I have been thinking a lot about my mom lately because of some struggles I am going through, but also because of different YouTube videos I have seen on parenting lately. The videos on parenting reminded me just how much we did not get along when I was a kid. She just didn’t understand me and my husband can now sympathize with her 🙂 The only person who really understood me when I was a kid was my dad and I always thought I was just like him. I even look exactly like his sister, my aunt. As I became an adult I realized I had more of my mom in me than I knew.
My mom and I started waking up to the problem with health and food about the same time. She became vegan and lessened her sugar intake considerably at the same time I dove head first into juicing and a detox diet. I loved being able to share this part of my life with her, because, even though we didn’t see things exactly the same we were headed in the same direction. I always hear people ask questions about how to deal with their family and I feel so blessed because I was able to share my obsession with health with my mom.
Now, five years later, we are both dealing with different struggles relating to healthy eating. Even though our struggles are different I still feel so connected with her. I have again been going through depression and I have moved past the dark days, so I feel more comfortable sharing, but I am not going to share everything just yet. My depression is always made worse through my thoughts on body image. Body image never causes the depression, but compounds the darkness.
When I was a kid I was always heavier than everyone around me, but I was so competitive I never thought to cut back on how much I was eating. People would praise my sister about eating so much and I wanted to be praised too so I ate a lot. As I went through my preteen and teen years my mom was always the beautiful, thin mom. She was the one wearing very short shorts to pick us up from school and going to a Christian school, we were not allowed to wear shorts any shorter than three inches above the knee 🙂 My mom also helped me to go on diets in high school. I remember drinking slim fast and eating packaged fruit cups and salad for a month. Then eating this raw food called pulse, which was actually very healthy. Then doing the South Beach Diet. She is a fitness instructor so I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning and go to the gym before school and she would go to the aerobics class with me. I never could lose the weight and I never was as skinny. I felt I would never be able to look like her, I would never be thin enough.
Then I found juicing and I did it! I reached the “goal” and kept going, because, of course I still wasn’t thin enough. I also got a new job, moved closer into the city and started a master’s degree. Suddenly my stress levels skyrocketed and my weight started coming back on no matter how much raw food and juice cleanses I did. I remember complaining to my mom and she said the best thing she could have said and I remember it all the time now. She said “Maybe your body wants to be that weight, maybe that’s what your body needs.” Of course I vehemently answered “I won’t accept that, I can’t accept that!” and forgot all about the comment.
Through my last depression I realized I have some issues with perfectionism, which would surprise anyone who knew me as a child. But what spiraled my depression is not feeling like I was enough. I wasn’t good enough as a teacher, as a wife, I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t healthy enough. I didn’t feel like I was enough. I have since learned that I am enough and I don’t have to be perfect and what my mom said to me, about five years ago now is stuck in my head, just like she is saying “you are enough and your body is smart, listen.”
I have realized that skinny doesn’t mean healthy. Even though I am not super thin, I have one of the healthiest bodies I know. I am learning that thin doesn’t mean much and there are so many bodies and so many sizes and shapes. Everyone is different and everyone is beautiful. Thin is not healthy and fat is not unhealthy. My mom is struggling with some health issues and right now she is water fasting. Not to lose weight, she is beautiful and smart and focused, and she wants to be healthy. There are so many things in our lives that we do to ourselves and we don’t realize how much it is hurting us and sooner or later our bodies let us know.
Mom, thank you for teaching me. Thank you for telling me that I am enough. I know you don’t remember some of the things you said that have stuck with me, but you helped to make me the person I am today. I am so excited to keep learning with you through this journey of life!
How to Climb a 14er while eating low sugar and no nuts…What!
Ok, so before I get into everything…I am not suggesting you eat only low sugar foods and no nuts. That is just how I have chosen to eat right now for various reasons, which I will get into later. This is more of an interest travel post 🙂
For those of you who don’t know what a 14er is…a 14er is a mountain that is taller than 14,000 feet above sea level. There are those of us crazy individuals who choose to scale such mountains, take pictures at the top, brag to everyone about our accomplishments, and walk around limping the rest of the week. 14ers are usually more difficult climbs than other mountains and may be very long. The altitude is very high so it is easy to get altitude sickness if you climb too fast. My husband tends to get altitude sickness, which, for him is a headache.
We chose to climb Grays and Torreys, two 14ers which can be climbed on the same day because there is a ‘saddle’ between them which you can walk. So late Saturday afternoon we borrowed my dad’s truck, because we decided our very low clearance Maxima would not make it to the summer trailhead. We arrived at about 10:00 pm, set up the air mattress and sleeping bags in the bed of the truck (very convenient) and slept until the alarm at 3:00 am. By 4 am with bags packed, clothes changed, and flashlights on we crossed the bridge and started up the trail.
Now, I do not eat at 4 in the morning so we had to take our food with us. I am eating low sugar and no nuts so this is an interesting eating adventure to take hiking. While my husband is eating apples, grapes, dates, and salty trail mix I am snacking on other (very water rich and not happy for above tree line and lots of people) foods.
Low Sugar, No Nuts 14er Food Recipe
2 9.5 oz bottles of coconut water
2 packages micro or macro greens
4 6 oz packages blueberries (washed and in a ziplock bag)
4 pints cherry tomatoes (washed and in a ziplock bag)
1 jicama washed and cut (optional)
1 kolhrabi washed and cut (optional)
1 small bag sugar free granola or cereal (optional)
Place everything into one backpack with 4 water bottles and fall over from the weight 🙂
I ended up drinking the coconut water with the green powder and eating the blueberries and half the tomatoes. The biggest problem with this food is that there is no place to pee 😦 So we get creative 🙂
We made both summits and started down. As we got off of Torreys and back onto the general trail, my knee started to really hurt. I had to walk super slow and take quite a few breaks. My kind husband finally made me give him the camera bag so he was carrying the water, food bag, and the camera bag and then came the fun part. We had climbed quite a ways down and sat by a sign to rest my knee, as we started walking again little pieces of ice began to pelt us. We walked being pelted with hail the rest of the way down the mountain. I was like “we have to get to the tree line” Yeah, what you don’t realize when you leave in pitch black is that the tree line ends just about when you start climbing.
🙂 All-in-all we had a wonderful time and I would definitely recommend climbing Grays and Torreys. And if you are going to climb get there the night before so you can actually park in the parking lot. This is an extremely popular climb and a very beautiful sunrise.
If you want to see more of my husbands beautiful photos go to salvadorarmendariz.weebly.com