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Today I lit a fire inside myself. It all started with reading a blog of a local health guru about BTD. It was all the usual criticisms about BTD. For some reason, this time those criticisms made me mad. For other reasons I was just plain fed up and mad at myself because sure I can defend it online, but currently I can't stand up in person and say "this diet works, just look at me". Sure I'm pretty healthy, way healthier than I was in my 20s when I found BTD and changed my life by following it... back when I left behind my healthy granola with a side of S.A.D. diet. But that is not what the first impression would be for somebody looking at me. I know how to lose weight with BTD, I know how to follow it, I have lost 40 pounds on two occasions with it (followed by two healthy pregnancies). But I haven't lost the weight from my second pregnancy, I've actually gained. So, I could stand up and say, "look at me, I haven't been following the BTD and look at the results of not following it"... for some reason that isn't too helpful. I've been gluten free, of course, but taking out gluten is not the only reason that BTD works.
That's the truth, the cold hard truth. My excuses have won: it's hard to cook and eat healthy meals when my children outnumber me, my body doesn't react negatively to the wrong foods like it did in the early days, we've had a period of a very very limited food budget and numerous financial stresses, (while I do think it is possible to eat healthy on a tiny budget, I do know it's not easy). I'm a stress eater who has been stressed to the max.
That's all over now though, the stresses that were out of my control are not gone. The children are older. We can afford to buy free range and organic whole foods. We had to move in with relatives, but will be moving back out on our own. In general, things are looking up in every way. While my kids are still higher maintenance than many kids, things are looking up. We all have appointments with occupational therapists for sensory integration problems that have plagued all of us for our whole lives (and play a big part in my stress eating), and I am hopeful it will make everything more manageable.
The best thing that happened to me today though was that I got miffed about that blog. Then I got fed up with my excuses and anxious to get to the point where I can convincingly help people who need the BTD to find and follow it . I weigh more than I ever have, but in one year I will have some awesome before and after pictures and an inspiring story to tell so that I can start helping others again.
I went through the fridge and threw out all the unhealthy foods that I was eating, and cordoned off the ones that other people in the house eat so that I won't even have to look at them. I put no feta cheese in my spinach and eggs this morning, I put no agave or anything in my green tea. No more sugar, very limited agave or honey, no more dairy of any kind, no refined carbs... more veggies, fruit, clean meats, and a few whole grains like quinoa and brown rice (about 1/2 cup per day). Snacks will include fresh veggies, nuts, cocoa beans, unsweetened dried fruit.
Time to get serious. In one year you can expect before and after pictures. June 13, 2013, it's in my calendar, come what may, the truth will continue to be told. I am stronger than my excuses.
Here's my new T-Shirt: Determination, the snack of champions.
Looking back on my life and various stages of dietary knowledge and compliance over the years, I've come to the conclusion that I have no regrets for choosing the right foods and refusing the wrong foods. In the moment, it seems like a big deal..."everyone else is eating it, I want to eat it" or "I'm having a really hard day, that bit of junk would make me feel better for a moment". In the end, it never was worth giving in in the moment.
Here's what I do remember: I remember what it was like to always be sick, in pain, and/or tired. I remember missing out on activities due to not feeling well. I remember being depressed or anxious, for no good reason, I remember not being able to think well or feel the emotions I deserved to feel. I regret not being more "there" for my family and friends. That was when I ate whatever I wanted...it didn't give me the life and memories that I longed for.
Then, I remember feeling good again. I remember getting out and active and having energy instead of pain. I remember that clearly, and am reminded of it every day I continue on that path. Every morning I go to taekwondo I make more memories and feel more grateful for my improved health. Every day I go for a walk with my husband or play around with my kids, I make more memories and feel more grateful. Those are the memories that stick with me. I don't remember the donuts or twinkies I refused to eat, I don't regret picking something healthier than a milkshake or cheesecake, even if at the moment it seemed hard.
Kind of makes self-control worth the effort, doesn't it? Now that I am less sensitive to avoids and toxins, I have to think about things more, I no longer get instant retribution when I eat something I shouldn't (unless it's wheat). I have to remember how I once felt and remember that if I eat wrong for too long, I'll end up back at square one. If I increase my compliance, the rewards are increasing, and the sky is the limit. So now instead of choosing between feeling lousy and ok, I'm choosing between feeling ok and exceptional. Something about me found the "slap on the hand" more motivating, but it's time to grow out of that and find a higher motivation.
I recently turned 35, and even with some recent dietary blunders, I feel better than I did at 25. (I think I look it too). As we age, we can see the cumulative effect of our choices and be blessed or cursed for them in more obvious ways. My body has only gained ability in the recent years, and I want to keep it that way. The thirties can really be the prime of life, if it's a life well lived and nurtured. (Maybe I'll say the same thing in my 40s...I hope so!). Maybe my best decade will be my 90s, the sky is the limit.
My ten year anniversary with BTD knowledge is coming up! I often get frustrated with my slips and falling off the wagon, and my scale's recent stubbornness (although it does say I've lost 4% body fat!)
Yet, when I consider what things would have been like over the last ten years if I hadn't picked up that book, I shudder. So I need to pat myself on the back and toast with sparkling water to:
Ten years without chronic back and joint pain, and avoiding Vioxx and dangerous prescription anti-inflammatories.
Ten years without major depression or antidepressants.
