Say goodbye to dieting, labels and be your happiest self! Today I want to share with you, openly and honesty, my struggles from living a life of constant dieting and labeling.
How is everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions? You may be thinking, I stuck with it for a week and now have given up on it. Or maybe you are on track and making yourself miserable with sticking to your changes. This is the time of the year where it can all go to pieces. I totally get it, trust me. I have lived most of my life controlling myself and making myself miserable along the way.
I had my daughter at 19 years old and that’s when I started to eat a vegetarian diet. My body went through many changes while being pregnant. One of the biggest changes was my diet. I started getting grossed out about meat and I stopped eating it. Growing up, steak was my favorite dish to eat. I began living on grapefruit and cans of slim fast. Yes, it was the 90’s and the grapefruit and slim fast diet was all the rage. I thought I was doing my body good by eating this way. Slim fast had lots of vitamins and minerals right?! I would sometimes crave bacon and tell myself it was bad since I was vegetarian. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of ignoring what my body was telling me it needed. Fast forward to years later when I became vegan.
Dairy always upset my stomach and I felt so much better when I removed it from my diet. My skin cleared up and I stopped breaking out. I thought being vegan was the most amazing diet in the world. I felt amazing and energized by eating this type of diet. I walked around preaching about it and trying to turn everyone I knew into becoming vegan. I ate like this for almost a decade then I started to struggle with this diet. I felt hungry all the time and low energy at times. I would chalk it up to my fast metabolism and say that was why I was hungry ALOT. I believed I was eating the healthiest and most pure diet in the world. I never considered that my body was crying out for help.
When I started to show signs of an autoimmune disease, I went down a rabbit hole trying to figure out what was happening. I was determined to be vegan for life and I was not changing. That was until I met the Doctor who would change my life. My functional doctor broke it all down for me and told me I needed to start eating some meat. I was diagnosed with Candida which is an overgrowth of yeast in the gut. It can cause problems like inflammation, feeling tired, foggy brain, depression, anxiety, bloated stomach, etc. The best way to heal the gut and this diagnosis was to be on a whole foods diet with lots of veggies and protein. No soy, tofu, corn, sugar, nuts, beans, gluten, etc. If I took everything out I was left with just leaves to eat. I needed protein and I couldn’t just live off vegan smoothies. I knew at that moment I had a choice to become more ill, or to broaden my horizons. Being vegan was part of what I identified with and who I was. I loved it but my body clearly didn’t anymore.
I went home from my doctor’s appointment, cried it out and then made my first hardboiled egg in over 10 years. I ate it quickly and swallowed it as fast as I could. I then brought wild caught fish into my diet. I was nervous to tell anyone or post on social media since I was vegan and I felt ashamed. Like I was going to be in trouble for stepping out of my diet. I was trying to figure out what I should call myself when people asked. Maybe I was a pegan (pescatarian plus vegan) or maybe I was a vegetarian who ate fish? I realized I was having this need to label myself. But why? Why not just eat what your body says it needs? What a crazy concept right?
Here I am 7 months later and I have never felt better. My candida is almost gone and I have incredible energy. My mind is clearer, and I am not hungry all the time and my hypoglycemia has gone away. I had low blood sugar for most of my life. I could not leave the house without snacks. I now eat lots of healthy fats such as eggs, fish, olive oil, coconut oil. I have more fat than I have ever had in my diet. As a result, I feel happier than I have ever been plus my body is more toned. Yay! I don’t label myself anymore and I refuse to live on a certain diet. I now listen to what my body wants to eat and I don’t judge it.
I am not saying being vegan is bad. The point I am making here is the box I was living in was limited and I ignored what my body was telling me. What would have happened if I ate things outside my diet when I craved it? Maybe I would have not gotten Candida. I know now I was out of touch with my body. I have always food-shamed myself. I have been mean and controlling to myself for most of my life. This is not a great quality in a friend, and I am supposed to be my BFF. Instead I was my worst enemy!
Working as a Holistic Health Coach, I get to teach others how to ditch the diets. It’s about bio- individuality which I have brought into my practice. This means the foods that heal me could make you sick and be your poison. There is not one diet out there that will change your life. Don’t be fooled by gimmicks or new fads out there. Have an open mind and the patience to hear what your body needs in that moment. You are powerful beyond measure and our bodies are magical. Remember that you have the ability to heal yourself. Ditch the diets! Ditch the labels! Be free!
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