We don’t put ourselves first
Other things are more important
We say we will “start Monday”
We are too busy
“Just this once” turns into every day
I have been there
And I will NEVER go back there
Hello. Thank you for reading… If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I do a lot of meal prep to stay on track. Why? Because of all the stuff above and more…. Let me tell you my story.
Growing up, and for most of my 20s I was active and ate healthy. I grew up on a farm and was a comparative swimmer. We at the food from our garden and cattle farm. We were not taught nutrition, but without knowing it I ate high quality food. Plus, I was young and active so my metabolism was amazing!
At 17 I joined the military and 19 I was deployed. Working out was a stress reliever for me while deployed. I learned to weight train and the old “bro style” diet. I maintained this lifestyle for a few years, and when I left the military I decided to major in Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise at Virginia Tech. I wanted to help people with nutrition and exercise. I had an excellent education, and learned how to fuel my body properly.
After graduation I was deployed again.
After returning home in 2011, I moved to Washington DC and go my first real office job. This was a job outside of the health and fitness world. Slowly my lifestyle became more sedentary. Oh, I still worked out, but I also ate out…. A lot. I loved exploring DC and the different restaurants. DC also has a wonderful happy hour culture.
In December 2013 I was hit by a car while out on my morning run.
I was of course, forced to take some time off from the gym… but not from food.
Then I turned 30 (it is real what they say about your metabolism in your 30s!)
After getting back to running, I broke my foot in the fall of 2014. Again, I took time off, but didn’t adjust my eating habits. If anything my eating habits were worse because I was using food and alcohol as coping mechanisms.
And started a master’s program
And a shakeup happened at work and my job became more and more stressful
And I was drinking too much, eating crappy food, and staying out too late
Before I knew it, I was about 30 pounds overweight, I wasn’t working out regularly or in the way I needed to, and none of my clothes fit.
Then my unit was called up for another deployment. This time to Kuwait and it would not be a combat deployment.
I didn’t want to deploy. And if I had a choice, I probably would not have gone. I thought I had it all together. I thought I loved my job and my life in DC. I didn’t even realize it was slowly killing me.
But I am so THANKFUL I deploy. The deployment gave me perspective. I devoted the year to myself (and of course the mission!). I got myself back in the gym, started tracking my food, and re-learned the ins and outs of nutrition. I listened to podcast, I watched YouTube videos, I read up on exercise, I became semi-obsessed. Outside of exercise and nutrition, I also invested time and money in my self-development. I read books, I got enough sleep, and I meditated. That year changed my life.
Now… I am fighting to hang on to those changes NO MATTER WHAT ‘LIFE’ HAPPENS TO ME.
I make myself a priority.
As a result I am
And a Good Example for Others in My Life
I take time to meal plan and prep every week… or if really don’t have time, I order meals that fit my needs so I have them on hand. I plan my workouts and always have a goal in mind (a race, a weight to lift, some endurance challenge, etc.). I surround myself with people who support my goals and are like minded (both in person an online).
Hopefully, I inspire you to do the same.
I have decided to open myself up to allow others to follow this journey of mine. I am not perfect. Sometimes I still have cereal and wine for dinner after a hard day. Or I order a pizza during exam studying. And of course, I still enjoy the occasional happy hour or boozy brunch with friends. But I don’t let that derail all the hard work I have done. I realize one meal is one meal, and one day is one day. I get right back on track. I deal with the stress in my life appropriately and move on after a setback.
We might not all be able to deploy…. But we can all get perspective in our lives. We can all put ourselves first.
WE CAN ALL MAKE OURSELVES A PRIORITY!