We’ve all heard the expression that we are what we eat, but never have I experienced such an obvious example of this as I did this past weekend. I admit, during the holiday season my eating was way off track and I was feeling like a lazy, lumpy sloth. So, a few weeks ago I got myself back on track, no more leftover pie for breakfast. It only took a couple of days and I my energy level was back; my heartburn was gone and I was feeling good. I had the actual desire to exercise not just forcing my way through it.
Then this last weekend I went on a little getaway. I stayed at my brother’s place in the mountains that I have been to at least once a year for almost two decades. Usually it’s a great chance to me to reset my brain. I get out into the fresh air. I see the gorgeous view. I have very few distractions. I usually get so much accomplished.
This time on the drive up the fog was horrible. I could barely see three feet in front of me. I had to crank the heat to keep the windshield clear, and I was getting very drowse. After about 1.5 hours my son had to pee so we stopped at a gas station/convenient store and we grabbed snacks. It was one of those things that I talked myself into being ok. I had to do something to keep me awake and munching on snacks and coffee always does the trick. I was right. We got to the house with no incident and things seemed good… till I laid down. Suddenly I felt like I was going to be sick. I had severe heartburn and even the next day I had very little energy. I ate the left-over donuts we had and I felt even worse.
The weekend of fun, adventure, and even a little work, turned into my son watching TV while I crashed out on the couch. Thankfully after all the time I’ve spent with my food diary I recognized the signs. Later in the day I ran to the store and stocked up on fruits, veggies, and organic soups… it’s really cold here and it hit the spot… and my energy levels were back up the next day.
We always think that it takes years for crap food to do any real damage, but the truth is the garbage we put in our body is poison. It starts hurting us the moment it hits our lips and it doesn’t stop till we clean it from our lives. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional “treat” is one thing… a lifestyle of trash is something else. Everything in moderation… but our bodies are vehicles and need the proper fuel to make it work smoothly.
SO… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We have officially started our new lives. We all have our resolutions stated, our diets, our business plans, our ideas for what ever our dreams may be. I have heard a lot of talk on radio stations, and of course the memes are in full swing, but you know what I mostly noticed. It’s all negative, self deprecating, designed to fail talk.
I don’t know what it is about the human ego, but we seem to be fundamentally designed to accept failure. Most people are much more comfortable with self deprecation than we are accepting a compliment. If someone says, “wow, you look great, have you lost weight?”. The receiver automatically feels uncomfortable and makes up some excuse about being sick, or “maybe a little”, or brushes it off as if it’s no big deal. But it is a big deal. Anything that you work hard at is.
For some reason, especially with Americans, there is something innately in us to underachieve. It’s actually the opposite of what the American Dream is all about so I don’t really get it. People are proud of how little they do and/or accomplish. As if being sick and broke is a mark of freedom. They are free from the rat race, or free from the socialized ideals of what’s important. They’re not going to be one of those people who eat healthy, or God forbid RUN. They aren’t going to be one of those people who works to get the promotion or start their own companies.. those people clearly have an ego problem.
I don’t know if it’s all the old 80s-90s movies that made the bad guy the person with an unhealthy need to win the poster-person for ambition so now anyone that wants to make themselves better must clearly be the jerk who thinks they’re better than everyone else.
And there’s a certain amount of outside sabotage that goes along with it. Those who are trying to “better themselves” are being told that it’s OK to be fat… it’s OK to be you… no being fat will kill you. It doesn’t make you less of a person, but it’s not OK. Or it’s OK to be minimum wage worker.. if you try for that promotion then you’re trying to somehow leave other’s behind.
Even those who are successful in whatever aspect of their lives still feel the need to put down anyone who wants start. Slim, healthy people make fun of overweight people who are beginning to exercise. As if “who does that person think they’re fooling?”. Why do they have to be fooling anyone? Why does their life choices to try to be better at something automatically put others on the defensive.