Ten years without panic attacks (except one after a restaurant gave me somebody else's plate then swore it was my gluten free food)
Ten years without 70 pounds, and without phen-fen and other dangerous methods of weight loss (35 pounds lost twice, only regained through pregnancies)
Ten years with the addition of two great children!
Ten years with energy to raise those two great children.
Ten years without bladder infections (despite two pregnancies)
Ten years without wheat! (except unintentionally)
Ten years of really LIVING! No, I don't regret, and never will regret, not eating the foods I chose not to eat for health reasons, but I would regret being sick like I was before the ten years.
Ten years of being able to get by with just 7-9 hours of sleep, not 10-14 like I needed previously.
Ten years of being healthy enough to choose every blessing and consequence I've received, ten years of not being a victim of my own ignorance.
Ten years of being able to be as active and as spiritual as I've chosen to be.
My ten years have been fantastic, not perfect (mainly because my compliance hasn't been perfect), but way better than I imagined when things were so bad more than 10 years ago. I love my life, I love that I've been able to have two wonderful boys, I love my family, and I love beneficial foods!
Here's to kicking it up a notch in the next ten years! Write that book, get that black belt, continue doing all the things I know I can and should. Serve others more, share myself more.
I usually agree with Dr. Laura. And even on this point I sort of do, but not completely. I find her comments on weight loss and fitness highly motivating, and she's probably part of the reason I started Tae Kwon Do, and part of the reason I've gained more control over what I eat.
However... I've been there. I've been everywhere, that is, when it comes to weight loss. My initial weight gain, before discovering BTD, was very stubborn. I can tell you now that eating less and moving more did nothing for me. I ate less and less and less, and worked out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, at the gym. I didn't lose a pound, in fact I gained one. I did gain understanding, however. If that didn't work, then something was weird about me, and if I hadn't embarked on the eat less move more approach so heavily, I wouldn't have figured it out. To lose weight sometimes requires some great motivation and out of the box thinking.
What was weird about me was that I'd had mono, which screwed up my detoxification processes. My body ended up storing everything, and refused to burn it off because it couldn't get rid of the junk that was stored along with it. Mono also triggered celiac disease, which resulted in wrecking my metabolism because I wasn't absorbing the nutrients along with the calories. When I finally tried BTD, and realized the error of my "Breakfast of Champions", and eliminated those foods from my diet that were compounding my problems, the weight did fall off. 14 pounds in two weeks, initially. I continued working out and adjusting my diet, with great results. I was very hungry, so I ate as much as I wanted of the beneficial foods, and kept losing weight...no more counting calories.
I used BTD O-non to lose the weight from my first pregnancy, and then some, to weigh almost my high school weight when I got pregnant with my second. I had trouble dealing with the stresses of juggling two children and a hard-working husband, and have to take full and individual accountability for not losing that pregnancy weight yet. With taking responsibility comes power, though, and I'm enjoying that.
So yes, eat less, move more, but also eat right...give your body the foods it needs, and cut out the junk, regardless of the calories in the junk.
I didn't go to kickboxing today, as I was feeling a bit under the weather. My husband was sick, and his father has pneumonia, so I didn't want to push too much. I seem to be bouncing back though, so maybe I'll hit the hills with my boys in a bit. I hope my father in law recovers quickly and fully, we're all praying for him.
Oh, a TKD note...we broke boards on Thursday. I did it! I almost didn't go after being wiped out on Tuesday (still not fully recovered, energy-wise, from gastroenteritis), but I'm glad I went. However, we did side kicks to break the board, and my body is nowhere near accustomed to that kick...I can barely do it at all, much less with much power, fortunately I practiced the motion in the pool a couple weeks ago. I have a couple sore muscles behind my hip joints that I didn't know were there. Hooray for sore muscles...these are good ones to strengthen, as I can tell they really help my balance and posture.
You know, I'm a do-it-yourself, self-sufficient kinda gal. I have pride and I'm proud of my pride but that is changing. Everyone reaches a point in their life when they realize they are not invincible, and they can't do it all themself. Many people reading this website are battling frustrating, frightening, health problems. Many people facing such problems come to a point where they realize they can continue to drag themselves down with "why me" and pointing the finger of blame anywhere it will point. Some rise above the writhing masses of misery, to a whole higher plane of existence.
Dr. D. has talked about being "the exceptional patient" meaning being that one in 20 that becomes whole again, that goes into remission. There is more to that than diet alone. Food is powerful, but there's so much more to healing. We all know there are lifestyle parts to the BTD: stress reduction, exercise, meditation, but how many actually do it?
Part of meditation is prayer. Letting go of our pride and asking for help. Letting go of those parts of us we'd rather not be part of us any longer. Science shows that prayer improves outcome and health. Whatever you believe, whatever feels right to you, believe it with all your heart, and express it, ponder it...live it! Ask for what you need, then trust in what you're given. Accept your role and purpose, and then you will feel a harmony within yourself that you may not have felt for a while. We are so much more than who we think we are. We are who we touch, and who we lift, the rest is of little consequence.
I'm no expert on prayer, it had been probably a decade since I truly sincerely prayed. Sure I asked for things now and then, but more like a child asks for candy, not like a believer. My body was in a state of discord, but now it is in harmony. Like my toddler when he has a hangnail, he'll cry and complain and whine and keep touching it, making it hurt more, but he won't let me help! It would be so easy for me to fix it, if he'd give me his hand.
Have a nice Sunday!