So, after almost 2 weeks of dieting, I am happy to announce I have lost around 4 pounds. I really hate that word: diet(ing). It makes me think of the latest fad that everybodies doing. You know, where they lose 20 pounds in two weeks by drastic measures and then go back to their former way of eating. Of course, those lost pounds often come back within a short amount of time. Okay, I may have exaggerated that time span, but you get the general idea.
I went out after church last evening with a friend of mine and we spent awhile talking about this very subject. We are both on diets right now. But we're not taking any drastic measures. We both want to have the benefits that weight loss and exercise will give us. I can't imagine anyone having more energy than this friend of mine, that's definitely a scary thought. She's moving all day long. Just listening to her schedule for a day makes me feel the need for a nap. And she's healthy as an ox (haha- sorry, it's an inside joke). I think she's thinking more of 10 years from now and how her weight may affect her health then. She is close to 50, but still has two young children. I don't even want to imagine myself 10 years from now in this area.
While I wouldn't mind fitting into my clothes from several years back, that's not my main goal. I am feeling the need, really almost an urgency, to get my body into a healthy state. I see so many people around me suffering from illnesses that are so tied in to how they eat, and how they take care of their body. I find it hard to understand why they are willing to suffer when they have the power to make a difference in their health.
I'm not professing myself as an authority on health. Or saying that everything can be fixed in this way. I'm just saying that too many people act as if they are helpless when it comes to adding to their quality of life in this area. Yes, I may end up with cancer, in spite of my careful eating. But I believe I will have had a better quality of life leading up to that time.
One good example of this is migraines. I rarely ever had a headache growing up. After my middle child was born, the migraines started. Anyone who has studied migraines knows that there is quite a bit of quesswork on what causes them. There are so many triggers: diet, sleep, allergies, hormones, foods, other health issues, stress,ect. If you've never had a migraine, I can't really describe what it's like. They are incredibly painful. And disorienting. And exhausting.
A couple years ago, I was to the point where I was having atleast a low-grade migraine every other day. I was managing to get by through popping over-the-counter medicine, but just barely managing. When I went to the Doctor, they had the solution: take a pill every day to keep the migraines away. The only problem: the pill made me terribly ill.
I started to see a Chiropractor and found that I had several vertabrae that were slipping out in my neck. Now, a year later, I don't have near the amount of migraines I used to. I'm careful not to go too long without eating, and I try to drink plenty of water. But, in spite of so many things I've tried, they haven't completely stopped. They are something that I've had to learn to live with. But I have been able to influence their frequency. It's alot easier to endure 2-3 migraines a month than one every-other-day.
I know we live in a busy, hurried society. And even though I homeschool (or maybe it's because I do?) I don't always have alot of time to make "special" food. Because of that, I have to stick to basics when I eat for my health. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, healthy grains, lowfat meats. Fortunately, I love that stuff so it may be easier for me because of that. But then, I also love ice cream, homemade chocolate chip cookies, pie, dark chocolate and pastrys! (with special emphasis on those last two).
And while I'm rambling, I'll add something else I read today. The University of N.C. did a study on the drinks we consume. They found on average that people (in general) consume 450 calories daily through what they drink. This amounts to 23 lbs a year that we have to work off or just carry around with us. Wow! Did I hear someone mention Starbucks?
During my last pregnancy I spent six months on feeding tubes. Some of this time was in the hospital, but most of it was at home. I carried a backpack hooked up to a pic-line IV in my arm. Twice a week, a home health nurse would come by and redo my bandages. I was a rare patient for her, pregnancy being my main ailment. Most of her patients had cancer of some kind. Talking to her really made an impression on me. I realized how fortunate I was: after my baby was born I would be through with all this (On top of getting the Bonus of the baby!).
6 months of feeding tubes, multiple blood infections, continual heavy medication. I determined I wanted to be as healthy as I could be. Afterwords, I lost 30 pounds through eating well and daily exercise. It was rumored I was starving myself, but I wasn't. I just had really good initiative.
And now I find myself not in the same place as before, but not where I should be. Should I just say it? Junk tastes good! If it didn't, there would be no need for that all-important self-control. Then we could all happily nibble on our carrots and broccoli with never a glance at that delectable cinnamon roll (did I mention I really like those too?).
And exercising, while being somewhat energizing, is still exhausting. And not nearly as fun as reading a book or going shopping. And when I said I needed 20 minutes to myself each day, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind for that time!
So, I confess I had a piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie last night at the restaurant. And a scoop of ice cream to go with it. And it tasted very similar to what I expect heavenly food will taste like. But today I happily go back to my "diet". As much as I enjoyed that dessert, I enjoy more the extra energy I've started to feel. The better sleep I'm getting. The loss of that bloated feeling. The generally good feeling that comes from being in control of oneself. And maybe even the way my clothes fit just a little better yesterday~