A Whole New Day

Eating Well is a Weighty Issue

CHANGE IS SCARY AND YOUR FOOD IS TOO

I am at the beginning of my journey. My health hasn’t done an amazing 180. I haven’t lost 100 pounds. I haven’t even done that great so far. I keep stumbling and getting back up, dusting myself off, and carrying on. Which at this point I am doing the most important thing – NOT GIVING UP.

One thing that has come to surprise me is the amount of resistance I have come to see regarding my decision to follow a more whole/natural foods LIFE STYLE (not diet!!). In the words of Jack LaLanne, “It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.” That is what I am looking for –  not the Grapefruit, South Beach, Atkins, or Cabbage Soup diet. I am not in this just to lose weight. I am in this to gain life. Vibrant healthful life.

This resistance has caused me to do some reflection and I am starting to wonder a little bit about why those closest to me sometimes smirk when they ask me “How’s the diet going?”

  1. Change is hard. Even for those around you. Especially when you do something that complicates the typical routine. Many of our social functions center around sharing a meal. Food is everywhere and thrown into every situation. Dragging new dietary concerns into the mix and not being able to – or wanting to – eat anywhere makes things complicated. But I figure if I have had to roll with the punches through marriages, babies, and all the other huge changes my friends have made then they can deal with me changing my diet.
  2. Removing your own blinders forces people to remove theirs as well. If you draw attention to the crap that you have been eating and the fat on your body it forces people to look at themselves. They don’t like that which leads to point number 3.
  3. Secret Desire for you to fail so you can continue to be fat and eat junk together. They don’t want to change. They don’t want you to change. Right here is comfortable and chicken fingers are good. It isn’t that they are evil. It isn’t that they may even know it. But secretly they want to be fat WITH you not fat beside you.
  4. Assumed Nutritional Genius. Everyone has advice on what you should do and that they have all the answers and you don’t have to pay them because they are so beneficent. Well hey guess what – I know to eat right, exercise, and drink more water.  Everyone does and yet most of us are still fat. If it were as easy as that all of America would cease to be fat and we would be, well, Norway. But controlling all our decisions – good and bad – is this giant baffling thing:  The Human Brain. It is a surprisingly emotional process for me to change what I eat. Which is exactly why I am paying someone to help me with this lifestyle change. Even though they may think it, my Food and Wellness Coach isn’t going to roll her eyes at me and call me stupid and make me feel like an ass. She is going to walk me through my mistake and prop me up and give me the strength to move forward which is exactly what I need right now. Though in many ways I appreciate tough love, right now, honestly, I am a little too delicate for it. While I appreciate everyone’s advice, what I really need is your support. And if you can’t give that then I will accept silence.

My decision has been to try to ignore the critics and the back seat nutritionists. It isn’t always easy and I do a crazy amount of tip toeing around other peoples feelings.

That being said, in the interest of being a bit juvenile, their annoying me is also motivating. In addition to wanting to make myself healthier  the motivating factor of “I’LL SHOW YOU. JUST WAIT AND SEE” kicks in.

I figure the best revenge (I know this sounds petty, but I never claimed to be perfect) is looking super hot, feeling super good, and smacking the smirks off all their faces with my super awesomeness.

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Destinationless Journeys: ITS OKAY!!!!

A lot of my friends and family think I am being ridiculous paying someone to be my health and wellness coach. It is a financial investment but if you look at whom it is truly an investment in (you) and what you are purchasing (experience and advice from an expert) it is a worthwhile purchase. I find it interesting because I doubt anyone would ridicule me for joining Weight Watchers,  Nutri-System, or joining a gym. So I am unsure why it is fair game to ridicule my decision to change my diet to focus more on whole foods and to have a coach to help me through the process.

So I am going to talk about why this is a valid expense for me and perhaps it will make it easier to justify it to yourself if you are in a similar situation. What is most important to remember is that it is your money, your life, your health and your decision what you are going to do with any of those.

First, you spend your entire life being taught how to eat and cook. When you want to change that, for people like myself who use food as comfort, it is kind of traumatizing.  So this isn’t just a diet change, and it isn’t just a “diet” in the usual sense of the word, it is taking away my security blanket. The thing that has given me comfort my entire life.

What is really happening is that just like when a parent has to take away a childs pacifier, I need to find a new and healthier way to sooth myself. Because of all this it gives me great comfort to have someone I can turn to and ask for advice. Someone that doesn’t laugh at my worries, belittle my struggles, try to talk over me, or start talking about themselves.

Second, if I was doing this on my own I would have given up already. I have a tendency to strive for perfection and the second I don’t achieve it I give up.  My coach helps me realize that this is a learning JOURNEY and that if I do it right I will never achieve a destination because I will always be moving forward and learning. Failing to be perfect is not a reason to quit because perfection is not attainable. Celebrate and focus on your wins and never quit moving forward towards your goals.

I am not going to say that is always easy for me. I have a long history of, and come from a long line of, people who beat themselves up for not being perfect. To have someone tell me that it is okay not to be goes against everything I have ever been told.  Talking to my coach makes me realize that you aren’t a failure as long as you are actively trying and being honest with yourself about your efforts. Plus she is tricky. I find my mind changing in tiny subtle ways and though I haven’t lost much weight I haven’t gained any either in the month that we have been working together and that in itself is something for this girl to be happy about.

Third, I want to lose 100 pounds. That doesn’t happen overnight nor should it. I weigh 260 pounds. That’s right. I said it. I never thought I would admit it out loud but that is how much I weigh. I choose to own it. I own the disease that helped me get here. I own every morsel of food I have put in my mouth to comfort myself.  I own every medication I have had to take. I own every horrible thing that has happened over the last six years. Since I own it I can also choose to release it.  Working with Claire has helped me realize that I am not the only person who has traveled a rough road to a health crisis, that I am not alone in my desire to change and most importantly I am not alone in my struggle to do so.

Fourth, I have learned that without health just about nothing else is possible. Each of us needs to make more of an effort to love ourselves. I am discovering that it is OKAY and GOOD to put myself first because if I don’t I am no good to anyone. Me being healthy and capable is the best thing I can do for all the people who love me. Myself included.

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