Body + Health Food + Nutrition Mind, Intellect + Emotions

Food + Nutrition: A change in mindset

Someone asked me today if I was doing Keto… and my answer was… wellll… nooooo….

See, I’m not doing Keto, nor Paleo, nor any other diet that is hip right now. I’ve had a long history of a weird relationship with food. I’ve been bulimic… for a very long time as a teen. I’ve kept a food diary, a very restrictive food diary. Once during my teen years, I ate half an apple and a cornflake. I shit you not. And, I’ve been heavier than I wanted to be. My weight has gone up and down most recently these past 15 years or so, with pregnancy and kids etc. I would say my weight has gone up and down my whole life.. but that’s a lie. See, as a teen and young adult, I was slight. And to say my weight went up and down is disingenuous and a testament to a disordered view of my body and my self worth. I didn’t have a weight issue my whole life. I had a me issue my whole life.

I’ve lost weight doing 12 week plans… where I exercised away 500 calories a day, and adhered to a strict calorie controlled diet. Only eating what was on the plan.. in the exact qualities. I didn’t find this overly taxing or hard… but … meh.. it was pretty full on. Pretty restrictive. My meals were kinda small… and involved. The fam wasn’t on board with many of the recipes on offer. And, the daily exercise, again, in hindsight, wasn’t reallllly sustainable. I was exercising to build a 500 calorie deficit each day. Hmmm… sounds legit? Calories in, calories out ? Eat less than you burn? What a total drag.

I’m a smart woman. And the past 12 months in particular have brought me to the place I am now. Zero fox given. So, while I agree that being  “less heavy” is ultimately a good thing for me, the way to get there is something that needs addressing.

Diets don’t work. And the reason why diets don’t work is because the whole calories in calories out thing is a buttload of BS.

The thing is. I have arthritis and asthma and allergies and a whole host of other ailments that were, collectively starting to piss me off, mostly all inflammatory responses. I needed to clean up my diet in a much much more holistic way than just counting calories and flogging my body at the gym. From a symptom perspective, my hips hurt, I had achilles tendonitis, my sinuses were stuffed (I recently had triple sinus surgery successfully), I had a lot of headaches, I suffered from anxiety, my sleep sucked, I had restless legs at night, my hormones were starting to play havoc (perimenopause) and my periods were painful and long. REALLY LONG. 14 days is a shit show of a higher magnitude. With day one cramps the whole time. Mm hmmm. You can see a picture forming here right?

So, I started to rethink how I viewed my body and my health. My weight was a part of this but I now see this as another symptom.

The way I looked at exercise changed (more on this on another post). But from a nutrition and food perspective I did a few things, deliberately, to test what would work and why. Not purely from a “oh look I’m 1 kg down” perspective. But from a … oh shit… my body is back… I’m free, and moving well, and sleeping… and supple. I’m waking up less stiff, I can walk with minimal pain the the morning. And, I’m lighter.

Side note here. My weight is an enigma wrapped in tinfoil, sprinkled with stardust and tied with a large bright bow. Many, many years of restrictions, disorders and caring what society thinks had brought me to my tipping point. Finally – I didn’t give a fuck. Not a rats ass. Not one single fibre within me cared what anyone else thought of me and the size of my butt.

I wore shorts all summer long. I rocked my beach body in a bikini and I celebrated being the whole me that I was. Beautiful, strong, powerful and whole. Enough, just as I bloody well was.

Instead, I started to care for myself. Deeply care. Not care about my weight , and even less so what anyone else thought. Zero Fox. Absolutely, Zero Fox.

But… because I was more heavy than I liked for my very small frame… I knew that my exterior needed some remodelling in order for my body to feel better. My arthritis knew that extra weight was harmful and exacerbated my symptoms. My achilles knew that those extra kilos put more pressure on already tight and sore tendons. And I knew that carrying this extra weight was a big deal for my joints and my poor body in general.

Fat also makes Estrogen – and god knows I didn’t need any more of that. Being progesterone low and estrogen dominant was doing me no favours.

So, here I am. I try to not eat gluten and dairy and am in a constant battle with refined sugar. Gluten and dairy trigger my asthma and inflammation, big time. I eat whole foods, meats, fish, veges, fruit, nuts, seeds, good oils, eggs , I do intermittent fasting on a 16:8 ratio and a most importantly have introduced a range of foods that are the cornerstone of my plan, probiotic foods. I’m mad passionate about the whole gut biome thing, and what it can do not only for your overall health, but what it means for our minds, bodies and general wellbeing. See, I’m not looking to lose weight. I’m on a journey to health.

Beautiful header image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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