Every winter, I hibernate, just like a bear. My body is just not made to “do things” in the colder weather, so right after Halloween, I feel myself slowly shutting down. I turn inwards and nest. I cook. I bake. I declutter. I craft. But, I don’t go outside as much as like too (or as much as I should). The only thing that actually gets me outside is the snow, but that’s just because I have kids and snow is a novelty in our parts.
Unfortunately, due to my bear-like behavior, I always (yes, always) put on a few pounds over the span of Halloween through New Year’s Day. Now most people would probably flip out about it, but I just accept it. It’s who I am. I try not to freak out too much over it because I know that I’ll always shed “my winter weight” as soon as spring comes.
But this year, I must have put on a bit more “winter weight” than usual and my kids caught me telling my husband that I had “gotten fat” as I stared at myself in the mirror trying to zip up a pair of work pants. And in our home, calling someone “fat” is a mean thing to do, so my kids yelled at me, “Mommy, you said a BAD word! You’re not fat.” Sadly, I was in a really foul mood, so I grumbled back, “Okay, fine. I’m not fat, but I look fat.”
As soon as I said it, I realized how ridiculous and vain I sounded. I was really disappointed in myself for letting my kids see that my weight could put me in such a foul mood and they saw me pinching my love handles and making faces at myself while I did it. Although I can laugh about it now, it was not a stellar parenting moment of mine – mostly because I don’t want my kids to be weight-obsessed as they grow into young adults.
I am fairly confident that this bothered me way more than it bothered them because my kids know that 98% of the time I truly embrace myself for who I am. I very rarely wear make-up. I eat a pretty healthy arrangement of foods. And, I exercise from spring-fall. 😉 But with so many Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia sites out there, I never want my kids (especially my daughter, although sadly, the number of males with eating disorders is on the rise as well) to think that they’re fat…even if they end up putting on a few pounds here and there like I do.
So, I decided to focus on how I could exercise during the colder months to keep myself staying strong and healthy versus just letting the pounds creep up on the scale each winter. Since I know that I hate going outside when it’s freezing cold out, I asked my husband to buy me some boxing equipment for Christmas and we set up my mini-gym in our basement. (And up until I watched my very first episode of American Horror Story, I was pretty psyched about it, but I haven’t been back down in the basement by myself ever since I saw the creepy baby-thing, so we’ll see what happens next.)
I also know that I am a pretty good cook, and since I have no intentions of giving up food, I decided that I could clean up our pantry instead and focus on eating a clean(er) diet than we have been in the past. But when I went online and googled “Clean Eating” and “Real Food”, I had a full-on panick attack. Many of these Clean Eating / Real Food Groups are very strict, and some of the bloggers and experts can be downright mean towards those of us who are just dipping our pinky toes in the water. So I got frustrated…and cranky. So much so, that I put off making up our weekly meal plan because I just felt too overwhelmed at how many things I needed to toss out in the trash – immediately.
In the midst of my frustration, I came across this post, “Help Me!” at Real Food Girl Unmodified, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Kristine, “a blissfully married, classically French trained cook/chef turned pro-organic, anti-GMO, food hippie” not only tackles the importance of taking it “one step at a time”, but she does so with so much Southern Sass and humor that I immediately fell in love. She also managed to pay homage to Snoop Dogg, in a topic usually reserved for food-snobbery, and that pretty much sealed the deal for me.
As it turns out, I became fast friends with Kristine. She’s nice, funny and sassy, and amazingly, she offered to do a series of Guest Posts for us to help newbies (like Daniele and I) cut through all of the noise about Real Food and learn what it means to eat a Clean(er) diet. Her series with us will focus on:
- If I can only manage a few changes each month, where do I start?
- What are my replacement options (she will kindly walk us through Good, Better, & Best options!)
- What’s more important: organic, pastured, non-GMO, full fat?
My chat with Kristine definitely made me feel better – and I now have more confidence in my family’s attempt to eat a Clean(er) diet. I have no doubt that she will make you feel better too! 🙂
Thanks for reading,
P.S. All images featured in this post are being used with permission from Kristine of Real Food Girl Unmodified.