Many times I get bewildered looks when I pass up a glass of wine or tell people that my workouts are a treat instead of a chore. They just kind of look at me like I’ve gone off the deep end and can’t imagine why I would rather make a different choice than them: A choice that may seem against-the-grain, un-fun, or mightier-than-thou. These people want me to partake and “have fun” and want to feel validated that they are OK in their own choices.
What they don’t seem to get is that it’s not about them. I’m not trying to make anyone feel badly about their choices. I’m not the food police. What they choose to eat or drink is their choice, just like what I choose to eat or drink is my choice. I am solely responsible for what I put in my mouth. And, because of the health journey that I am on, 90% of the time I choose to put things in my body that will fill it with light and energy instead of leave it bloated and gassy. Yep – 90% of the time I choose to be KIND to my body. And many times this means making choices that are different than the majority of people. (And yes, there is 10% in there for indulgences – none of us are perfect! I’ll have that drink or those corn chips sometimes.)
When I was younger I EXPECTED health to happen. I had absolutely no regard or reverence for my body and how it should be treated. I just thought I could keep ‘on truckin’ no matter what I fed myself or how I lived my life.
- I drank at least 4 cups of coffee each morning and then switched to Diet Coke for lunch and then wondered why I was wired at night.
- I had a huge sweet tooth and indulged frequently and then didn’t understand my up and down mood swings.
- I didn’t get enough sleep but expected my brain to function normally.
- I didn’t get enough fresh air and felt depressed from being inside so much.
- I ate fast food and expected my body to digest it perfectly.
- I didn’t take enough time to meditate or to just “be.” I thought I needed to go-go-go all the time.
- I had a low tolerance for stress but my life was pretty stressful.
Basically, I was like most busy people are today. Going. Going, Going. Doing. Doing, Doing. Rushing, Rushing, Rushing. Not sleeping or being or thinking about how their actions impact their well-being.
It wasn’t until my body started rebelling on me that I had to wake up and smell the roses. For me, my body rebelled through my digestive system. But, for others the rebellion could come through headaches, joint pain, high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, stiff muscles, mood swings, weight gain, overwhelm or any number of other ailments. Our bodies desperately want to be in balance, and when they get out of balance, they scream at us in their own way.
But what do most people do when these ailments creep? They take a pill. They turn towards a quick-fix powder or drink. After all that’s what society has trained us to do. The pill or other quick-fix may pacify the physical pain, but it won’t get to the root of the issue. What we all really need to do is to listen to our bodies and say, “What are you trying to tell me?”
When I woke up and started to listen to my aching body, I began making choices accordingly. I knew that the glass of wine may may me feel lethargic the next day when I had something important to do. I learned which foods would sustain me without causing digestive upset. I realized the importance of taking time to take care of myself. After all – if I didn’t take care of myself – who would?
And, many of those choices weren’t (and aren’t) easy. It’s fun to stay up really late and chat with Dave but then our lack of sleep slaps us in the face the next day. It’s easier to slack off heading to the gym, but I my body always thanks me when I go. It’s sometimes hard to pass up the queso at a party, but my belly definitely thanks me for it the next day.
Now that I am a health coach, I help people make these seemingly hard decisions in their life. At first it’s difficult for them to be the “healthy one” or the “weird one.” They feel awkward and out of place. But, little by little, a transformation begins to happen. As they begin to notice exactly how good they feel with their new found changes, they don’t want to go back. They “get it.” They have caught the healthy kick. And, while it’s not always the most socially acceptable way to live in today’s world – it’s definitely the “feel-best” one. And that’s the train I want to be on!
Do you need some support around the food and lifestyle choices that you are making in your life? Contact me for a complementary 30-minute Wanna Eat Well Discovery Session.
Here’s to healthy choices and the feel-good train,