There is a ton of information out there when you start digging into changing your health. It is overwhelming and stressful. You are being told at every turn and from every source that you HAVE to do it a certain way and what makes it worse is there is so much conflicting information. Eat dairy…no don’t do that! Take rest days…no, workout every day! Eggs are healthy…uh, no they’re not! Don’t ever miss a workout even if you are exhausted, that would be lazy and making excuses…wait a minute, you need at least 7 hours of sleep a night! **head spinning and heart rate going up** Uh, I think I will just throw in the towel because I have no idea what the hell to do!! Sound or feel familiar?
When I began this change to regain my health I knew I needed to change the way I ate, but didn’t really know where to begin. I went to a nutrition basics class early on and I left with two distinct, but opposing feelings. First, a sense of relief that someone confirmed what I had suspected for a long while: fat content (of the right kind) in food is not the enemy, in particular fat content in dairy. Second, a combination of fear, panic, and being overwhelmed: so much to change in my fuel and it all felt like I needed to change it now, as if what I was currently eating would at that very moment put me six feet under. Those first months were daunting to say the least, but I was approaching this attempt differently.
This time around, quite uncharacteristically of myself, I did exactly what I wanted and what felt right/made sense to me. I had tried so many things in the past and during all those endeavors I was given specific parameters. I’m a rule follower and let me tell you, I followed the rules of whatever “program” to a T…for awhile…until following the rules didn’t get me results no matter how hard I tried. Then I was left feeling like an utter failure. Again, uncharacteristically, I decided when I took on changing my health THIS time there would be certain things I wasn’t willing to give up or change. At the time I started this whole journey I was not willing to give up baked goods, soda, or fast food for my entire life. I decided four years ago I would work at the process slowly and figure out how to incorporate those things in my life and still lose weight.
So here is my advice for those of you out there struggling to regain your health…
There is room for all different approaches to health! There is not a one size fits all answer. You can start changing your health in any aspect or habit or exercise or change in food that feels right to you. ANY positive change, no matter how small, will benefit you! Listen to your internal voice because it will guide you and lead you exactly where you need to go.
Finally, your priorities will shift as you change and educate yourself. You probably noticed the sentence above in blue…let me do some explaining. I currently do not drink soda and am working to eliminate fast food completely (McDonald’s is now off limits for our family, as are the other big chain fast food places. We do have a local burger joint that we still hit albeit much, much less frequently than ever before). I knew soda and fast food and all the sweets were bad for me, but at the start I could not comprehend giving them up completely so I didn’t even go there. I worked on other things that I felt I could do and wanted to and believed in doing; therefore, I was successful at changing them. I was also successful at eliminating soda and fast food when I decided I wanted to! Decide for yourself what you want to change!! And don’t sweat it if what you decide isn’t what everyone else is doing. Find What Works For You (WWFY!) and go with it…and know that WWFY will change as your life changes!
Changing your health is entirely possible and you can do it any way that works for you!! Now, go for it!! 🙂