6 years ago I began a journey that forever changed my life. A friend challenged me to go 5 days without eating any processed foods. Easy, right? I made it about two hours before I started hitting roadblocks. Eggs? But no cheese, no toast. Salad? But no ranch dressing, no cheese, definitely no bacon bits. No cereal, no crackers, no juice, no soda, no string cheese, no yoplait yogurt, no cottage cheese, no protein bar on the run…no milk!
What was I supposed to eat? How had my concept of food become so narrow and so unhealthy? And then it hit me, like a ton of bricks. I was fat, I was tired, I was unhealthy, and I did not eat very much real food…if any.
I had been processed!!!
Today I have lost 100 lbs!!! I am pretty proud of that number but not for the reasons you might think. My entire life I fed my emotions with food. Food=comfort/love. My Father died when I was 7 years old and with that went most of my emotional support, nurturing if you will. Food was always there. The food I ate (fast food, junk food, fattening foods) hit my bloodstream and gave me a rush!!! I felt a high. I felt happy. I felt unstoppable. Then I would crash. Feel tired. Fat. Like a loser with no self-control. Then the cycle would repeat. For years I abused my body, 30 years to be exact. Food was my drug of choice.
So when I found myself looking into my refrigerator and realizing there were no real, whole foods, I had my lightbulb moment. I knew then and there it was no longer about looking like a model, or wearing a bikini some day, both things the fat me spent hours wishing for. I was officially fighting for my life.
I did not lose 100 lbs quickly. Slowly my eating evolved over time. The better I ate, the better I felt. Slowly the weight came off. Once I made food my friend, instead of my adversary, we began to work together. My body was able to become its authentic shape. My brain became clear, no more fog. My mood stabilized. My relationships improved as I was no longer toxic. I lost 66 lbs just chaining the food I ate. The very first day I quit Diet Coke, and in two weeks alone I lost 8 pounds. It all became clear. Food would heal me.
Today I am a Health Coach (You can read more about my path to Health Coaching here.), and an avid defender of whole foods. I am not a vegetarian. I am not a vegan. I am not 100% paleo or keto, but I do eat all of these diets at times. I eat real food! I eat consciously, and I eat to fuel my mind, body and soul.
After spending my life battling a food addiction, one that I believe was fueled by my emotions, but then became a physical addiction to the “STUFF” in the Standard American Diet, I am excited to be back IN CHARGE of my body. I am no longer physically and emotionally driven by cravings, sugar-highs and lows, or a desire to fill an emptiness that I could literally FEEL in my being.
Today I understand that food is energy and energy is LIVING!
good food. good life.