Choose Health And Stick With It  

It’s me, Amanda! If you’re a patient of Amy Brenner, MD & Associates you’ve likely seen me bouncing around. I’m a Certified Nurse Midwife and while my health is a top priority today, I have to admit it wasn’t always that way.

So, here’s my story. My journey to health. 

It all began in 2008 when my oldest son was born. At 5’4” I was 150 pounds when I got pregnant with him and by the end the scale was reading just over 190. It was a hard pill to swallow, but when I look back it all makes sense. I wasn’t really into exercising. My diet was terrible – I ate out all of the time and had a huge sweet tooth. Oh, and my drink of choice? Soda. Alllll day long.  

At the young age of 27 I felt terrible. I was exhausted, moody, and bloated. All of this likely from my overeat, crash, rebound, and do it again cycle. Not only was my body affected but also my self-confidence. While childbearing is a beautiful thing, I hated seeing pictures of myself during that time. All they did was remind me of the choices I was making. 

Finally, I had enough! I started experimenting will all sorts of diets and exercise routines. You name it, I’ve tried it. On the fitness side, I started out doing Jazzercise, worked up to running marathons, competed in a few body building shows, and eventually found my way to CrossFit which I still do regularly today. The more I moved my body the more I was inspired to eat well. 

My first stop was Weight Watchers, which was incredibly successful for me. As I got more into bodybuilding I learned about counting macros and how to properly fuel my body vs. just giving into cravings {for me, sweets and carbs!}. When I truly committed to this approach something amazing happened. The cravings went away and instead I found myself reaching for what my body truly needed – nutrient dense foods. These days sugar and fried foods don’t even sound good to me. And believe me, I never thought that day would come! 

What’s the secret you ask?! Finding a balance that works for YOU and then being consistent. Maybe you start by trying to get 15,000 steps in every day. Maybe you cut soda or that daily glass of wine. Or maybe it’s doing one grain-free meal each day. Pick something realistic, commit to it, and then assess how you feel after a couple of weeks. If you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of it, add another goal. 

The big thing to remember is that if you don’t make any changes you’re not going to get any results. We all have to start somewhere and it may not be as drastic as you think. I promise I don’t spend hours at the gym. As a working mom, I don’t have time! My exercise consists of a 20-30 minute CrossFit workout (usually in my garage) most days of the week. I also still allow myself to indulge in an occasional slice of pizza or ice cream cone. I just don’t make a habit of it.

With this balance, I’ve been able to maintain my strength and physique for the last five years. And when I think back to my 27 year-old-self I’m in awe of how far I’ve come. Really, I feel amazing! I sleep well and wake feeling restored, my mood has stabilized, I no longer have GI symptoms, and all of my lab work is within the optimal range. 

While it’s hard to admit (especially when we’re in a rut), being healthy is a choice. A choice that we all have the power to make for ourselves. Sure, it will require will power, but I promise if you just pick one goal and stick with it you’ll start to realize how even small changes can have an impact. So, take a moment to think. What’s currently working for you? What are some habits that you could change pretty easily (keyword: easily)? That’s your starting point. I can’t wait to hear where it takes you and I hope that in a couple of weeks, months, or even years you look back and think, “huh, why didn’t I do that sooner?”. That’s definitely how I feel! 

If you’re not sure where to start, or need help creating some momentum, be sure to check in with us at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates. From wellness coaching to food sensitivity testing we offer a variety of services all aimed at helping you feel like the best version of yourself (cheers to that). Personally, I just completed my NCI Nutrition Coaching Certificate and am excited to be helping out our patients in a new capacity. Hope to see you all soon!

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