Food For Thought

One of the choices I have struggled over and still struggle over in my life is food. In American, we have what we call the S.A.D. diet, or “Standard American Diet,” which consists of processed food often high in sugar, salt, saturated fat, and synthetic flavors and materials. About a year ago I decided to really start looking more into what I was eating. I have watched documentaries over the years as well as tried some of the usual diets, Weight Watchers for example, and had not really made any real…losses, as far as my weight was concerned. I watched a documentary, for the second time, called Food Matters. It reminded me how I continue to ignore the facts.

The food we eat is important, how it’s processed, cooked, what it contains, and how I think and feel about it. This is the first change I plan to discuss because it was important to me and will likely be important to you if you decide to get real with yourself and look at how you eat. I have heard time and time again that “food is medicine.” It took me thinking of it that way in order to overcome that garbage pile on my plate every time I sat down to eat. When I decided to start with a juice fast for 5 days and then cut out sugar and eating out for awhile, I already started to feel better and lose some pounds. I was able to drop 40 pounds in about a month. I lost three inches off my waist and I felt amazing. When I started eating solid food again on day six I simply stuck to more organic whole fruits and vegetables. For at least a month I did not eat anything that was not, for the most part, good for me.

I also started thinking of my health as more of a holistic situation so food was not the only thing I tackled to see what could change for me. I started meditating and doing Yoga that was done from a sitting position, which believe me, was necessary for me given my gut and lack of balance. By the time I lost 40 pounds I hadn’t even addressed the exercise issue just yet because the yoga wasn’t intense, it was simply stretching with meditation at the end. Another aspect of my life that I started really paying attention to was the amount of rest I was getting and how I viewed the things in my life that caused stress. I discovered that much of my stress was self induced.

Now that I have reached a good weight, not ideal for me mind you just good, I allow myself some indulgences occasionally in order to maintain my health focus. I am not opposed to a cheeseburger or ice cream on occasion, just not as often as I was doing it before. I gain and lose about four pounds every so often, maintaining my current waist size and overall feeling of healthiness. I will admit, however, that I can feel the difference when I eat something not good for me and something that is good for me. When I maintain a healthy diet I feel quite amazing, almost euphoric. I plan to get back to the good stuff for a longer period of time in order to bring the joy back into my days. To sum it up, my plan is to eat more of a vegetarian diet except for the occasional white meat added to my dinner and see if I can’t get rid of another 20 pounds. I wish to revisit running, hiking, biking, and rock climbing, all things I struggled to enjoy when I was struggling with my weight and fatigue. I figure if I say it all out loud then I will somehow be held to the expectation I am setting for myself. My plan is to start first thing Monday with getting into a good fitness routine. As you know, living in the present, I am leaving room for the unexpected. No expectations, only a desire to start. Hopefully Monday I will wake with plenty of rest and motivation. Have a great weekend to all!

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