As part of the 18-week Transformation Mastery challenge that I’m doing, I have taken my eating to the next level with lots of fresh vegetables, quality proteins and carbohydrates, and almost no processed foods. Heck, I’ve even replaced my coffee and half-and-half with ginger green tea.
This feels like a life-style change rather than a diet. While I will of course have occasional treats, I like the way I feel after drinking a protein shake with spinach and kale. I like honoring my body with nutritious foods.
But getting to how I am eating today has been a process. I didn’t jump from eating large quantities of cheese and crackers before dinner to thinking kale was the best super-food ever. In fact, if you had told me even six months ago that I would be drinking anything green and liking it, I would have been skeptical. If you had told me two years ago, I would have said there is absolutely no way!
One of the mistakes people make on the road to optimal wellness is taking on a temporary “diet.” The mindset is something along the lines of, “I will cut out all the foods I love and suffer through losing weight and as soon as I meet my goal, I will resume my old eating habits.”
This is why dieting doesn’t work. Sure you’ll lose the weight, but as soon as you go back to your old way of eating, the pounds pack back on.
It wasn’t until my health and wellness became a bigger priority than how I looked in a pair of jeans that the healthy eating plan I took on to lose weight became more of a way of life. Sure, I still wanted to look good, but more importantly, I wanted to feel good.
This led me to look at why I was eating. More often than not, I was eating to soothe stressful emotions, or out of victim energy where I deserved to eat chocolate in massive quantities because of something I’d had to endure. It wasn’t until I started addressing those underlying thoughts and emotions that were sabotaging me that the changes I was making really started to stick.
Slowly over time, my eating got cleaner and cleaner, meaning less junk, fewer calories, and more nutrition.
The nutritional jumps that I have made typically have come as a result of setting a new challenge for myself—like the one I am doing right now. They have also come as a result of a health crisis—either mine or my husband’s. And they have come from observation.
Last Spring we adopted a Scottish Fold kitten who came into our lives eating a highly nutritious cat food that I’d never heard of. Because that was what she was used to, we kept feeding it to her. As she grew, her coat was silky and luminous. Truly, she has one of the most beautiful and softest coats of any cat I’ve ever petted.
So I started wondering about the food we were feeding our older, long-haired cat, whose coat was exceptionally oily and prone to massive mats, even with daily brushing. We switched her to the same brand of food and the transformation was amazing. Her coat completely changed, and her energy and engagement level dramatically increased.
It was a lesson to me that nutrition matters.
This makes sense when you understand that food can be destructive and catabolic, or constructive and anabolic. Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in anabolic energy. Sugar and processed foods are catabolic. To be a truly anabolic person that is happy, energetic, and engaged in all areas of my life, then a diet high in anabolic foods is necessary.
Again, this doesn’t mean you have to make the change from French fries to green protein shakes. Making too big a nutritional leap often means it’s not sustainable. What it does mean is making better choices from where you are right now—maybe a baked potato instead of French fries—and after you get used to those better choices, reaching again for an even better choice, such as leaving off the butter or even choosing a plain sweet potato instead.
It’s about being aware of what you are putting in your body, and asking yourself if what you are about to eat will keep you where you are, or help you get where you want to be.
What more anabolic food choice can you make today? What are the reasons you’re making that choice? How do you feel as a result? What can you do to make that—or an even better choice—tomorrow?
Together we can do it!
Photo by xedos4/freedigitalphotos.net/