I’m trying to be all healthy and active and whatnot

I Read A Lot of Internets

recent thoughts of mine that have made me want to give myself a wedgie

Wedgie-worthy thought #1, while folded over in yoga class: “Squee! My toenail polish matches my yoga mat EXACTLY!”

Wedgie-worthy thought #2, while thinking about meals and groceries for the next few days: “Dammit, I’m out of quinoa.”

Wedgie-worthy thought #3, that I actually uttered out loud yesterday in the car: “I find lately that I’m only comfortable writing prose. Is that pretentious?”

Regarding the first two wedgies, in between episodes of morose navel-gazing, I’ve been working on my health a lot. I’ve become addicted to so-called “healthy living” blogs. I’ve been exercising at least a couple of times a week since March. And I think I’ve reached some sort of peace with food, which is a huge deal.

You’ll notice that a bulk of the links in the left sidebar are for food blogs. This tells you several things about me: that I like to cook and bake, and that food takes up a good portion of my thoughts and energy. This used to manifest itself in a number of bad ways. “Did I eat too much? Did that have too much fat in it? Should I just not eat at all today and tomorrow? To hell with it, I’m just going to eat everything in sight.”

It’s Eating Disorders 101 that people with food/body image issues who feel out of control of their lives tend to focus their control-freak energy on their bodies and this often has disastrous results. It has for me in the past. But this feels…healthier. For the first time that I can remember, I want to be healthy, not just skinny. I’m discovering a lot of joy in eating things that are good for me and it makes my occasional indulgences that much more enjoyable and way less guilt-inducing.

Some of the blogs that I’ve found really inspiring are fANNEtastic food, Kath Eats Real Food, (never home)maker, The Front Burner, and the edible perspective. Clicking on the blog rolls of any of those will take you down a rabbit hole of other, similarly awesome blogs, so check those out when you have a few hours that you can dedicate to reading (and drooling).

Inspired by these bloggers, I’ve been eating oatmeal nearly every day for breakfast for a few months and I’ve got to say that it’s been one of the best things I’ve done for myself. (never home)maker got me hooked on these Chai-Spiced Autumn Oats. I tweaked that formula a little by skipping the apple and peanut butter and replacing them with a banana. Eye-rollingly delicious. edible perspective has me making my own Maple-Roasted Cinnamon Almond Butter, which I put on my oatmeal in the morning. Unfortunately, my last batch didn’t turn out well. I used my smaller food processor which just wasn’t up for the job and ended up with a crumbly paste instead of a butter. Still tasty, though. I just have to be careful about making it when the baby is around since he’s allergic. And The Front Burner has me excited about making my own protein powder mix. I’m still assembling the ingredients, which are a somewhat heavy upfront investment. She also has a fantastic tofu tutorial.

All of those bloggers are also runners, which is also really inspiring to me. Also on my left sidebar, you’ll see my Daily Mile widget that shows what activity I’ve done that day. Yesterday, I got to show off my 3.42 mile run, which is the farthest that I’ve ever run (though there are some quick walking breaks in there, but I don’t claim to be a marathoner), and there’s usually a yoga class sprinkled in there.

I can’t make the economy better. I can’t make someone hire my totally awesome husband, who worked really hard to become an electrical engineer and is so bummed that he can’t break into that industry. I can’t wish away our student debt or our terrible kitchen. But I can take care of myself so that I’m better able to take care of my boys. So that’s what I’ll do.

20 comments to recent thoughts of mine that have made me want to give myself a wedgie

  • So happy to inspire! Thanks so much for linking over and letting me know. :) Glad to hear you’re eating OATMEAL!

  • My friend Andrea writes this one that you might like to read: http://www.foodnotfuss.com/

    The biggest problem I have with trying to eat healthy is the expense, and the ridiculously huge pressure to use up ingredients that I’m not that familiar with. I know how to cook exactly one dish with quinoa. And that’s cool, because it doesn’t go bad. But I can’t really handle recipes that call for 2 tablespoons of goat cheese, because I either have to eat 1 full cup of goat cheese before it goes bad (not cool), or I’m blowing $4 for 2 tablespoons of goat cheese. I just cleaned out the fridge and the pantry tonight and threw out so much fucking food, I want to weep. This is all in an effort to familiarize myself with what was in there, but there was just so much oyster sauce and chili-garlic sauce and stuff that had expired. I just don’t know, as a single person who doesn’t have that much time to cook, how to make groceries work for me. I get stressed when it looks like the nachos might run out before the salsa, and vice versa.

