Food is not the enemy.
People say they want to be healthier. And they say that those little numbers on a scale are everything that matters. They take on a yo-yo seasonal diet, to be ready for bikini season, and then they fall back into their old patterns once it’s time to bundle up again.
Recently I spoke about how I had almost passed my one year mark of living as a vegetarian. I also mentioned that I’m a foodie who loves to cook, bake, and eat. Seriously, if eating was an Olympic sport, and I had two or three more industrial strength stomachs, I would be taking home the Olympic Gold every time.
Why would a foodie be off meat?
My stomach has been diagnosed with Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) about two and a half years ago. Before I received the official diagnosis, every time my stomach processed meat I would be in pain. The doctor prescribed me a popular GERD pill, that’s currently on the market, to alleviate the pain. But after months of taking medication which, to me, looked like a horse pill, I sought out more natural ways to treat this health issue. I read about how our stomachs create acid to break down all food that we consume, and that if your stomach creates too much acid it splashes up. The excess acid splashing up was what caused me heartburn, and the hard work, my stomach put in to digest the meat I would consume, is what caused me to wake up with stomach pain every morning. Once I stopped eating meat I found that I was no longer waking up in pain. And other unfortunate symptoms that I had been living with were also gone. All I did was cut out meat.
But that’s not how I lost weight. What initially spurred my body change was the nerve damage that I have in my left foot. That problem precedes my reflux diagnosis by 12 years. The nerve damage was a result of a pretty gruesome injury that I sustained as a child. It’s an injury which causes me to walk with a small limp, and it’s also an injury that has had a lasting impact on the sort of physical activity that I enjoy today.
I practice Yoga for flexibility, and to loosen the tightness sometimes develops in my calves as a result of strain, I use Spinning and Biking to keep my weaker foot as limber and flexible as it can be, and I practice Pilates to balance my body as much as I can. I walk as often as I can, and I never wear high heels.
My interest in being healthier is entirely focused on keeping all excess strain off of my feet. And the workouts that I do are also very useful for stomach issues if you can believe it. Those who are overweight, and living with reflux disease, generally have a harder time than those without extra weight on them.
The most important thing you can do, when you decide to live a healthier life, is to listen to your body. Treat your body like the temple that it is, and eat good quality food as much as you can. And enjoy the hell out of that good (and healthy!) food because food is love.
Food is also fuel. You should move your body in a way that works for you.
And treat yourself; the moment you feel like you are not able to eat something is the moment you will eat more than you should. I think it’s best to reserve these moments, when you eat more than you should, for special occasions like Sunday Dinner!
Take care of yourself.