I saw an article about a woman who spent 100 days facing her fears. She later did a TEDtalk about it. I was amazed when I saw the comments how many people put her down because they didn’t agree that her fears were important enough. That her doing things that others do all the time shouldn’t make her important. Why not? Why can’t she be important just by being important? To quote The Doctor (Who) “In 900 year of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important”.
Why is life more about keeping other’s down than helping each other up? Perhaps everyone resolution should be to be more inviting and supportive of others, bringing up the status quo instead of bringing everyone down. Just a thought.
Have you ever known someone whom lost a boat load of weight, I’m not talking like 10-20 lbs. I mean like 50-100 lbs, and managed to keep it off? The first question people always ask is how they did it, and they are always disappointed when they are told the person changed their eating habits and/or exercised. No one wants to do that.
Everyone wants to change.. without actually changing. These same people will see the new and improved, healthier person out at dinner or a party and say, “oh, you can have some cake”.. or the drink.. or what have you, “you have to live a little” or “a little won’t kill you” or something along those lines.
I have always found this extremely disparaging. It is a way of completely undermining the work the person has done. It’s not easy to “stick” to a healthy diet. It takes A LOT of work. Most people have to over come addictions, and other mental health coping mechanisms to get there. It really does take changing.
I couldn’t imagine someone saying the same thing to an alcoholic. “Oh, wow, you haven’t had a drink in a year! That’s amazing! Let’s celebrate with shots. One won’t kill you”. It’s a slippery slope. Now that’s not to say that someone who has lost weight can never have a piece of birthday cake again. I mean… maybe the person does decide that their addiction is too strong and it’s best not to, or maybe they feel that they have dealt with their habits enough that they can indulge on an occasion, but the point is that it’s the healthy person’s decision on how they handle their food intake. They know what is and isn’t OK for them.
I don’t think that most people who try to encourage the healthier person to “Live a little” is trying to bully them or sabotage them. I think most people are just trying to include their friends. I think that most people just want to act like the food is not a big deal, but it is.. to some people, and pretending that it’s not doesn’t help anyone. That being said, there are some that go the other way. There are those “friends” that don’t want you to succeed because they haven’t. You know the old saying, “Misery loves company”.
If you are on your path to a healthier you. Whether it’s weight-loss, substance abuse, or even getting a better job, be careful of your peers. Be careful of those who seem to always lead you down the path of the dark side… with those cookies. You know the voices that you hear in your head that say it’s ok… you can just have one… well, they are hard enough to ignore. When you hear them from those who love you it’s even more challenging.
If you want to change your life, that mean you have to CHANGE your life. It won’t be easy. There is no magic pill. You can’t half-ass it. But you can become what ever you imagine yourself to be… you just have to do the work.
I recently had one of those “Timehop” posts come up. It was a quote from my dad right before he was about to go into surgery. I was worried… as any good daughter would be and saying that anything could happen when he’s under. He responded, “You’re right, anything can happen, and if you’re going to imagine things happening. Imagine good things.”. I loved that quote. That was so him. Most of the time, that is so me.
We are what we imagine that we are. There is a quote “Worrying is praying for things you don’t want to happen.”, and it’s so true. We spend so much time in our heads imagining what we want. What we don’t want. What we’re afraid of. What we long for. We get them all mixed up and eventually we put all our effort into thinking about things that we hope never happen.
Now the Law of Attraction say that if we concentrate on bad things that we can make them happen. The law of averages says that if we wait long enough something bad will happen. My law is, why waist one second thinking about things you don’t want when there are soooo many things out there that you do.
Let’s say that you spend your days worried that your spouse is cheating on you, and what will you do if he leaves you because you can’t afford things on your own… and OMG you’re getting fat…. well, now you’re consumed by this. You get depressed you eat more. You can’t concentrate on work. You lose your job. You’re a miserable person and your spouse leaves you and you say “SEE! Bad things always happen”.
