The journey of a thousand miles

  • dscn001930 days without any added sugar – in all of its forms
  • 30 days without alcohol
  • 30 days without dairy
  • 30 days without grains
  • 30 days without fast food or any restaurant food
  • 30 days of preparing meals from scratch – translate chopping lots and lots of veggies

So what does that mean? It means that I successfully completed the Whole30 program. For those of you who are unfamiliar it is a program that focuses on teaching people who what they put in their bodies directly affects how they feel and their overall health.

Go figure, right? If I eat junk I’m going to feel like crap. It’s not a new concept. I mean people have been telling us for years to eat more fruits and vegetables, eat in moderation, and avoid alcohol. Maybe I’m different this time. Maybe I’m ready to be healthy for the first time in my life.

I am entering the Reintroduction phase today where I get to test all the foods and drinks that I’ve avoided for the past 30 days. I need to pay attention to how they affect my body to see if I can add them back into my diet. To be honest I didn’t really miss much – except the cheese.

I love cheese. Maybe that means I should avoid it, but I hope not.

There have been a lot of take aways from this program. I’ve learned to read labels for more than just the fat content and calories. It blew my mind when I discovered that most prepared foods have added sugar in one form or another. How can anyone ever learn to appreciate the sweetness of a good piece of fruit when we pump ourselves full of sugar all day? And how does that affect the obesity and diabetes crises millions of Americans face?

Think about that…

We know the dangers of drinking pop and other soft drinks and eating baked goods and everything else that we think should be sweet. But what about all the other foods where sugar is almost a hidden ingredient? What about all the mindless eating and drinking we’re encouraged to do on a daily basis?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying anyone forced me to eat things that I knew were bad for me. I’ve had issues with food my whole life that had nothing to do with marketing. I’m a yo-yo dieter from way back and I take full responsibility for my emotional and closet eating ways.

But it angers me, oh hell I’m pissed, that food manufacturers are knowingly contributing to the epidemics many Americans are facing. And the healthcare industry would rather give people pills than tell them the simple truth that if they just quit shoveling in the junk food they would feel better.

Of course this is a two-way street. How many of us are told to stop overeating or drinking to improve out health and yet we make excuses to continue our bad habits?

I know I can’t blame anyone else for the fact that I am heavier now than I’ve ever been. Whether it was too many snacks or portions that were too large or too many drinks, it was all my doing.

My decisions about food are what led me to the unhealthy state I was in 30 days ago whether I actually thought about them or not. But my decisions about food will now lead me to the healthy state I’ve been searching for my whole life. I’ve searched for the quick fix and have been successful in the short-term, but I have to face reality.

Life and finding true happiness, joy, and contentment is not about the short-term. Whatever decisions I make will affect the long-term whether I want them to or not. And at the end of it all, I am the only one responsible for me.

I am nowhere near where I need to be, but I know that if I had never started I would most certainly never get there. I would love to lie to myself right now and say that this is going to be easy from here on out, but I know 30 days isn’t long enough to exercise the food demons that have been plaguing me my whole life.

But see that’s the cool part of this. I’m not looking for the quick fix or the loopholes or ways to lose weight without actually changing my behavior anymore. I’m looking for ways to improve my health and my lifestyle and me…for the long-term.

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” –  Lao Tzu

Why not take that step today?

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