Hold my Bread

Warrior for Life-Wellness Blog Series 2021

If you’ve been reading my blog #outerbeautyinnerbeast over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve introduced you to my husband, Bill Rothbauer. We met at age 9, started dating at 15, and got married at 19. We’ve been together for over 30 years, and there is no other commitment that I’ve held onto longer.

Senior picture 1989!

Early on in our married days, he shared this loving expectation with me.

“If you gain more than 20 pounds from what you weighed in high school, I’m leaving you.”

This may have come during one of my pregnancies when in the creation of three healthy and beautiful children, I gained 40+ pounds. Or, it may have been in our early days of marriage when fighting was our form of foreplay. Having a better understanding of cognitive development now, I’m certain that our frontal lobes were not fully developed, so we may not have been engaging with each other with much intelligence or grace.

I countered with this ultimatum.

“If you get old and decrepit, I’m not pushing you around in your wheelchair, you’re on your own.”

Now I’m sure if we pulled back the curtain on any married couples’ worst moments and fights, you’d find some phrases that aren’t super kind or compassionate. However, there is a thread of truth in the expectations that we set for each other. I’m going to tease out here and discuss in a series of blog posts about wellness that I’m calling “Warrior for Life.”  Ironically, I’m not certain I was even offended by his comments; I didn’t want that result either! I wanted to live my best life every day and for many, many days.

As we enter into 2021, have you felt the pull of a wellness movement? It’s stirring! If you’ve ever believed that your health is not your most important asset, then did 2020 did change your mind? Leave it to a health crisis to shine a very bright light on our biggest asset. As a child of the 80s, I used to think my bank account was my most important asset, but losing my sister to cancer taught me that money cannot stop illness, cancer, or any disease. And while we may not have complete control, we do hold great power and choice over our wellness.

Let me ask you a few questions.

Who or what controls and determines your health and wellness?

Your genetics?  

Your family?

Your community?

Your doctors?

The government? 

Or just you? 100% you?

I want to take you back to 1985 when I began MY first health movement. Warning, first attempts aren’t very pretty, but it’s where I started with this education. You may have experienced your own version of what I’m going to call the freshman 15. In retaliation to my parent’s whole wheat, locally-sourced approach to our family meals, I discovered Little Debbie’s. The $.99 box of sugar and hydrogenated oil that I could sneak to the grocery store to purchase before sporting games was my binge of puberty. My adolescent body burned through the sugar and calories, so I didn’t understand why my parents refused to embrace all of this amazingly tasty processed goodness, especially the Swiss Rolls or Nutty Bars.

I could eat a whole box in one night!

Then I turned 14, and the mechanisms of my metabolism slowed. At the start of my freshman year of high school, my weight jumped to (gasp!) near what my mom weighed!

Influenced by the heavy marketing of the day, I turned to a combination of Diet Coke and starvation. It worked and I lost the weight, but my period stopped and only my dedication and love of sports pulled me out of this spiral to an improved balance of food in, energy out. However, my love affair with Diet Coke continued for 15 more years.

Our bodies are resilient and through my teenage years and 20s, my focus was on college, marriage, babies, and establishing my home and career. Other than when I was pregnant or breastfeeding, my brain was running the calories in and out on a program that had worked so far. Quality of food, macronutrients, and when I ate were unknown concepts, and I used to strive to eat at restaurants as much as possible (fewer dishes to wash) and I thought of Tootsie Rolls as a great dessert because they were fat-free!

Then in the late 90s, I started to contract a horrible case of strep throat every winter. My immune system seemed to falter in ways it hadn’t before. Antibiotics were truly a miracle drug, but it made me wonder if going on them yearly for the rest of my life was a good plan.

As my children got older and three children in three activities a week meant nine commitments, Bill continued working in Milwaukee while we lived in Bloomer, and my Mary Kay business doubled in size, I started to wake up each day immediately wondering when I could squeeze in a nap, after I had already slept for eight hours! My incredibly busy schedule was not going to let up, and I didn’t want to continue to feel less than my best, so something had to give.

Were chocolate chip bagels from Kwik Trip gas station and Diet Coke the best meal? Could a woman live on bread alone? Since my parents owned this amazing brick oven bakery two minutes from my home, I was definitely making it my mission to find out, but perhaps it wasn’t what my body wanted or needed.

The desire for a daily nap, the chronic illness, the loving expectations of my husband, and the complete conviction that the person who was 100% responsible for my health and wellness was staring me back in the mirror each day created a new thought for me. If you want a different result, you have to take a different action.

2003 was the last time I drank a Diet Coke. I went from drinking gallons of it a week to eliminating it from my life, completely.

My next blog will take you down the roller coaster ride of breaking up with Diet Coke and discovering how to make food my medicine. I also want to share the superpowers it created, like trusting my gut, literally.

In the meantime, hold my bread.

Are you ready? It’s your time to level up and find your outer beauty inner beast with me. Click Here – Let’s Get Started

2 thoughts on “Hold my Bread

  1. Alice,
    you are such an amazing woman, I am so happy the universe brought our paths together, I love reading all your blogs as well as calling you my friend.

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