Did the law of attraction make that happen? Did the law of consequences? Did the law of averages? Now… same person… doesn’t fret about the relationship and enjoys the time with the partner.. and the time by herself. She excels at work. She joins a health program like a gym, meditation or cooking class. She actually enjoys her life. Then she finds out she had all that free time because the spouse was cheating… Ok .. that sucks! But she has way more going on in her own life to keep her going. She has friends, and hobbies, and a fulfilling career and it’s not, “See, bad things always happens.” It’s, “Wow, what an arse.. I deserve better.” And that’s exactly what she get.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Someone loses a whole lot of weight and someone else says to them, “Oh wow! You look amazing! How did you lose it?”. Seems like a rational question… then the response. “Well, I cut out/down on my sugar intake. Ate more veggies and exercised”, and suddenly the inquiry is lost on deaf ears.
No one wants to “do the work” anymore. When you look at the check out line magazines, the random ads on the internet or TV, or a million books in the bookstores and they are all “get….. quick”. It doesn’t matter what it is. Get rich, lose weight… find the perfect man. It’s all about the here and now moment.
If you cut out all carbs… all gluten.. all dairy you will lose weight. Sure… if you stop eating you will lose weight, but it is not sustainable forever. If you take this pill you will lose 10 lbs in a week… yes.. and probably live in the bathroom.. it’s not fat that you’re losing.
Here’s a hint. If you want to be a healthy, fit person.. you have to BE a happy, fit person. Be is actually a verb. You have to do the work. You have to say no to the cake.. mostly. You have to exercise. You have to drink your water and eat your veggies. You have to BE. That is not to say that you can NEVER have cake again. In fact that’s the biggest problem with the crash and trendy diets. They cut things out instead of teaching you how to eat them responsibly. I will say, I joined weight watchers years ago and one of the things that I liked was that you were able to learn the value of foods.. and what is worth the calories and what is not.. but you have to do the work.
If you want to drop 10 lbs to fit into a dress, by all means juice for the week and lose the water weight that helps that pouch out… but don’t expect the to actually help you to lose fat. And always check with a doctor before starting any restrictive diet. They all rack havoc on your body and hormones.
I have been following a health coach of my own for a while. She predominantly sells Beach Body products, but she is very inspirational with her message and usually has some great advice. However, she has posted a couple of things that have me a little concerned about the actual health advice she is giving… as there is a difference between getting healthy and losing weight.
She was the one who previously wrote that it was better to eat high fat breakfasts, like eggs and avocados over low fat carb based breakfast like oatmeal. Now, this may be great advice for those just trying to lose those few extra pounds, or for those in their 20s.. but for those of us in our 40s trying to get our cholesterol in shape.. not so good.
The last couple days she has been writing about insulin resistance and blood sugar level problems. She listed a bunch of symptom’s to insulin resistance. While some of them are on the list (increased thirst, and needing to urinate) most were really more signs of a carb addiction…
🚫 belly fat despite sit ups and healthy lifestyle
🚫 weight plateau despite healthy eating
🚫 carbs reduce your stress, make you less cranky
🚫 crave sugar sugar + carbs
🚫 not satisfied after eating (want sweets)
🚫 urinates in the middle of the night
🚫 swollen belly as day progesses
🚫 worse eyesight at night
🚫 need for a nap after lunch
Then she suggested going on a 48 hour fast to help regulate your insulin resistance… that is actually the WORST thing that you can go. For those with insulin resistance or pre-diabetes the best thing to do is create a very regimented eating schedule to keep your sugars balanced. You are more likely to see severe spikes when you fast or skip meals.
Being a health coach is not easy, but it is important to remember that unless you are a registered dietitian you should not be giving advice on how to counteract real medical problems. And if you have a medical condition, you should not seek advice from randoms on the internet.
