weight right away. I was almost always on the underweight side of the charts.
To this day, weight is still not my issue. But health is.
I lost both of my parents within a year of each other when they were 63 years old. Both died of blood cancers, even though cancer didn’t run in our family. But it was a wake-up call to me that I needed to be prepared, to keep my body as healthy as possible so that if something happened, if cancer or some other disease struck, I’d be in the best shape to fight it.
We moved to Florida the month after my mother died. We made a whole new circle of friends, and among them were people who had this wild and wacky way of eating. They shared with us their research, their methodology and a way to make it work for us. We embraced whole foods, fruits, veggies . . . crazy things like kefir grains and komboucha. We bought a half a cow to have grass-fed beef. We found out we liked this way of living.
My family has changed its way of eating dramatically over the past eight years. We’ve studied and researched and experimented. We eat as much organic as we can. We prefer vegetables and grass-fed meat. We don’t do processed if we can help it.
We’ve cut back on sugar, replaced much of it with honey–but we haven’t cut it out entirely. And here is one place where Jasinda’s book was another nudge. We know it–but now we need to DO it.
I’ve also noticed that since I’ve become an author, my life is more sedentary. I used to be on my feet almost all the time. Now, I’m at the laptop at least 70% of my day. Exercise happens . . . on occasion. Not as frequently as it should, even though I know how great it makes me feel. I have all the excuses, but I also know the truth. Time to make it happen! (More on THAT next Wednesday!)
Monday starts the Wilder Way challenge, and I’m excited. I’ve finished the book, and my family is on board. Some of the changes won’t be that hard for us. Others will be. But we’re doing this as another step on our journey toward better health, taking control of our bodies and choosing a more active way of life.
I’m going to chronicle my journey over these next eight weeks right here, every Wednesday. We’ll call it Wilder Way Wednesday! I’d love to hear if you’re participating, too, and how you’re doing. We’re in this together, right? I’ll be there for you. And I’d love your encouragement!