My Truth about Diets and Making that step towards a Healthy Tum
I know it’s been a long long while since I have posted anything on Healthy Tums. I guess this is a good reflection of my state of mind and attitude towards my health. In the last year or so, I stopped looking after myself. Between trying to establish myself creatively, finding a steady job, having family issues, moving house, no self esteem. I simply became “too busy” to put in that extra care into my health and soon developed some awful eating habits. I was eating lots of burgers and chips, snacking on high sodium foods, even snacking on meats, anything I could get my hands on.
I could never find the energy to do anything! One thing that I did do was watch A LOT of TV shows. I got through House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Parks and Recs and more basically all in a couple of months! Sitting on the couch instead of going for my daily runs or Pilates like I use to do.
I knew I was gaining some weight and I knew I wanted this to stop. I would obsessively look up skinny girls or the new diet that could change everything. I bought into the whole healthy market and now have a stack of vitamins and pills in my collection.
The problem was I kept trying new diets and then give up in a couple of weeks if I couldn’t see results, and if I did see fast results I just assumed that was enough and go off the diet because it was too hard to stick to.
*** I just want to state that these are all my own experiences according to my personal lifestyles, body type, heritage, background, fitness, mentality etc. We are complex beings and this is a small window into what I’ve gone through for the past year. You may be able to draw similarities but you will probably disagree at some point with my personal results and that’s perfectly fine because we are different people :) ***
Diets I’ve tried:
This involved a lot of fruits and veggie and a juicer. Totally was not worth it and I gained a lot of weight from it. As soon as I was done with juicing I would just go back to my normal foods and had terrible skin. I wasn’t getting any of the fibre from the fruits and veggies and it simply wasn’t enough for me to live by. I wanted to find something that I can be on for the rest of my life, not just a 2 week diet.
I gave up gluten based carbs completely once, which was so impossible because I was just hungry and losing energy constantly. I tried to stick to complex carbs like grains and nuts but trying to consume enough was really affecting my energy. I have over the past few years have been doing vast amounts of research and I felt like I couldn’t ignore the fact that eliminating gluten completely was good for me. Unfortunately it took me a long long time to figure that one out.
Paleo / High Fat
I went on a Paleo diet but that didn’t agree with me as I felt totally blocked up and basically never went to the toilet. I felt heavy every single time I ate, and most of the time would have a little nap after food. Then after seeing a friends result I switched to more high fat diet with low carbs and moderate protein… sorry for the TMI but my shit stank! I could not have been more unhappy on that diet, I didn’t even like meat that much and here I have to eat it constantly! My skin got SO bad, I had always had amazing smooth skin and that was something I was really proud of but now suddenly I’ve been breaking out and feeling hormonally very unbalanced. Not to mention the shopping costs.
The most important thing I learnt from this diet was that I really didn’t like to eat much meat at all, I felt that I was only eating meat weekly because of social norms and this becoming a completely acceptable way of life. My father is a farmer and would always stress to me the importance of animal fat and protein in your diet, this is how I grew up and this is how I lived my life for a while.
When I was on this lifestyle, I kept asking myself “Is this normal? To be eating meat/animal products every single day 3 times a day? Is this what my body wants?” I kept thinking how unrealistic it would be for me to keep this diet if I was in a different era, how meat isn’t THAT accessible and to be realistic about the food industry. I started looking at my supermarket meat aisle in a very different way… almost in disbelief at the amount of animals I’m eating just in one week. Then I suddenly found a way…
Changing my life around
I’m not entirely sure what happened and where exactly it “clicked” for me. It could have been a number of things. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. Didn’t want to mope around anymore as this was seriously affecting my relationship. I’m very lucky to have a completely supporting boyfriend who just wants to see my best self and help me while I discover that. Ultimately it is a self discovery and journey you take on your own. At one point I didn’t believe I had anyone around me that really genuinely cared about me, but once I believed I was worth that care, I suddenly found some very genuine people who indeed loved me.
I found a lifestyle that is so far really agreeing with me! I’m very energetic at the moment and can barely contain myself. I can’t sit still so I’ve been doing a lot of walks and running which has given me a lot of endorphins. I’m happier and feeling lighter. The scales haven’t changed much but it’s only been one week! I don’t expect a fast change as I’ve learnt now the quicker it goes off the quicker it comes back. I’m never ever hungry until meal times and I barely snack and when I do I don’t feel guilty. I’m feeling guilt free not only because I’m eating better foods for myself but also feeling guilt free for my contribution to the environment.
How did I find what was right for me? I went back in time a little and discovered what I had been eating for the majority of my life. Before I started to over think about ‘diets’ and changing my eating to achieve the ‘ideal’ body type, I use to be very healthy just by eating what was normal for me. I come from an Asian and Mediterranean background and I grew up on certain foods that my body has become accustomed to. All I did was basically go back to that and it really has changed my life around. I stopped over thinking about food and just ate what was needed for my body. I looked at my ethical standings, my moral beliefs, and my motivations and found my own formula to my happiness. This is all just in a week? Hard to believe… and even I’m still waiting for the punch line but I think I had to get through a lot of shit before I discovered all of this.
My skin is slowly clearing up, I’m taking action on my future (going to do my Masters Degree), waking up feeling optimistic and in general a little less anxious. I’m not saying it’s a miracle and all my problems are fixed but I definitely feel like I’ve found something worth talking about and sharing.
In the next few posts you’ll see what I’ve been eating on a daily basis, exactly what my new
diet lifestyle is, and the yummy recipes I’ve come up to keep my tum happy.
Let me know what you’ve been doing to find the motivation and if you have a similar story.