Staying Healthy & Strong without Dieting

It’s the end of a year.  It’s the beginning of a new year.

Let the gym memberships, resolutions and diets begin!

I want to be healthy.  I want to feel good.  I want to have energy.  At the same time, I don’t want to diet. I don’t have a gym membership.  And I can’t run because I have tried to destroy my ankle.  Ugh.

In case you’re curious, I have sprained the same ankle 3 times.  Once when I was younger.  Once doing Zumba.  And the last time I sprained it I was chasing a pig (stupid pig) and fell in a hole (stupid hole), and folded my ankle.  The Doctor said it would have been better if I had broken it.  It was horrible.  I was in a cast for nearly 8 weeks (a hard cast up to my knee).  I was on orders for, “no weight bearing” which basically means you get to lay on a couch with your foot propped up for 2 months.  Which is no fun if you are me.

homesteading Collage

Staying healthy – This is one of the reasons I live the country,  grow food and milk a cow.

I don’t know about you, but I am getting old.

I know I have a lot of life to live and many years ahead to look forward to.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  What I’m talking about is all the sweet smile lines (yes, that means I’ve smiled a lot).  The “11” on my forehead.  All the places that aren’t where they used to be.  And the aches and pains.

If you are a lady approaching 40, in your 40’s or beyond your 40’s you may know what I’m talking about.  Dude’s just get better with age (Sean Connery, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, etc)  – so, if you’re a guy, be thankful.

Botox is all around me.  Face lifts,  fat cells freezing, breast augmentations, laser removal of whatever.

What happened to aging gracefully?

Do I really have to go get botox?  Do I need to stay young forever?  Can’t I just get old?

mamaw 3

We are all going to look like Mamaw someday.

And she is beautiful.

mamaw 1

I want to be proud of my years.  I want to be able to share stories, wisdom and life experience with the younger generations.  I want to be able to love and give like crazy.  I want to make pie, bake cookies and enjoy life without always thinking that my jeans may be tight next week.

So, here’s what I say to my 2 daughters (14 yrs and 11 yrs):

Be healthy and strong.

  • Not perfect
  • Not a size 6
  • Not flawless
  • Not hairless
  • Not thinner
  • Not prettier
  • Not younger
  • Not sexier
  • Not skinnier
  • Not lighter
  • Not less wrinkly
  • Not less flabby

Healthy and strong.  

Whatever your size or shape…  Be healthy and strong.

Sometimes I need to hear the words that I say to my girls.  The size clothing I buy doesn’t matter.  The measurement around my waist doesn’t matter.  The number on the scale doesn’t matter.  Just be healthy and strong.

Living a “homesteading” life lends itself to this goal.

There’s:

Not to mention:  gardens to plant, harvest and preserve…  it truly is a never ending cycle of life.  If you are reclaiming your food and where it comes from you are going to get some exercise.  You are going to learn some cool life skills.  You are going to get your hands dirty.

It makes me think of all the work that goes into my favorite breakfast in the world (which happens to be a farm fresh egg fried in pastured lard):

  1. I have to raise chickens so I’ll have eggs
  2. I have to raise pigs so I’ll have pork fat
  3. I have to get the giant pigs to the processor so he can put my pork-fat into a bag for me
  4. I have to render the fat into lard
  5. I have to fry my fresh egg in my healthy lard in my cast iron skillet

That’s a lot of work for an egg.

Healthy

I want to be healthy.

Around here we try to fill our bodies with real food.  I believe it’s possible to stay healthy and lean without counting calories. Or going on fad diets.  Or counting count points.  Or starving ourselves.

I eat what I want – but I eat mostly real food. Real raw milk.  Real raw butter.  Real raw cream.  Real fruit and vegetables.  Hormone free, antibiotic free, organic meat.  Non GMO.  No preservatives.  No artificial ingredients.  No pesticides.  No round-up.  No stuff I can’t identify or pronounce.  Real food.  The stuff my great -great grandmother ate.

Strong

I want my body to be strong so I can live an active life into old age.

I want to be able to stack hay.  I want to have the strength to work with large animals. I want to be able to move pigs that (more than) double my weight.  I want to be able to build shelters for my animals.  I want to be able to install and repair fencing.  I want to be able to build gardens.  I want to be able to dig, plant, harvest and preserve.  I want to be able to play with my children, go 4-wheeling and hunt.  I want to be able to haul 5 gallon buckets of water across pastures when the drinkers are frozen.  I want to be strong.

There is a fellow homesteader here in Kentucky who I have spoken to on the phone a few times.  She has cows, goats, chickens, horses, a garden and 4 children she homeschools.  We have a lot in common.

When someone asked me what I thought she looked like I said something like:

She’s probably in good shape – with that many animals and a house full of children she doesn’t sit down.  She’s probably lean because people who grow their own food generally eat healthy.  Her hair is probably some shade of brown because she’s a brunette or she doesn’t have time for highlights anymore.  Her nails are trimmed short and she doesn’t get manicures (when you have  a garden and a milk cow, fingernails are pointless).  She’s most likely in jeans and some sort of layers every day because that’s what makes sense.

The person who had asked me the question started laughing, and said I described her exactly.

Homesteading as a hobby has some great side benefits.  It not only provides a fulfilling, enjoyable life; it also produces healthy food, and ultimately reaps a fitter, healthier, stronger you.

Healthy and Strong.

If you happen to embrace body enhancement, wrinkle solutions and have frozen some fat cells, you go!  I am not against such things.  I would probably gladly enjoy them if someone else would pay for it and go through the pain for me.

BUT, just remember, we are a vapor, a wave, it all fades- until the next life.  THEN there will be no more wrinkles, fat, age, weak muscles, bone density loss, sickness, diseases or death.

Amen.

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