Health,  Intentional Living

Eating and Letting Go

So, in my last post I mentioned some changes I made that set a tonefor the beginning of 2012. One of those changes involves my nutrition.

I lost 30lbs in 2004 and gained a great deal of awareness around nutrition by loosely following Weight Watchers (I never joined, but my mom had some old materials and I read a lot online). I learned that if I ate healthier, I could usually eat more. On the old Weight Watchers plan, I had 20 points a day and 30 flex points a week. I could easily eat a sandwich, salad and piece of fruit for the same amount of points. (Many times…I chose the brownie instead…)

Since then, I have continued to make small changes. For a while, I was mostly vegetarian and ate primarily rice and beans (with little to no vegetables and fruits). I ate only whole grains, and tried to be careful at restaurants. My biggest downfall was nighttime: I binged almost every night on sweet and/or salty snacks. If I had one dessert a day, it was a good day; usually, I had several sugary desserts a day.

When my trainer suggested the slow carb diet, I thought I would slowly transition to doing it. The next day I randomly got motivated and did the diet without cheating for 3 months! I lost about 15lbs- 8 the first month, 0 the second month, and 6.5 the last month.

While this diet obviously worked for me, I didn’t feel happy about it. I’ve never been a huge fan of meat, and I was eating a crap-ton of it. It felt very heavy to me. What the slow carb diet DID do for me was get me almost completely off bread and sugar. While the diet allows for one “cheat day” a week, I found that I “needed” it increasingly less, and felt increasingly worse every time I ate “cheat food”.

I heard about the raw food diet and started eating all my vegetables raw. Then, I started eating less meat and more beans. The next step was to start incorporating fruit smoothies a couple times a day, and then I just jumped in. For two weeks I’ve been eating at least 80% low fat raw vegan.

There will definitely be more posts about this diet, but what I want to focus on here is how I feel about it.

In the last two weeks, I have felt serious sadness around my eating changes. It is hard to explain, but I feel like I am grieving a loss. I made many dramatic dietary changes since October. Sometimes I feel energized and excited about it! But I also feel sad.

By eating cleaner, I am giving up a huge part behavior I’ve had my entire life. There are foods I’ve always eaten that I may never eat again (because I don’t want to). It’s interesting how easy these changes have been for me after struggling with food my whole life. I would binge and feel so much shame and guilt…then I would do it again the next day. Food addiction is very much like drug addiction in that way.

I think another source of my sadness is that I wish I could bring more people with me. I am elated that a few people who are dear to me are inspired by my eating, but I know some other people who struggle with food and haven’t been able to let go. I think I feel sad because I understand what those chains feel like and I don’t know exactly how to help someone, because I am not totally sure what I did to to be able to make such changes. I guess I feel like God just decided to help me, and I feel guilty.

Writing this, I realize I’ve had this feeling before. In high school and college when I was drawing near to God more intimately, I felt intense sadness for a friend who was suffering without Him. I felt so powerless. All I can do is share my experience and make sure I am available to help if someone reaches out. I’ve tried helping people by giving advice before it is wanted or requested, and I’ve learned my lesson.

So, thank you for reading this and for being a part of my life! I love being a part of yours.


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