Health coaching is about helping people understand their options. Teaching them about the way food breaks down in the body, and making sure to keep them motivated and ready to make the changes that they need. If a person has a medical problem they should be referred out to a medical professional. You can still continue to coach and keep them on target, but you must stay within your wheelhouse, or you could cause more harm than good.
Mother’s Day was fabulous. My son’s father took our little boy and me out to a wonderful brunch. I, for the most part, have been eating very healthy. Doing what needs to be done to be as healthy as possible…. but… it was Mother’s Day, and I decided that I should “treat” myself… well, technically my son’s father treated me… but you know.. I deserved a treat.
I mean why not, right? What is one stack of sticky yummy pancakes really going to do? Skyrocket my cholesterol… tighten my jeans? No, One treat on my day was what I deserved.
What I didn’t deserve was the feeling that I got afterwards. I was laying on the couch in a sugar coma. No energy. No desire to move. My belly felt like crap…. oh yeah.. what a wonderful treat for me. Totally what I deserved. It reminded me of a drunk saying that they deserved one drink, and remembered the next day about the hang over.
You don’t realize when your habits are horrible how gross you actually feel. You don’t realize how the sugar in your system sucks the life out of you. How groggy, and just bleh things are. You don’t realize that a treat is seeing your son’s face light up when you have a race into school because you can keep up with him. A treat as a mom is hiding in a crevice for hide n seek that previously you couldn’t fit. Being able to carry the giant child that your baby has become up the stairs without getting winded. All of those things are treats. A stack of pancakes.. that’s just a distraction.
I’d rather 100 more Mother’s Days with hand print flowers than risking getting off track by caving to my sugar cravings and feeling how I felt.. sleeping away My Day… because I wanted a treat that made me sick.
Life is about choices. I choose to be healthy.
We all talk about our diets in terms of our bodies. Either we want to look better or be healthier or some other physical idea of feeling better. We know that when we look better we feel better. We know that when we get healthy we feel better, but we never talk about how our diets actually affect our mental health.
Most people don’t realize that a good amount of American’s are malnourished. Now, I’m not just talking about those starving and living on the streets. I’m talking about those that live off of fast food and snacks. Have you ever looked at the side panel of the food that
we eat? I don’t just mean the calories, or fat intake. I’m not even talking about the protein or sugar, though they both play a huge role, I’m talking about actual vitamins and minerals. A lot of our packaged foods don’t even have a label for anything more than iron, sodium or maybe potassium.
In the book “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett they have a modernized version of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. In this “Famine” is not a beast causing droughts or potato plagues he is the owner or a fast food chain. He talks about how he’s killing people slowly with their permission. Not only are they getting fat and causing their own diabetes and heart disease but they don’t even realize that they are malnourished. Because they are full.
There has been a link made to too much sugar and worsening symptoms of depression and schizophrenia. Not enough zinc and Omega fatty acid can affect brain development in general. This is why breastfeeding is the preferred way to feed babies, and the recommendations are changing and saying it’s best to give children breast milk till they’re 3. My son stopped on his own a little over one, so I changed to a toddle formula that included DHA and other nutrients that milk doesn’t have and that I know my son would fight me in eating.
There is an add that pops up on my facebook feed all the time about Micro-nutrients and how important they are for children with ADD/ADHD and other behavior problems. This isn’t a lie. The whole point of the add is to sell some special high micro-nutrient shake for way too much money to worried moms, but in reality micro-nutrients are just vitamins and minerals found in REAL food. Unprocessed fruits, veggies, and meats.
So by all means if you have a kid like mine who goes days living off of crackers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, then absolutely invest in a shake, or a vitamin, or cover your fruit with chocolate, what ever gets your kids to eat them. But as a grown up, you have the choice to make about what you want to eat. So instead of always reaching for the pills or the chocolate or whatever helps your mood swings and depression, try talking to your doctor about which vitamins are best to help. And a little cardio can’t hurt.
