Today I watched an interview with Marie Forleo and Dr. Mark Hyman about how close we all are to health (and a great interview to check out if you’re looking for some food for thought). It got me thinking about my own ups and downs with health and what has worked (and what has not).
It sucks when you feel crappy. It’s really hard to show up to life when you feel crappy. But maybe something even suckier? Not realizing how crappy you feel and that it’s not normal to feel the level of crap many of us do — and that it doesn’t take a ton to feel a hell of a lot better in many cases.
I spent years doing what I thought was healthy. My personal favorites were guzzling diet soda (it doesn’t have calories so it must be okay!), eating “lite” foods (those commercials show fit people so that must be what I need to eat too), gobbling weight-loss bars in place of meals (like candy…but why am I still hungry?), and cutting out fat wherever I could (fat = bad!!!).
Somehow I never got fitter, sexier, or happier (and life felt harder and harder too). I thought I wasn’t trying hard enough. So I tried harder — and became more of a mess, though I didn’t really see it. I thought the headaches, perpetual face breakouts, hand rash, bloating, non-existent sex drive, and constant low level depression (to name a few) were normal and part of my life, something I just needed to deal with (or find a pill or cream to deal with).
While what I was doing clearly wasn’t working (so must try harder, dammit!!), when I thought of other routes (with stuff like more vegetables, local and organic foods, yoga), I scoffed and stuck them in the box of hard, too much effort and time, more expensive, and only for other people (you know, those crunchy, granola-types).
I think a first big wake-up call was when I stopped drinking soda when I was pregnant with my son. Once I was through the withdrawal headaches (though chalked them up at the time to the first trimester of pregnancy), I started to notice I was feeling a lot less bloated, headachy, and gassy. I hadn’t realized how poorly I felt every single day until I started feeling a little (and then a lot) better. Yeah, a 12-pack of diet soda a day wasn’t the way to awesome health.
Over the next few years, I started to learn (slowly) what actually does leave me feeling good (and led to losing weight without trying) — real food (skip the food-like substances), water as top beverage, regular exercise (doing stuff that felt good to me, not what I thought I “should” do), and more regular sleep (and focusing on the first three helped on the sleep end).
Huh. I was starting to do some of that crunchy, granola-type stuff. And I was actually feeling better, and it wasn’t actually that hard or more expensive or that crazy. As I stopped treating my body like a garbage dump with artificial everything, my body got happier.
I could stand on the soapbox of real food all day (oh man, I’m really, really passionate about it — not feeling like crap is…not feeling like crap and AMAZING — it’s like it clears the mind and takes blinders off of life). However, I’ll get down for now and share a post I wrote last year with my favorite tip for health. Check it out here.
Feeling great is really great. And everyone deserves to feel great. Go and start feeling great — today is your day.