I’m quite open to admit I suffer from two forms of autoimmune, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (in full remission) and I’m a coeliac. To people who haven’t faced these or similar it’s basically your own body attacking it’s self violently and at times you are pretty much dumbfounded as to why.
The coeliac first came to light when I was younger and after a difficult relationship with food my body started to shut down. I was exhausted no matter the rest, my hair started to fall out, I was physically weak and fragile. Back then I didn’t fully understand the full consequences of why my relationship with food was having such a dramatic effect on my energy levels.
For anyone who has suffered with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis there were days when it felt physically impossible to eat. Digesting my food would drain my energy levels and that’s when I started to find out about the thermodynamics of food. This involves food combinations to not only help digestion but create better nutrient absorption.
The main gift from all of this experience has been learning to see food as fuel rather than just mindless eating. I didn’t care what I ate, when I ate, how it was made or what was in it and my body was the exact product of this. Years later I could have been so far ill that it would be near impossible to come back from and I thank my makers for the gift of learning nutrition.
Can you remember before you could walk, or drive or when you couldn’t tie your shoes? This is how I see nutrition now. It’s a life lesson and although there no perfection in the world, I aim to do my best. I couldn’t function if I continued to eat the way I did, smoke and treat my body like a garbage bin. Nutrition is just a way of life, not a diet, a lifestyle choice and I’m grateful for the change.
Years ago whenever I ‘tried’ to lose weight I would struggle if I passed a sweet counter. All I wanted was to indulge and it was a constant battle with what food was ‘good’ and what was ‘bad’. Today all my food is good, I buy what’s good, I cook what’s good and I eat GOOD. Does that mean I don’t enjoy my food? Hell no, it’s just means I’m done with the guilt. I no longer crucify myself over the calories or macro content because I KNOW what’s good for me and what isn’t. I don’t enjoy that overly full feeling or when I regret eating something or waking up feeling ill so I made a decision to be done with it. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life pining away for food that makes me feel bad.” So I took control and I’m done with it. It’s liberating! I don’t care for the sweet supermarket aisle anymore, it’s the fresh counters for me. My tastebuds have hanged so much that I crave the colours of bright red peppers and grass green apples.
So where do we start? First of all we have to know where you are and come to terms with it. Here’s my truth. I was eating like I didn’t care, because I didn’t care. I was feeding my son the same and he was getting ill from it too. The fact is I wasn’t willing at accept that his mood swings, his eczema, his behaviours and even how badly we both slept at night came down to those last min throws into the shopping trolley. What’s truly upsetting is that for YEARS I have done online shopping. I was actively, consciously and fully aware of each and every selection. I was willing to my health and my sons at risk for the sake of food.
To scale back all our habits in one go just swings the pendulum one way and alike always, it just comes swinging straight back the other. Small steps, learning and recognising the benefits makes all the difference. When we eat certain foods we get instant gratification, when we change the diet the improvements are gradual and it’s getting used to this kind of change and appreciating it.
Years ago I would never imagine the cravings would disappear for unhealthy foods but today even the thought of going back to those old eating habits repels me. I still make conscious choices for the household, I still portion size my choices and I’m always aware of how my food is produced. These simple choice keep me feeling full of energy and feeling like the best version of myself.