The spring semester is in full swing for me—so far so good. With the Martin Luther King holiday this past Monday, I haven’t even had a full two weeks of school.  Ask me in a month how it’s really going, as it’s kind of hard to tell right now.

One of the things I struggled with when I went back to school was meal planning and making sure I was eating right.  It’s easy to get caught up in cafeteria food for breakfast and lunch and then do take-out or prepackaged processed garbage for dinners for the family.  It’s a vicious cycle when dealing with crazy schedules for all of us and we are just trying to get through every day without losing our minds.

Around Christmas, I became frustrated with myself.  I’d put on 10 pounds since I started school in the fall of 2011 and even then, I’d wanted to lose a few.  There I was on Christmas, really irritated that my wedding rings and jeans were really tight.  On December 27, I contemplated re-joining Weight Watchers.  I’m a Lifetime member, meaning and I reached and maintained my goal at one point.  My frustration with WW is the push for their processed low point foods.  I realize it’s a business, but the push for that stuff by certain leaders always bothered me.  When I did lose and maintain, it was with a leader who wanted her members to eat real foods.  I decided instead to use My Fitness Pal to log my calories and really try to learn more about nutrition and health and not just focus on “getting the most bang for my buck” in terms of calories.  It was going to be a challenge, but I really wanted to educate myself on this.

My husband and I watched the documentary Hungry for Change on Netflix over that weekend.  What an eye-opener!  We realized then that we needed to eat cleaner, more wholesome foods and also educate our children on this, as well.

Since then, I’ve lost almost 8 pounds.  My husband has lost about 10.  I’ve incorporated exercise back in to my life.  I had pretty much stopped exercising when I started school last year, despite a love of spinning.  My back started bothering me when I went back to school from carrying a way-too-heavy messenger bag and one of my joints near my hip was messed up for a while. I’ve been exercising regularly without pain and I feel good.  We’ve really changed the way we eat and changed how we shop for food.  We read ingredient labels now.  I had no idea that there was high fructose corn syrup in the supposedly whole wheat bread we’d been buying for years.  Ick.

We’ve made some positive changes.  It’s a challenge to fit everything in, but help in Texas is what we need to do in order to maintain our health and embrace an overall sense of well-being.  After all, life can’t be just about working hard.

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