I am sure you know that when you have that moment that you know enough is enough and you have to make some type of change immediately. You constantly feel your stomach churning and your energy so low. All you want to do is sleep all the time and eat those calming comfort foods. I know what that feels like. I was there full force. My life was a never ending ghastly dance of pepperoni bacon pizza, double bacon cheeseburgers and chocolate cake (I really love cake). I felt helpless. I remember standing at work just feeling awful knowing I had to do something. I felt so heavy and usually moved around at a sluggish pace. My stomach was always upset and always bloated. I had to stop this cycle. I had to do something. That awful sick feeling had to go away. I really needed something to change.
A few months after this realization that my health was getting worse I began to think about seeking some kind of support. I actually got some courage (instead of continuing to wallow in fear and denial) and went to see a nutritionist. When I say courage I mean it was just enough to get me to the office. After the first visit I completely revamped my diet. By revamping I mean one day I was eating that chocolate cake and bacon double cheeseburgers to the next day eating quinoa with almond milk and blueberries. This was such a shock to my system and I was completely furious! I could not tell you how frustrated I felt. I was mad at everything around me. I remember complaining to my friend saying how ridiculous this whole new diet thing was and how hungry I was. I felt completely overwhelmed. I was also scared to eat because I felt so limited. I had two sheets of paper with a list of foods I could consume freely, foods to consume in moderation, and foods to absolutely avoid. The foods I could consume freely and moderately was not a very long list. This restrictive thought process added to my physical withdraw symptoms I was experiencing. I also had no clue what to buy or how to prepare all of these new foods that I was supposed to consume. I was really in a bad spot but since I took that first step, I did begin to notice some positive change that started to take place in the next few weeks following. This was very encouraging and really helped me to continue on a better way of eating despite the inevitable bumps in the road.
My body was also in complete shock and I had the classic symptoms that any drug user would have. That included severe hunger and junk food cravings, lack of sleep, sweating, moderate to severe irritability and weight loss (this was perhaps the only positive initial change). By experiencing this I knew that even though my body was going through a crazy shock, I felt intuitively that I suddenly was on a better path for my future. Simply by changing the way I ate, my mind also became clearer and sharper. A great mental weight seemed to be gradually floating away in the ether. By the second week of this change I began to feel like a whole new person. The crazy symptoms subsided and my body began to adjust to my new way of eating. Even though all of these positive changes were taking place, I still had many cravings for the old comforting foods I loved for so many years. I did notice if I filled my fridge every week from grocery shopping with my newfound healthy foods, I would simply reach and prepare them forgetting the other foods in the process. What it did not realize initially is that by consuming these healthier options, I was slowly letting my body heal. After you continue to do this for a few months, you naturally begin to detest the unhealthy foods. I know this may sound pretentious or untrue but you are in fact resetting your body’s energy balance. You then instinctively want to stay in balance and feel amazing all the time. Your new found energy is addictive in itself.
I want to point out that even though I saw a nutritionist and was given recommendations, I was not put on any conventional diet. I simply ate more and more healthy foods so I wasn’t hungry for the unhealthy ones. This concept is known as “crowding out”. You simply replace a cheeseburger with a bun free buffalo burger and avocado or a milkshake with a banana and natural peanut butter smoothie. They have similar textures and tastes but the later options are much better for you. At first this may seem daunting and impossible to achieve but with time and a little perseverance you can really make sustainable change in your eating habits. One of the best ways I found to support this change and to continue to grow into a more lighter life is I had to cook more at home. You get to this point where you simply begin to question where all your food is coming from. Eating from multiple unknown sources suddenly becomes scary and you start to want to avoid these situations as best as possible. Your friends will probably think initially that you are on this diet kick and you will eventually settle down. Personally, even after two plus years I am still as vigilant as ever. Why on earth would you want to put terrible food in your body after eating so clean for so long? Even in your darkest moments you will probably reach for the better option because it just feels better. Perhaps not all the time but most of the time you naturally will. The best way to know for sure in my humble opinion is to use whole ingredients and shop from a store that has a wide variety of healthful foods. This way you have an automated safety net in place and whenever you may have a dark moment you know that you can crowd out those cravings with better choices.
Preparing my own meals at first for me was simply annoying. Living in Brooklyn, this the last thing I wanted to do after a crazy day at work then sitting on a stalled train and then having to come home and chop onions. This probably seems outlandish and completely unreasonable but throughout my posts I will give you little hacks to make the transition into cooking at home a little easier. Crowding out the junk foods and adding in the healthy is a great way to start your life into a more positive energy flow. Don’t worry if when you start to change your way of eating you feel confused and limited. The way I approached my lifestyle change was really severe. I actually tried something similar years back and the diet change only lasted about one month. Personally, for someone wanting to make a change in diet I don’t recommend going at it the way I did. It was really abrupt for my body and I experienced symptoms like mind numbing frustration to explosive diarrhea. It was not a smooth transition to say the least. If I could turn back the hands of time naturally I would do it much differently. In this blog, I feel that it is my duty to guide and support you to a better way of eating and having a lighter life. This way you can have more energy to give more love and shed more awareness around what you may need to change or progress in your life.
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