In all this training I've been putting myself through the past 6 months, I've had to break down several mental barriers. Fitness is probably just as much mental as it is physical. Your body is capable of way more than you have probably ever tried to put it through - it's your mind that holds you back most of the time.
I had expressed hope once that the confidence and drive that I'm finding on my fitness journey would spread into other areas of my seriously stagnant life. I'm perfectly happy with my family, don't get me wrong there. But I dislike our home, I dislike my job.... and just haven't had the drive to do anything about it.
The other day, my boss pretty much asked me if I'd like to be groomed for her position. I work in a surgery center and I'm technically the office manager - but there's not much to manage, really. I do medical billing and coding, patient accounts... I'm THE billing department in total. I like parts of my job, but overall, the healthcare industry leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I just have a skewed view of it all, but making profit off of other people's misfortune feels wrong. Plus, I am not really sure that dealing with personnel issues is my thing.
But still, that's a very real option.
However. There's something else.
Call it my tendency to go all out obsessive over things. This idea has been a little seedling in my brain for a while, but it seems to have grown a lot lately. The subject keeps popping up randomly for me.
I think I'd like to get a degree in Nutrition and work with kids.
Which is kind of funny considering my kids would prefer to eat nothing but candy all day and I have yet to figure out how to clean up their diet and not starve them (and yes, one in particular WILL starve herself - I've worried about her potential for eating disorders for years).
I ran across Jamie Oliver's TED talk the other day, and it just really hit me how strongly I actually do feel about this. It's an interesting watch, if you have the time.
The part where he's asking the kids to identify different types of vegetables and they don't have the slightest clue what a potato is - so eye-opening. So many kids honestly don't know that those french fries they live off of come from something that grows in the ground. Mashed potatoes can come out of something other than a box. I've made it a point the past several times I take the girls to the grocery store to have the girls get my produce for me. Even if they won't eat it yet, they know what a cabbage looks like. They know where to find the zucchini.
I found myself in a discussion with someone about childhood obesity the very next day, just out of the blue. "Feed them off smaller plates." Yes, kids do eat too much, but what about what goes on the plate? You can feed your kid off a saucer, but if it's not full of healthy, real food, what's the point? If they're stuck in front of a video game console all afternoon, what's the point?
When I first picked up It Starts With Food, I honestly thought it would be a struggle for me to read. I don't do non-fiction, it bores me. But I was so intrigued by the science. I've found myself reading more and more books and articles about nutrition, just really enthralled by it. I don't think most people realize exactly what goes on inside your body and it's just a shame. People need to know that there is a difference between eating an 800 calorie hamburger and 800 calories of fruits and vegetables. People need to know how your body reacts to the different nutrients you feed it, and to the lack of them. And the best place to start - with kids. A lot of adults - they don't want to know. They don't have or want to make the time it takes to eat real food. But if you teach the kids... give them the foundation before the habits are too deeply ingrained... I think it's just logical.
See, there seems to be a bit of a passion growing there. I see it every day, in life and online.... people do not know that they're not eating real food. They don't know what they're doing to themselves. They just have never had the education. I never had that education. Yes, you get a teeny tiny bit of it in school, but not nearly enough. Dinner when I was growing up, was whatever we could throw together in as short a time as possible after my parents got home from work... my vegetable experience was canned green beans and corn. Sweet potatoes? Brussels sprouts? Greens? Blech. (I adore them now, though) We rarely had fast food, because it was too expensive, but frozen chicken patties and Little Debbie snack cakes aren't exactly nutritional power-houses.
So, I took my first baby step this morning. I filled out the FAFSA. I'm going to try to pack in yet one more time-consuming thing into my already insane life - online college. I'm wavering between Health Administration and Nutrition Science, but honestly... we know where my heart is. I'd make way more money with Heath Administration, but I'd probably be miserable. Either way, though, I'm ready to dig myself out of this hole and push myself to be the best possible me I can - not just my body, but all of me.