I was enjoying my morning tea (Celestial Seasonings decaf Green Tea with Mint), and I couldn't help but think of how wildly different my morning is now than when I was in high school. The American media mindset tends to rate high school as the apex of one's life, for some ungodly reason, but i'm happy to learn that it's a ridiculous farce. I was definitely not at my healthiest, happiest, smartest, and prettiest when I was in my teens.
High school morning: Wake up at 6:22 with a rousing 6 hours of sleep; eat a breakfast of sugary cereal and coffee while frantically and stressfully finishing my math homework, pack a lunchbox of Coke, Pixie Stix, white bread, Gobstoppers, and Hostess pies; pick up my friend, devouring 4-5 chewable vitamins while she's trying on hats in her bedroom; drive too fast to school in my Chevy Cavalier with my wet hair drying out the window while yodeling songs by The Cure; sit outside and frantically and stressfully finish French homework; enjoy a lunch of chocolate chip cookies, french fries, and whatever was leftover in my lunchbox from snacking all morning.
I had horrible skin, did no exercise, drank absolutely no water, got 6 hours or less of sleep a night, drank tons of Coke, took too many of the wrong sort of vitamin, was horribly stressed, ate nasty food with no nutritional value, ate loads of candy and sugar, spent all of my time indoors, watched loads of TV, never read the ingredients of food or beauty products, and never wore sunscreen. For years, I thought I had permanent stomach problems... then I learned that the body needs at least 64 ounces of fluid a day to run smoothly, whereas I had been banking on 2 Cokes a day. Why did no one tell me this?
And now? I wake up around 8 with my daughter, having enjoyed about 8-9 hours of sleep; have a leisurely breakfast of whole wheat toast, sunflower butter, banana, and cocoa made with skim milk, stevia, and real cocoa; take a multivitamin, flaxseed, fish oil, and calcium; drink loads of water and 2 big cups of green tea a day; go to the gym at least 3 days a week and get exercise chasing my toddler every day; have very little stress; eat very little sugar; watch no TV; spend lots of time outdoors; wear sunscreen; and read every ingredient on everything I buy.
And you know what? I'm in better shape, have better skin, have better digestion, have more energy, have less stress, and generally feel happier, healthier, and more relaxed than ever before.
I wish I had read Self magazine in my teen years, or that my parents had been healthier people to guide me through example or force. To think of all the years I wasted feeling horrible!
It just goes to show you-- it may smell like teen spirit, but teen spirit smells pretty bad and probably has cavities from eating too many Gobstoppers.