    This is a big rant. I don’t expect you to have the answers.

    • @Sara, hey, I’ve totally been there. I went through a pretty long bout of growing pains when I was trying to move away from boxed, processed food to fresh stuff and then from fresh stuff to more healthy fresh stuff, especially since I don’t have much time to cook, either. I think it’s important to make it a slow transition. Find one thing that you can tackle, like breakfast, and slowly work out how you can make it healthier in a way that works for you. Experiment, take notes, and once you’ve figured out what works for you and have comfortably adjusted your routine to it, then move on to something else.

  • rachelraven

    Running just about killed me recently. My body rejects it; however, now that I know I have a short leg and I’ve got my insert, anything is possible. But honestly, I think I’ll stick to distance fast walking… and yoga. :)

    Quinoa ALSO almost killed me recently. Girl with no large bowel + quinoa = near bathroom disaster. That stuff turns into gummy PLUGS. I almost had a stroke trying to rid myself of that evil.

    And I wish I liked oatmeal, but it’s the *texture* I can’t take. Add in there any other hot cereal, too: Farina, Cream of Wheat, polenta, anything mushy. Makes me gaggy. Hubby eats oatmeal almost daily, too, but he eats his with cottage cheese and Sun Crystals. Blech.

  • KBO

    Hey bud, I know we usually only talk about UTI’s and terrible television, but I’m obsessed with food. We should talk about it sometimes.

    I really love oatmeal, and I REALLY love steel-cut oatmeal, but you have to make a big batch and then reheat it because it takes, like, a half hour. Who can spend a half hour making breakfast on a weekday? Not I. I sometimes just eat it with milk, or sometimes with a spoonful of peanut butter, or sometimes a few oreos, or sometimes some jelly. Whatever I have. Yum. I want to make some now.

    • @KBO, Oh god. I love steel-cut oatmeal. I use Alton Brown’s recipe when I make it and, yeah, it’s usually a weekend or night-before affair but SO worth it. I eat it with a tablespoon of grade B maple syrup, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and crushed pecans.

    • @KBO, I am always up for talking about food. It might still be considered unhealthy that it takes up at least 50% of my thoughts, but whatevs.

      I love steel-cut oatmeal. And I’ve realized that I just don’t like rolled oats unless they’re baked into something else. As a breakfast item, they can step aside. This morning, I had some AWESOME steel-cut oatmeal (I make a big batch and refrigerate it in portion sizes, then heat it up in the morning) with a chopped up nectarine, because I like to get some fruit in the morning, the vanilla chai-spiced honey, and the maple-roasted cinnamon almond butter, which I stirred in when the oatmeal was hot so that it went from crumbly pasty to creamy. My eyes rolled back in my head, it was so good.

  • you’re wedgie worthy thoughts crack me up

    but this: “But I can take care of myself so that I’m better able to take care of my boys. So that’s what I’ll do.” is really worth holding on to.

    There is so much that is out of my control in my life right now – I’m in the same boat.

  • You inspired me to run, so there you go.

  • I swear, Kel, some day Ty Pennington’s gotta get in that house and give you the kitchen you deserve. No one who likes to cook as much as you do should have to deal with no counters.

  • Rebecca M

    I just wanted to let you know that my husband works at a nuclear power plant just north of PGH and they are always hiring electricial engineers. If your husband wants to apply, let me know and I can have my husband find out who to send the resume and whatnot to.

  • Maureen

    You’re inspiring. I’d totally love to hear how to juggle the mom stuff, working full-time, and being healthy/exercising. That juggle is difficult for me, and it always looks as if everyone else does it effortlessly. Does it get any easier when your kids are older?

    • @Maureen, thanks! I imagine it’s slightly easier because I only have one kid and he is older. Being able to leave things like eating and dressing to him save minutes and energy that definitely add up. And I’m fortunate that my employer is okay with me exercising in the middle of the day, though I do want to work on running in the mornings before work so that it’s out of the way. But it’s important to remember that, as human beings, we’re more eager to share our triumphs than our failures. I fail at my healthier living efforts constantly, and perhaps the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is to not demand perfection from myself in that area.

      • Maureen

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that it looks “effortless” for you. In fact, I like how you give readers a balanced view of everything–the good and the bad. Anyway, thanks for the perspective from another mom who works outside the home.

  • I’m so glad you’re enjoying and feeling inspired by my blog! :) Congrats on the 3.42 miler – that’s awesome!

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