7 Jun 2012
We had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Morrison through twitter and appreciated her approach to food and activity. We asked her to share her story with our readers and while this isn’t technically a weight loss story, it is a story of refocusing and renewal through improved eating and exercise to which maintainers and those involved in weight loss can relate.
Although I have been a runner off and on through most of my life, it wasn’t until last year that I decided to really take my running to the next level. My youngest son was about to turn one, and I was ready to start focusing on my fitness again. I entered a few races and was encouraged by my results, so I decided to hire a running coach.
I am a pretty competitive person, so my newfound focus on racing has helped me indulge this side of myself. Running a race gives me a sense of accomplishment and increased self-confidence. I am learning that I can push myself farther than I ever thought I could—a feeling that has transferred to many other parts of my life.
Aside from keeping me in great physical shape, running is my therapy—it’s the way that I manage to stay sane in my sometimes chaotic life with two active young boys! It’s a little slice of my day that belongs to just me, when I get to zone out and just focus on myself. I have made this time in my day a priority, an appointment I schedule for myself almost every day.
Around the same time I started to refocus on running and racing, I began to pay more attention to what I was putting into my body. I don’t know why everything seemed to “click” at the same time, but it did. I realized that the food that I ate was fuel for my body, and the higher the quality of fuel, the better the results. I didn’t have a horrible diet before this revelation, but I knew that there was definitely room for improvement.
Snacks were often packaged and things were convenient, but probably not the most nutritious options. When I started switching to a whole food, plant-based diet, snacks became a lot healthier. I started the day off with a protein shake made with vegetable protein powder, berries, a banana, and some baby spinach. Snacks were fruits, homemade trail mix, or energy bars. I began sneaking in vegetables wherever I could.
I also strive to choose organic and non-GMO foods whenever they are available. I feel better knowing that the foods I feed my family are sustainable and free from harmful pesticides. My children love to come grocery shopping and learn about the foods they are eating. They are also active participants in dinner preparation. When they help cook meals, they are very excited to enjoy them—veggies and all!
The benefits of the dietary and fitness lifestyle changes have been tremendous. I have more energy. I am sleeping better and recovering better from workouts. Everything is finally falling into place!
Jessica blogs at 30 Something Mother Runner–when she’s not busy chasing after her two young boys! You can also find her on Twitter at @rhodymomrunner.