6 Sep 2011
I’ve chatted about my journey to health both here and on my personal blog.
It’s a common experience (ahh freshwoman forty. I gained ye) & an uncommon one (I’ve been gluten free since the mid-90s).
I’ve walked this path for so long I practically take for granted how actively involved I am in all aspects of my nutrition. It’s almost second nature.
Even when I deviate from my healthy path—and I do— it’s a conscious choice and not accidental derailment.
I’ve been blessed with longevity genes (my grandmother passed away at 102) and yet, like all of us as we age, many friends have already been stricken with diseases and cancers.
This post is an outgrowth of a conversation with a friend recently diagnosed with cancer.
I share that because it is, indeed, an irreverent post.
It’s one which helped us find levity in a serious situation as we brainstormed how she could become more involved in her nutritional plan.
It’s the story of how I became fully involved in mine.
A five step process which I can only see clearly now in hindsight.
Denial I like to think we all know this D-word well. The “I haven’t gained weight, it’s (fill in the blank) conspiring against me to make me feel as though I have!” I wore lose tops over newly too tight jeans. I wore baggy tops over no-longer-able-to-button jeans. I blamed cheap college dryers for shrinking my clothes. I convinced myself the jeans never really fit. I gave away the jeans. I switched to comfy black stretch pants. I was happy. I was in denial until…
Anger This one I recall as if it were yesterday. It was Halloween. A male friend and I were trying to choose costumes when he asked me: May I borrow those black pants? (What black pants?) The ones you girls wear so you think we wont noticed you’ve gotten fat. Ouch. Anger. Not only did I shoot the messenger (he left sans black pants) I ‘shot’ his entire fraternity. I got angry at them, not myself, for noticing I’d grown lethargic, out of shape and, yes, out of my clothes.
Bargaining This was a mercifully short stage for me. I quickly saw it would plop me on the path to more weight gain and more fatigue. My bargaining pitches included such fantastic ideas as: OK what if I don’t eat much all day—then can I still drink beer at night and not gain weight? and What if I do aerobics twice a day and eat only veggies & fruit—could that be the key to quick fat shedding & energy elevation? It’s not surprising all these attempts sparked…
Depression I was angry. I turned that anger inward (depression). Intellectually I knew anything I couldn’t maintain forever (see bargaining) wouldn’t get me success. I’d begun to realize what worked nutritionally for women I aspired to be like would not necessarily work for me. I felt so far away from where I’d been before college I couldn’t remember what I used to do/eat when I was fitter and filled with energy. I decided some people were just naturally fit and lucky. I did, for a fleeting moment, give up. Until…
Acceptance Acceptance for me was a plodding process and not a light bulb moment. I experimented with approaches to eating and nutrition. Slowly I began to view my ability to try different ways of eating as empowering not depressing. I chose to see it as an adventure to find what nutritional breakdown returned the energy I’d lost. I made peace with the fact, for me, this was gluten-free living. It didn’t matter if others could survive and seemingly thrive on junk foods. I couldn’t and being actively involved in my own nutrition was a lifelong gift I decided to give to myself.
Have you had the same five step experience to becoming involved in your own nutrition?
Are you currently step-stuck and looking to brainstorm a way out?
I’d love to spare you making the missteps I’ve made.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
CarlaCheck out my latest posts here