Finding health before my forties

Published April 18, 2012 by Crystal

As I’ve explained in previous posts, I’ve pretty much always been big. Emotional eating, learned habits, cravings for fat and carbs, the lack of desire to move much. It all contributed.
And unlearning all these habits, and getting rid of all those cravings can be long and arduous.

In my bid to be slim I have tried;

WeightWatchers
Slimming World
Atkins
Not eating
Eating only ryvita and cottage cheese
Vegetarianism
Fruit diet
Soup Diet
Calorie Counting
Blood Type
GI diet
Green Tea tablets
Intuitive Eating
Exercise DVDs
Exercise classes
Walking
Running

And I know, Know, KNOW that none of these will work long term if they are viewed purely as a system to rid the body of fat and then forget about once the magic “goal” is struck.
I also know, that several of them were just plain unhealthy, and staying on them for any length will have been highly detrimental to my health.
But I also know that the food I’ve been eating for the last 30 odd years, for the most part, are not healthful foods. Big bowls of creamy pasta dishes, pizza, chips, fry ups, crisps, rich in carbs, low in anything colourful. I like foods with fats and oils in, and take aways, well is there any type of food a certain website can’t connect you to via the magic of the internet? You don’t even have to talk to a human being now, just order online, and pff, within an hour your chinese is at your door.
So I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food for pretty much most of my life, to a greater or lesser extent. Even now it’s not particularly good, but it’s getting there. I’m reading and learning about foods I’d never even have considered trying 4 years ago. I’m aware of how certain foods send me on a sugar high or a trip down IBS alley.
But in my journey I have read. A lot. A LOT. A LOT. A LOT.
I have read articles on everything I have embarked on, reviews, studies, forums, both sides of the coin. The good, the bad and the ugly. When I decided to give veganism a go I read up on the best way to get a balanced diet, and read some of the arguments around the B12 debate (makes for good reading if you have nothing to do). I also came across some truly horrendous articles about meat slaughtering and, you know, the general pro vegan, anti meat eater literature. For every article, there will always be a counter article, and it’s worth reading what you can, when you can when you want to embark on something.

Now my latest “thing”, and I accept it is a “thing”, is that I’m giving more time to raw food at the moment. I remember seeing a programme about this back in 2010, and it interested me then, and when I decided to make the move toward veganism I came across a lot of literature about it. This was back in August. But it has only been recently, after several months of looking into it, and reading the for’s and against’s that I decided to take the plunge. I’ve been posting the odd picture of a meal on a blue and white social site, and it has caused a few people to decide I need advice, or to “be careful”. It has been assumed I’m doing some random crazy “rabbit food” diet, and that I’m going to deprive myself of essential food groups. They didn’t ask me what my meal plans were, or ask for information, or even want to open a discussion into the pros and cons.
I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s no different from choosing to stop eating meat, and the endless statements of “but you won’t get your protein!” “Where’s your calcium going to come from?!”. and I know it’s done with a certain amount of concern and care. But it’s also patronising. It’s made with the assumption that I have absolutely no knowledge on the topic.
Egads, try living in my body for 30 seconds! Try getting inside my brain, and then maybe you’ll realise that actually all I want is health. I’m not striving for the unobtainable size 0, I’m searching for health and longevity, and happiness. I won’t to feel whole. Body, mind, heart and soul.

I’m 33 now. And I’ve still not got to grips with my body. I would love to say that I have all the answers, that if you go through my previous posts around weight loss, the magic answer, that paradise pill, is in there, and you will reach a dream weight, and health beyond your wildest dreams, just by following my advice. But I can’t and you won’t.
I know food is important. I know movement is important. I know sleep is important. I know avoiding stress is important. But how you come round to prioritising and balancing these things in your life so you become healthy, wealthy and wise is your journey and not mine.

Good luck
I can’t write down everything I’ve read on every topic I’ve looked into, and I can’t even list every website and book I’ve read. And anyway, there would be no point. Because my body is not like yours, and what I need to thrive is not what will benefit you.

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