I think I’ve struggled with my weight since about age 13. I remember feeling fat in 8th grade when having to tuck my shirt into my catholic school girl skirt.
What I’ve learned about the connection between my fluctuation in weight, my lifestyle, and my emotional well-being thanks to introspection and great advice from friends, family and people like Dr. Ian Smith:
1.) It is very unhealthy to miss meals. Your body begins to store more fats because its not sure when it will eat again. I have gone more than 80 hours without eating a thing; partially because I figured I would drop weight quickly and partially because in order to discipline myself with food, I trained myself to not think about food at all. This caused me to drink lots of water, juices & smoothies. Those gave me a full feeling and I was always satisfied with how quickly I dropped weight. When I did go back to eating solid foods, I would immediately notice the weight coming back. I would get depressed and bing out. Then go back to liquids to drop the weight I’d just put on. It was a cycle. It’s still somewhat of a cycle. Missing the meals caused me to go to extremes. I didn’t have enough energy to power through my days. It affected/affects my moods drastically. “It’s not magic. And its not a diet, its a lifestyle. You NEED to change your lifestyle.” Dr. Ian Smith
I needed to discipline myself and retrain my thinking about food. Being a Pescetarian for almost 9 years, I was able to draw on that discipline. Eating regular meals allows the body to get the appropriate nutrients to function and heal properly. Your metabolism actually increases when you eat more. You build discipline by working at it, not avoiding it as I was.
2.) Fix your Heart first: I mean this literally and metaphorically. Get a physical and a consultation (if possible) to determine the best course you should take, before jumping head first into a completely new lifestyle. And fix your Heart. During an interview with Dr. Ian Smith he spoke about how you shouldn’t try a diet or lifestyle change when you are battling other heavy things in your life (death, depression, major health issues), because its a set-up for failure. You have to deal with your emotional stability before you can discipline yourself to the degree needed to be healthy in this world. Its not easy. And being depressed causes extremist behavior (see #1).
I had to be honest with myself and allow myself room to make mistakes (I’m a virgo and that is so hard for me to do). And forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve already made. I’m still working on that. Acknowledging the things that affect me emotionally allowed me to notice patterns between my emotional health and my healthy disciplines (or lack there of). I even noticed my ability to detach myself from my dis-ease by speaking about it in second person. Even writing this, I had to go back and change some “YOUs” to “I/MEs”.
3.) It’s less about how you look and more about how you feel. I get compliments on my looks, smile and other physical features quite often. It didn’t/doesn’t change how I feel about those things. I gauge my health based on how I feel. I have not owned a full length mirror in years. I look at how clothing fits. How much energy I have. How comfortable I am sitting down in jeans (ladies feel me on that one). “Guys don’t expect you all to have the Janet Jackson abs…” Dr. Ian Smith. It’s true. Men are attracted to confidence. You have to be comfortable (mentally, physically & spiritually) with who you are. THAT is my measurement for weight.
I don’t think I’ve ever expressed how much my battle with my weight affects my emotional stability, but it is one of the realities of my life.
The Truth is anyone’s life can look like the perfect poem
especially if your only references are snapshots of beauty, perfection & fun
There is Struggle there
There is Pain there
There are Secrets way down deep in there
Finding Balance is part of the Journey
As is using YOUR Truth to inspire someone else’s
For more information on healthy lifestyles from Dr. Ian Smith visit http://www.doctoriansmith.com