Eating for Optimal Health

I’ve been a dieter all of my life.  Seriously, in 2nd grade I was eating Weight Watchers lasagna so I could fit into the communion dress that had been made for my mom when she was 7.  I did it, but the weight came back, and then some more, and by high school I was one of the bigger girls in my class…I failed gym 3 years in a row.  Yes, I did.  Then somewhere in my junior year, I had had enough and began to seriously diet.  Very unhealthily, but combined with hours of daily exercise, I lost 72 pounds in a matter of a few months.  (It was a good thing I was so dedicated to exercise, because I had to take 4 gym classes my senior year of high school so I could graduate…)

I kept the weight off against all odds and all predictions, and I loved the “new me.”  I looked great, at least that’s what everyone told me, and I enjoyed all the attention my slimmer self attracted.  At least at first.  Looking back, I remember being on an emotional roller coaster, and my entire self worth could disappear with the bite of a cookie.  The mood swings were terrible, and then I started running out of energy.  I was dizzy all the time.  I knew what I was doing was dangerous, but staying skinny outweighed all else.

As I grew out of my teens, I realized I had to start taking better care of my body and my eating habits began to improve.  One baby step after another.  I still tried every diet, tea, and pill that came along.  It took years to get past my obsession with my weight and focus on eating well.  If I were being completely honest, I’d admit that that little voice never really goes away completely.  It’s almost like an old friend.  Luckily, eating well goes right along with weight management.

I’ve always had an interest in nutrition and believe that certain foods and a proper diet can cure and prevent all sorts of maladies.  I’ve been really good at times, and I’ve fallen off the organic health food wagon just as many times.  I can say with absolute certainty that there is a significant difference in the way I look, feel, function, and sleep when I am eating properly.  You are what you eat, there’s no way around it.

For me, eating properly means lower carbs, moderate protein, and lots of veggies.  I don’t worry much about fat and I do eat dairy.  I try to incorporate a variety of foods, both for taste and to ensure I’m getting all of my necessary nutrients.  I try to avoid processed frankenfoods and empty calories.   I’m not perfect, but I am a work in progress.

It’s so much easier to commit to a healthier lifestyle when you have the support of those around you.  My boyfriend is an amazing cook, and he jumped right on board with my efforts toward wellness.  He is happily learning how to choose and cook healthy foods, and has mastered the art of the green smoothie.  I am a lucky woman, I know this…I like to think it is mutually beneficial however, as he is also becoming healthier.  (In fact, he recently learned about candida, leaky gut and probiotics and suddenly we can’t keep kefir in the house!  Having had GI issues for most of his life, he’s already noticed an improvement after several days…but that’s another post…)

It’s easy to get caught up in daily life, fulfilling obligations that take all of our time and energy, and self care takes a back seat.  It’s important to remember that your body is the only one you get…if you’re putting sugar in the gas tank you’re going to conk out.  I’ve learned that a little bit of planning can help keep me on track, even when things are crazy.  The improvements I’ve made are already noticeable, which makes it easier to remain motivated and disciplined…two things that I’ve been lacking in over the past few months.  One baby step after another…







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