As I briefly discussed in my previous post, I take very little care of myself. I am always on the bottom of my priority list after the kids, work, family, friends and my home. I am generous in my attitude towards others but never show myself the same generosity. My eating is a perfect example of a lack of self-love. Until recently, I rarely sat down to enjoy a full meal and if I did it was inevitably full of junk and toxins. It became a vicious cycle as I rarely had the energy to spend time on myself, but the poison that was entering my body on a daily basis made me feel worse and worse. I didn’t look my best and I definitely didn’t feel my best.
A close friend tells me all the time that I listen but I don’t hear. She’s right. She’s right because I know most of the things that I need to do in order to make myself happy and healthy, in all fairness we all probably do. I know that my weight has been creeping up and as well as disliking what I saw in the mirror, and having a heart condition, I know that I am now at risk of Type 2 diabetes. For one reason or another, I am also at a high risk of developing colon cancer. I have seen first-hand the devastating impact that it has on people and yet cannot seem to improve the quality of the food that I eat. None of those reasons were enough to provoke a change in me.
However, one thing did inspire me. I listened and I heard. This video by Vegan Alex made me stop and think. Her message is just so positive. This is my only body and I have to treat it well, especially if I want to have it for years to come. I’m lucky to have met her in real life, and she really is the embodiment of health and vitality. She literally glows. Her commitment to her health and vitality inspires me to do better. I’m making changes. I have reduced my consumption of red meat and eliminated most dairy from my diet as truthfully, it has never agreed with me and yet I’ve bought into the idea that I must drink milk. Without it, my skin has improved.
It’s clear from meeting Vegan Alex that she is happy and content. She radiates self-love and happiness. I do not. But how can I expect to when I treat my body so appallingly. The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is very true. The video made me realise that it is an act of self-love to treat my body well. I struggle with self-esteem and body image. I have done for most of my life but what I am doing is deciding that it stops here. I don’t want my children to follow my path. I no longer want to eat the type of food that makes me feel unwell most of the time. I don’t want to fill my body with junk and chemicals on a daily basis. So, I’ve made a commitment to show my body more respect. I only have one and really as I have a heart condition, I should know better. I need to take care of myself and show myself the respect that I both deserve and show to others.
I have begun eating a cleaner and less processed diet which hasn’t been too difficult as I do enjoy fruit and vegetables. I start each day with either a green smoothie or an almond milk based smoothie, but always have hot water and lemon. I can actually cook too, I’m just often too lazy to cook but the skill is there. I’ve been making more of my meals from scratch and using fresh ingredients and I have to say using a slow cooker has revolutionised the way I eat of an evening. It is a godsend for a busy working mum.
It’s hard, but I’m intending to alter the way I think about food. Food is a fuel, a way to nourish my body and help it to grow. It isn’t the emotional crutch that I make it be. A treat for when I’m celebrating or commiserating. I don’t want to link food to how I’m feeling any longer. I previously indulged in a high sugar diet and I also know that I suffer from anxiety. The links between the two are well documented for all to see and I believe it was damaging to my body. My panic and anxiety were getting harder and harder to control and I was continually self-medicating with high sugar ‘treats’. But is it really a treat when it’s eaten every day? My health needs to be a priority so this is the year I will finally overcome my faddy eating.