Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Biggest Struggle

Someone asked me today what the hardest part of my journey has been. I didn't really have a good answer at the time. However, after pondering the question for a while, I've had some thoughts. I have been an ice cream addict for as long as I could remember. If I desired a comfort food, it was ice cream. I was a very emotional eater. When I would eat emotionally, I would always choose ice cream. In addition to that, we ate cheese with pretty much every meal that wasn't breakfast. For breakfast, we would generally have cereal, with milk. Our diet revolved around dairy products. That doesn't include all the prepackaged foods that contain dairy. Products that you would not think about having milk in them, actually do.

Why is this important? Dairy products are the leading culprit in many health issues that you would not even think about. Regular retail dairy products also contain growth hormones, and may or may not contain antibiotics. You may think it would be good to have antibiotics. You'd think that would mean that no one should ever get sick. Antibiotics should kill any infection that you come across. Really, it just kills the immune system. Organics are better, but still can cause issues.

Let me stress, that I have not cut out dairy 100% yet. I still do indulge in a pizza now and again, or the occasional ice cream cone. I do not eat near the amount I did, however. I do eat a serving of organic or farm fresh yogurt about 4-5 days a week. I have gone from having 75% of my diet being dairy, to less than 1%.

How did I break the addiction? First, I was challenged to try it for a month. I agreed to that. I can do anything for a month, right? That was the beginning of the end for me. After that month, I had some pizza. I got a headache. For about the last 12 years, I have suffered from nonstop sinus headaches. I was living on allergy meds and ibuprofen. I stopped dairy, stopped the allergy meds, and stopped the ibuprofen. I didn't need them anymore. Once I realized how poorly I felt after eating dairy, I didn't crave it anymore. My biggest struggle became easy. I have learned to really trust God for the emotional stuff, instead of my food. I eat for nutrition now. I know that the better I eat, the better I feel. The better I feel, the less stress and emotions get to me.

I also think it is worthy to talk about another huge health issue I've dealt with from childhood. Every single year of my life I have dealt with serious coughing issues. As an infant/toddler, these issues put me in the hospital more than once. Twice a year, during cold and flu season, I would catch a cold. Unlike most people who blow their nose for a week or so and get over it, I would continue coughing for weeks. It would progress into things like croup or bronchitis. Cough medicine would only make it worse. Cough drops did not help. It made it difficult to sleep, difficult to work, it was horrifying in middle school. I have been journeying over 11 months now. I should've had 2 episodes in that time. I've had none. I thought I was getting a cold at one point, but got over it within 24 hours.

I think the thing that was most important in overcoming the biggest struggle is that I was ready. I had to decide to make the change. If someone had tried to tell me all this stuff 18 months ago, I wouldn't have listened. I started the journey to lose weight. I started for 3 months. That's it. Except, that after the three months was up, I didn't want to stop. I didn't want to go back to feeling like garbage. I didn't want to gain those 20 pounds back. I didn't want to put on my fat pants again. Every month after that got easier and easier. I've gotten used to eating good tasting, home cooked food. I love the challenge of trying to take the junk that I used to eat and turn it into something healthy. I love blowing people's minds when I show up somewhere bearing baked goods without processed sugar or hydrogenated oils. It blows my mind that people are now looking at me to find out how I've done it. My question to you is: HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?

1 comment:

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