Being healthy has been a goal of mine as long as I can remember … but too often, that desire has been buried under not-enough-willpower and too many sweets.
My parents owned a grocery store, so all food was free and limitless. We had fairly strict rules about how much junk food we could have when I was young. But when I worked at the store as a teen, I made my own choices.
Of course, I didn’t gravitate to the carrots or apples (unless they were covered in caramel) I went for the candy, soda, cookies, ice cream and even cigarettes. (sorry mom) Though I tried cigarettes (how could I not, when I didn’t have to pay for them?) I never liked them, so I haven’t had that habit to break.
Thankfully I’ve always been active, so I didn’t balloon as much as I could have, but I fed and grew an aggressive sweet tooth. I’ve been trying to kill that monster every since!
I’ve never been obese, but most of the time, I’ve had about 10 to 15 lbs I wanted to lose. After the accident, with all my meds and puking, I lost about 20 lbs (gives a new meaning to the term crash diet) and I thought I would never regain it.
Yea right ... especially when I tried to solve my post-accident depression with food.
After dealing with my depression (counseling and outdoor exercise worked for me) the extra weight didn’t magically disappear, so for the past few years, I’ve been losing and regaining the same 10 lbs to try and stay at the healthiest weight for my body. I’ve tried to live by the advice the kind hospital dietitian in California gave me when she visited my room (almost daily) to encourage me to eat more. She often said that what I eat will determine how well I heal.
Duh … it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if food affects my body when it’s injured … food affects my body everyday.
Thankfully over the past few years, I’ve finally tamed my monstrous sweet tooth (yes!) I rarely eat things that are loaded with sugar (in any form) and if I do (which may happen during a moment of PMS weakness) I feel lousy.
Last January, after reading No Meat Athlete, I went meatless for a month to see how I would feel. I felt great and have eaten an almost-vegetarian diet (I do eat some fish) ever since.
So as a general rule, I eat healthier now than I ever have. But much to my dismay, I discovered even healthy foods cause weight gain if I eat too much. (who knew?) Things like nuts, yogurt, granola, cheese (major weakness!) and artisan breads dipped in oil (major weakness #2!) have a lot of calories.
So for the past month or two, I’ve experimented with eating mostly gluten-free and dairy-free. I don’t think I have an allergy to either, but I wanted to see if I felt a difference not eating them. I focused on eating more whole foods … vegetables, fruits, beans, etc.
The best thing I’ve noticed was that never-quite-satisfied-feeling of wanting to eat something decreased. And I felt stronger when running (a few times a week) or when working out (Jillian Michael workouts twice a week) now her workouts only half-kill me, instead of totally killing me.
Last week over Christmas, I allowed myself to eat cookies, sugar and junk again … and I felt totally sluggish and grumpy. During my Monday morning workout, I was weak and couldn’t even do all the reps I normally did. Talk about great motivation to stick with a healthy eating plan.
So as another new year starts, I’m going to think about eating healthy again … even if I’ve done it every year since I can remember and I’m still not where I want to be. Because I know I’m at a much better place than I’ve ever been.
So as I look at 2011 …
I refuse to give up …
On this body of mine …
It’s the only one I have …
2011 will be another year of focusing on a healthy me.
This is a plate of all raw food. The ‘pasta’ is zucchini and the chips are vegetable chips. I had this for lunch yesterday at Raw Can Roll Cafe and it was excellent. I don’t plan to eat raw all the time, but I do want to make wise food choices.
Compare the top and bottom pictures of this post … which one would make you feel better after you ate it?If interested, I plan to write more about healthy living in the coming weeks … not only about a healthy body, but also a healthy mind and spirit. .