Today would have been my dad’s 68th birthday. It’s still hard to believe that he is gone. He was the strongest, hardest working, most amazing father I could have ever asked for. He was a single dad in a time when that was barely heard of.
Growing up in the 70s and 80s with only a father at home always came with questions and weird looks, but I never questioned how much I was loved. He went through Hell and back to get and keep us. He was a very strong role model and always made it very clear that my brother and I could do anything we set our minds to. He was also the one that always had our backs. You don’t know how many middle of the night phone calls he received from one of us about a car issue, and he would show up blurry eyed with jumper cables or a jack. I finally repaid him in kind by getting us both AAA.
I remember my first semi-formal and him him teaching me the basic waltz box step. He took me to dance and gymnastics classes, he was there at my school plays even when he would have to split his time between my play and my brother’s band concert. He taught me to throw a spiral and the correct way to throw a punch. He taught me to pump gas and was extremely annoyed when I boycotted learning how to change a tire. Not only because he knew that there would be more late night phone calls, but because he wanted me to be a strong independent person.
When my son was born we were living with him. He had developed very severe diabetes and it had led to even more complications, like stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. There was many a time that I had to call 911 because he had fallen asleep without eating, or his potassium levels were off, but he was always there for my son and me.
One time, when my son was very small, about 3 months old I was exhausted, up in my room and Jason was just screaming. For those of you that are parents, you know this scream. The one with no answers, they just seem to like the sound of their own frustration. I was trying to feed him, walk with him, rocking him… there was nothing that I could do. The next thing I know, there is my dad walking in and taking my son from me. He just looked at me and said, “You need a nap. This isn’t doing anyone any good.” I was so relieved I’m pretty sure I started crying. My dad bounced with my son for a few seconds and made a shush sound in his ear and the boy was silent. He took him downstairs and I was able to get a couple of minutes of uninterrupted sleep.
As my son got older he loved playing with his Papa. They would do puzzles and go for walks in the woods. My dad introduced him to Doctor Who… though I love the show, I was not thrilled that my 20 month old was asking for screen time for the first time. But looking back I am glad that they had that. Five months later my father would be gone.
The morning that I found him was the worth day of my life. I still have nightmares and a giant empty gap where his talks and laughter used to fill. My father was the one person in my life that I could always count on. He was the one person in my life that I knew my son could count on other than me. Then one night he had an early dinner and forgot to have a snack before bed. His blood sugar dropped in the middle of the night and he never woke up.
As far as ways to go, I guess it wasn’t so bad for him, but for me…. it was horrific. I wasn’t even 40 years old, he was just 65, and my son had only been 2 for one month. All I kept thinking is how my son wouldn’t remember him. My father wouldn’t know the person that baby would grow into. The 2 most important males in my life would never really know each other.
My father was an amazing role model. He taught me so much. Except the correct eating habits. Had he been more careful things would have been very different. Both my brother and I were raised predominantly on fast food. My dad was young, single and a business owner. He was tired of fighting with kids about eating, so he went the easy route. Both my brother and I ended up with horrible habits, and both with weight issues up and down.
Since having my son, and since my father’s death my goal has been to become the most healthy version of myself and to raise the most healthy version of my son. I don’t want to leave him unexpectedly in the middle of the night, and I don’t want him to contend with the struggles of learning new habits later.
I have taken to Integrative Wellness and Life Coaching, because through my life and my struggles I have found that eating habits and wellness has less to do with knowing the right foods to eat or the right exercises to firm up your butt. There are 1000 books, websites, videos… top 10 lists that can educate you on that.. and let’s face it, everyone knows you should eat kale over pizza.
True Wellness in life is about having the right mind set. Wanting to be the best more healthy version of oneself for the richest most fulfilled life. Getting to know your grand kids will feel much better than eating that cake, but unless we change our priorities and our lifestyle, we’ll just be on a yo-yo of life.. with no idea when it could drop.