My journey to health and happiness has been long and tedious. I’ve tried many quick-fixes throughout my life, losing and gaining the same countless pounds. I was an emotional eater, suffered from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and was addicted to sweets. Weight gain and hormonal imbalance is very common in women suffering from PCOS. I suffered from migraines and mood swings. I couldn’t walk up and down stairs without getting winded.
I married the love of my life in 1995. He joined the Air Force in 1998. We had our first son in 2000 and our second in 2002. Being a military wife and mother of two boys, I found myself stressed and often felt overwhelmed. Deployments were hard. Moves were stressful. I always worried about being the “new wife” in our squadrons. How would I fit in?
Food was my answer for everything. If I was happy or did well on a project, I rewarded myself with food. If I was sad, angry or depressed, the answer was food (preferably the chocolate variety).
After having two children, I found myself at my heaviest weight of 190 pounds. This was a lot for my 5’3” frame to hold. Looking back, I remember thinking, “I hide my weight well and surely I don’t look THAT heavy.” Then, I looked at pictures and saw what other people saw. I was overweight, out of shape and needed help. Even though I looked happy on the outside, inside I was miserable.
I remember being tired and worn out. I gave lip service to healthy eating and exercise, but it wasn’t until our move to Texas that a light bulb finally went off in my head. I needed to “eat to live, not live to eat.” I needed to start focusing on health and not the number on the scale. I realized that in order to be active and live life to the fullest I had to rethink the foods I was putting into my body. I wanted to become a good role model for my children. My goal became to GET HEALTHY.
About this same time, several friends were doing a cleanse based off of Dr. Alejandro Junger’s book “Clean”. I decided to participate and found myself totally transforming the way I ate. My body began to crave whole foods. I enjoyed exercising. I had more energy and found myself not turning to food for comfort. For the first time as an adult, I felt in control.
I also enlisted the support of a friend who was also on her own journey to health. What had been a struggle due to PCOS and stress became not so insurmountable. I am ecstatic to report that I no longer experience the cravings and emotional eating of my past. I no longer get migraines, my PCOS is under control, and I am truly happy. I now spend my energy on living rather than obsessing over what foods I should be avoiding.
I believe everyone can live the healthy & happy lives they desire and deserve by making simple, positive changes, one step at a time.