It’s so strange to realize that habits you’ve cultivated need to be broken. It’s also disconcerting, especially if you’re a person who thrives on habits and routines. I am one of those people. This is an epiphany I’ve recently had. In an effort to get myself together (which, believe me, is a NEVER ending process), I’ve been attempting to get on my health in order. I have many reasons for doing this. Two of the top ones being that my parents health and my family history. You name it, it’s in there. My sister and I have always joked that we’re doomed health wise. If it won’t be cancer, it’ll be Diabetes, or Dementia, or we’ll go blind, have diverticulitis or crippling arthritis. We’re going to get something but we’ve still, sort of, tried to keep a check on ourselves (she more than me, so props to you, Sister!)
I’ve been fascinated with health and homeopathic remedies for as long as I can remember. I bought a book as a young teen that explained how a vegetarian diet could do wonders. I specifically remember there being a list of food and their benefits listed in the back of the book. I was vegetarian for about 2 years. (Well, pescatarian. OK, I was mostly vegetarian.) We even pulled it out to help my dad.
I don’t know where that book is now. I should find it. So, I’ve always tried to be healthy and make smart choices. I usually don’t but it’s not for lack of knowledge. It’s just usually convenience and my stress level that , ultimately, was the deciding factor for things that impact my health. I try but usually fail. Recently, since I’m not in school, my interest in health and homeopathic remedies has been renewed. I’m also more concerned after recent life events have made health seem even more important. Another thing that adds to my revisiting this topic is the fact that a milestone birthday is encroaching…so, yeah.
I’m a snacker. I don’t mean that I eat small meals. I mean that I have proclivity to want to eat nothing but snack foods. I love, LOVE, potato chips. Oh, gosh, they are my weakness. Chips and dip? Stop. It’s my favorite thing. I also really love crackers and cheese. Basically, anything crunchy, I’m fine with. However, that’s not the best choice. Sadly, a healthy body (and mind) does not cheese, crackers, chips, and queso make. You can’t, or shouldn’t, live on crackers, chips, cheese, dip, and fruit snacks. After realizing this, and after reflecting on the last couple of years, I knew a change had to be made. I am a 29 (insert crying emoji here, and come see me crying at my desk) year old woman who knows what meals should look like, has knowledge on what my nutritional profile should be. I can give that advice to other people and I have. I’ve given that advice freely. Yet, I cannot put this knowledge into practice for myself.
This, y’all, is a problem. After some deep reflection, I been questioning how I’m even alive. I’m pretty sure that for the last 3 years, I’ve lived off of the previously mentioned snacks, dry cereal, Raising Canes, Wendy’s 4 for 4 and the occasional Taco Bell quesadilla. I probably have some sort of vitamin deficiency.
I should go to the doctor and have test run. It’s a wonder I had the physical and mental ability to finish my degree and do the things I was doing. How?!
The realization of what my diet consisted of and knowing that I do know better, (I’ve taken multiple nutrition classes, read so many studies, books, blogs, all the things. I was in charge of designing a menu for a school for goodness sake. I know about these things!) I knew something had to change. I had to start making a habit of eating actual meals that consisted of actual food. Which means cooking but I’m fine with that. I enjoy cooking. It also means planning! I love planning but was never good with it when it came to food. Like I said, not being in school is really changing the game. I can look at recipes and do more than just admire them. I actually make them. I plan out what I will cook when. I even plan snacks ahead of time! It’s amazing. Things are changing.
However, it wasn’t just school that made making informed choices difficult. If you’ve seen any of my other post, you know that things have happened in the last few years. Those events affected everything. My ‘diet’ was heavily impacted by those events. Making ‘right’ nutritional choices didn’t matter. I was worried about too many other things. So, when you’re so tired because you don’t sleep, you know you need something but you don’t care what it is. When you’re working 11 hours a day and don’t leave your work place, you will eat the stale Goldfish, and you’ll eat them in abundance. When you’re depressed and you haven’t eaten in almost 24 hours but you know you should, going through a drive thru is so much easier. When your anxiety is high and you’re on the verge of a panic attack, comfort food is much more appealing because you’re convinced the comfort food will soothe better. This was my thought process.
So, here I am, learning to make better choices and function like a ‘normal’ person (for the record, there is no such thing as normal, we’re all quirky, which is how it should be). It’s been an effort, but I think, so far so good. I’ve made marked improvements in just a few months. Especially, in my thinking of food. There’s thought put into what and when I will eat. I now have breakfast everyday. I’ve never been a breakfast person because I get up early. Always an early riser, never a breakfast eater, just coffee. Now, I have a smoothie every morning! I also, usually, go home and make something for lunch and supper. I still like my snacks but they’ve decreased significantly. I didn’t even buy chips last time I got groceries! (I did get crackers , though, because one thing at a time) Now, I know this isn’t perfect or even the formula that’s suggested (again, I do know about these things. It’s one thing to know, another to put it into practice.) The point is, I’m trying. I really am trying. Not just in this area of life but across multiple areas. It was time.
I’m making adjustments because they have to be made. I see the pattern I’m in and the one I’ve been in for years and I’m finally ready to break it. I’m ready to improve it. Not for vanity but because it matters. It has impact on my life! It’s also a process. It’s a process to get a healthier place. Again, not just physically healthy but healthy all over. I’ll write more about those adjustments later. I’m in process. I mean, who isn’t! Right? I just feel compelled to share about mine, for some reason.