Learning to Thrive

What’s the point of me doing it, if I’m not going to push myself?

I tell this motto to myself before, during, and after any of my workouts—whether it is the days where I am energized and ready to go, the days where I drag myself out of bed  begrudgingly for a 6 a.m. session, or pull myself up off the couch after my accidental 2 hour afternoon nap.  I have to remind myself of this because some days I just don’t feel like pushing myself.

A few months ago my endocrinologist informed me that I could potentially go off my thyroid medicine (something I felt confined to for quite some time, and if I am being completely honest, I used as a crutch and excuse for other health problems), I decided to do everything I could to help make that a reality.  I realized I needed to push myself in other aspects of my life as well, not just my fitness. I had to push myself in my nutrition, my health as well.

After returning from a family vacation at the end of June, I started an intense immunity system reboot to cleanse my system of inflammation.  Living with not one, but two autoimmune disorders, it only made sense to me to avoid foods that cause inflammation to a system that already attacks itself without any assistance.

Questions asked of me.

  1. What can’t you eat, while you do this? Answer: caffeine, alcohol, added sugars, processed foods, legumes, nightshades, uncooked cruciferous vegetables, dairy, gluten, grains, eggs, nuts…
  1. What can you eat then? Meats, fruits, and veggies?  Simple Answer:  Pretty much…

(However, there is actually quite a bit of versatility with the foods I can eat.  I just have to take the time to research and prepare the foods my body needs to function at its optimal level).

  1. Why would you start this right before the 4th of July? That’s poor planning.

There will always be something keeping me from making this lifestyle change.

July—4th of July cookouts and birthday celebrations

August—Parents’ wedding anniversary, cookies and other goodies in the office workroom

September—Labor Day cookouts

October—Halloween.  I love my Reese’s Cups.

November—Thanksgiving…with several days of leftovers to follow and homemade turkey pot pies courtesy of my mother

December—Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Brunch…with several days of leftovers to follow

January—New Year’s Eve/Day

February—Discounted Valentine’s chocolates the day after Valentine’s Day.  Did I mention I love my Reese’s Cups (heart edition)?

March—St. Patrick’s Day.  Green beer.  Lots of green beer.

April—Easter and my birthday.  Do not get between me and my Dairy Queen birthday cake or my Easter Egg Reese’s Cups.

May—Memorial Day cookouts

June—Family vacation with daily buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

I can literally find an excuse every single month to justify “my diet starts tomorrow” mindset.  I was hesitant at first to cut out quite a bit of foods I have been eating for years all at the same time.  My relationship with food has never been healthy and I feared I wouldn’t be capable.  I feared—like so many times in my past—I would succeed for a few days but then relapse or give into peer pressure or give into my self-doubt.

I lacked confidence in myself.  I needed to change my mindset.

My mind was fixated on the “I can’t” part.  I can’t eat this.  I can’t have that.   However, this reboot isn’t about the foods I can’t eat; it’s about the foods I CAN eat.  It is about finding the foods my body can tolerate and the foods that cause my body to attack.

More than that, it is about discovering the foods that allow my body to thrive.

A bell pepper might be a healthy snack for someone but due to it being a nightshade, it could be problematic and cause disruptions due to my thyroid condition. A bell pepper is not my healthy.  A bell pepper might not make me thrive.

We live in a culture that tells us to be on the go constantly, so we grab for the easiest thing to eat, without realizing how detrimental it could be to our bodies.

We tolerate the stomach-ache. We tolerate the headaches. We tolerate the bloating. And dare I say it? We tolerate the diarrhea.

“It must have been something I ate yesterday.”   “Something did not sit right in my stomach”  “Man, am I bloated today!” Sound familiar?  I am with you. I’ve said all of these myself.  We say and accept all of these as “normal”, but they aren’t.  Our bodies are trying to tell us something, but we choose not to listen. We are no longer in tune with our bodies because that is the easier path to take.

I am halfway through the reboot and yes, the meal prepping has been very time-consuming.  However, I have made this a priority, and I will not waver because I am learning to listen to my body.    My energy levels are already elevated, my overall mood has improved, my fatigue has dwindled all because I am finding the foods that nourish my body instead of deprive it.

Finding the best foods for my body to thrive is just one part of my healthy story.


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