So all I focused on was losing weight. Big mistake.
I watched a great talk yesterday by one of my favorite health speakers, Dr. Robert Lustig, entitled: "Fat Chance: Beating the Odds against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease". He reminded me of the truth. Fat itself is harmless and getting rid of fat doesn't necessarily make you healthy.
Did you know almost as many people who are considered at their healthy weight have type II diabetes as people who are considered overweight or obese? Same with heart disease. It isn't eating too many calories that leads to diabetes, it is what's in the calories.
Specifically sugar and processed foods.
Here's what I used to do. I would get disgusted enough with myself to try to lose weight again. I would stock up on diet foods, processed foods, low fat foods, low calorie snacks, etc. All kinds of processed foods. And I would count every calorie obsessively.
I would fail, then quit trying for awhile. Build up self hatred and try again. Over and over. It was a way of life that never led me to peace, or health or even long term weight loss. It never worked.
Then I had a health crisis. I was losing kidney function, and losing it fast. I was suddenly scared. I saw the possibility of a shortened life and it really, really scared me.
I hadn't done any of my dreams yet! I hadn't seen Europe, or hiked the Grand Canyon, or found "the one", or went SCUBA diving in Australia, or started my business, or written a book. I needed more time. I decided that I was not going to give up so easily. No way. I'd been through too much already.
So I quit smoking. That, for me, was step number one. It took awhile and it was painful and HARD.
Then I tried more dieting. I hate dieting! I just couldn't do it anymore. I believed there had to be a better way. So I started exercising. You know. Walking at Highbanks and sessions with my trainer. Wow! When I started walking those hills regularly and lifting weights twice a week, I felt so much healthier. Stronger. Empowered.
Then little by little, I started substituting real, whole food for processed food. Not for weight loss, but for my health. For my LIFE. And it started to change my health. I stopped losing kidney function, my immune system disorders calmed down, and I started to heal.
As my body healed, two very amazing things happened. I started being happy and I started losing weight.
Now, as you know, I don't have the whole foods plant strong thing 100% and never will. But I don't believe I have to be perfect to see the outrageous benefits of eating real food. I already see it.
What they are doing to our food is killing us. Don't fall for it. Take back your power and take back your life. Go out of your way to eat the whole, healthy version of foods, not the quick, easy, processed versions. It is so worth it.
I know some of you are struggling right now with a diagnosis or some chronic condition. Or maybe you are afraid of one in your future. I understand completely. I know some things are within your power to change, and some are not. The things to focus on are the things you are empowered to change: your food and your exercise. Ditch the toxins. Get moving. We can all do better, and in the process we will get healthy, happy and maybe even lose some weight.