For years I stared into the mirror and was unhappy with what I saw. I could weight 125 pounds or 160 pounds and still felt the same way. I tried every diet that existed. My desire was always only to lose weight and do it as quickly as possible. It always worked, but I was left tried, drained and hungry every time. I finally decided to focus on my health rather than my weight, and my life was changed forever. The following explains what steps I took to permanently change my eating.
About two years ago, I moved from the Detroit area to a tropical resort destination. I was warned by everyone that all the girls new to the island get freshly fat their first year in town. I dismissed any of these advisement as jealous banter from women who had lost their shinny new toy charm.
A year after I moved, it was time to take a trip across the pond. This journey required me to take a passport photo. I did my hair perfectly and fixed my makeup, so it looked subtle but sexy. I was sure to have the most beautiful passport photo in all the land. My assurance was short lived as the polite Philippine photographer produced my small 2 x 2 photographic nightmare. I looked like a fat tick. I guess not weighing myself was more of a denial tactic rather than a practice of the self-confidence that I prided myself on.
Suddenly the familiar voice in my head flooded it will genius ideas. All I had to do was go out drinking every night and get so drunk that I simply would not be able to eat the next day. Good idea, right? I also decided to make an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss medication for ADD. I knew college students popped this sort of thing like skittles in order to stay up and study all night. I also knew that it made one skinny, because of decreased appetite.
I went home pleased with my quick fix plan to drop a few pounds. I then did what any proactive adult seeking a goal does and played on Pinterest. Good thing I did, because the universe decided to reach out to me via a quote from Albert Einstein.
“The definition of Insanity is doing the same this over and over again and expecting different results.”
He said to me from beyond the grave.
Einstein was right. My plan was insane. I needed to do the exact opposite. I decided to seek health. I would learn everything I could about becoming the healthiest form of myself I could possibly be.
I became obsessive. I bought every book I could on the subject. I watched Netflix documentaries over and over again. I was starting to scare myself with the overload of information. So I consolidated and found a common denominator.
Although worded differently and in greater extent, the message was basically all the same. Eat real food. This could be taken to a variety of different extremes from eating only raw organic plant based foods to eating only foods that you buy on the perimeter of the supermarket. I choose a doable medium.
I decided to kick-start this with a nutritional cleanse. There are many of these programs available and I believe the individual should research and find one that fits their health goals the best. I chose to take part in a program that lasted 21 days. The first 7 days I was limited to fruit and vegetables. It was recommended that a majority of my consumption was raw vegetables, but not required. I could have no caffeine, artificial sweeteners or even gum. The first three days were very hard for me. I was faced with the reality that I had not only an addiction to caffeine, but also one to the sugar that I was getting from all the processed food I was eating.
My suffering paid off and by the fourth day I was starting to feel awesome. I had also lost 7 pounds already. I was excited by the notion that I could be so skinny at that end of this that Victoria Secret would seek me out for their catalog.
After that, I kind of leveled off on my weight loss, and this displeased me greatly. It was time to add some exercise. I choose to try hot yoga. It was honestly only my choice, because the studio near me was offering a special. If I could go 10 days in a row, it would be only $10 for all 10 days. That’s essentially a dollar a class rather than the usual $15.
I am now addicted to hot yoga, and if I could fit it with my work schedule, I would go everyday twice. The combination on the healthy eating and my new exercise routine reignited my weight loss. I was 12 pounds down with 11 days to go.
On the 11th day of the program, I was allowed to add lean organic meats. It was like I had died and gone to heaven. You have no idea how good a plain skinless chicken breast tastes after eating only plants. I wasn’t even worried about going back to my old eating habits at the end of the program, because the smallest of things now seemed like a treat.
When the program ended, I was down 16 pounds, but I didn’t care. I felt healthy. Now I’m not strict and restricting like I was during the cleanse, but I am able to listen to my body. I know what foods make me feel good and which make me feel terrible. I basically reset my health. I know it sound crazy, but It’s not a struggle anymore it’s just who I am. I don’t ever focus on what I can have I only think about what I need to be healthy. Now I’m skinnier than I have ever been, but more importantly I am happy.