FOOD IS FUEL.
The sooner you start believing that, the healthier you’ll be…
I figured in this journey of mine, it wouldn’t be fair to go on without addressing nutrition. It has played a HUGE role in my ability to transcend my condition and become stronger, happier, and healthier. To overshadow it with talk of fitness routines and challenges would be leaving out what is the main reason I am able to do it at all.
Giving it Up
As soon as I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was reading as much material as possible so that I would feel empowered and in control. I read up immediately on the dos and don’ts of FM – largely diet and nutrition. Of course, the top 5 things I could not have were the top 5 things I would NEVER give up – or so I thought at the time. Here’s what I found on the list of foods to avoid for FM sufferers (also note my reaction to the list when I read it several years ago – before I changed my diet):
- Caffeine (Hello, my name is Wendy and I’m a coffee addict)
- Aspartame (Hello, my name is Wendy and I’m a diet coke addict)
- Gluten (Do they really expect me to give up beer? AND bread?)
- Dairy (What would life be without cheese?)
- Nightshade plants (Seriously? No tomatoes?)
Okay, so after years of pretending none of this applied to me, I came to realize this line of thinking was ruining my life. So I started to change.
The first to go? Diet Coke. Seriously, the stuff is basically poison. I gave it up in 2008 and haven’t had a single soda since. And I don’t miss it at all. Goodbye aspartame. It’s been nice knowing you. The rest of the list took some time. Like YEARS…
How to Give Up the Rest?
Slowly, I began to connect more with my body, how I felt, and what was making me feel that way. I was seeing a clear connection between what I ate and how I felt. Seems pretty obvious, right? Well, do you really SEE the connection? Or do you eat things that are really, really awful for you because it’s too hard to eat healthy? Uh huh. We became vegetarians sometime in 2010 or 11. Cheese-loving vegetarians, but vegetarians nonetheless. At least it was an improvement. The next thing to go was gluten. This happened thanks to James. He was reading up on how it affects FM and said, “Maybe you should think about giving up gluten”. At the time, we were regularly going to our favorite pub to sample the latest craft beer offerings. And what he was saying was we should think about giving up gluten. And so we did. And things started to get better. Slowly.
This was KEY to my transformation. I can’t stress enough what the Ultimate Reset experience did for me. For both James and I really. We started it March 3, 2013 and finished March 23. What does it do? It retrains your mind and body. It redefines how you see food, how you feel about it, and what you choose to put in your body. You don’t starve. In fact, you eat a LOT. Week one, you’re still eating some dairy – you’re also GIVING UP COFFEE. Yes, that’s right. This confirmed coffee addict gave it up. AND I haven’t had it since. Week 2, you’re going vegan baby. I thought it would be SO difficult. And yet, here we are – July 14, 2013 – STILL vegan with no plans to EVER go back. We’ve NEVER felt better. I’ve never been healthier. And without this change, I would NEVER have been able to do the rest. No Turbo Jam, no TurboFire, no hiking, no conquering FM. Diet is KEY. What you fuel your body with is key. Shakeology is a part of every single day and it truly FUELS my body. Amazing stuff. Truly.
Food is FUEL, Not a Reward
Food is not a reward. Food is how you prepare your body for the things you want to do. Food is how you prevent disease. Food is how you prolong your life. IF you choose the right foods. It’s not easy. But it IS worth it. I never thought I would go vegan. I never thought I would give up coffee. I never thought it would make a difference. But you never know till you try. And I’m so glad I did. Because, before I gave those things up, I NEVER thought I could hike, workout, or ever be active again. Here’s to eating healthy. Here’s to being healthy. Here’s to make the right choices for your body.
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