As a Health Coach and an avid CrossFitter, I’d like to tell you that I *always* eat healthy and *never* have any issues with my diet, my body, my digestive tract, my sugar cravings, etc., etc. But that is so far from the truth, especially when life does what it does best…surprise you with big life changes you weren’t expecting!
If you’re anything like me, you probably think anyone working in the health industry is this “perfect” being who eats healthy, exercises the “perfect” number of hours a week, and lives this amazingly “perfect” life. But guess what? They…WE…are humans too! We have issues and we have setbacks and we eat things we aren’t supposed to, even knowing how we’ll react to them!! I know?! Isn’t that crazy?!
Let me share with you how I know this to be true! These past couple months, my life drastically changed when I wasn’t expecting it to (you can read about that here, if you’re interested). And I started *occasionally* indulging in little sweet treats here and there. Except that didn’t stay so occasional.
Let’s be clear about how NOT occasional it became…this past weekend alone, I made pancakes (mind you, they were gluten-free, but still full of sugar) with blueberries and blackberries along with maple syrup. Not just once, but TWICE!! I also bought two packages of Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I ate one on Sunday, and I’m pretty sure I ate the second on Monday or Tuesday. Let’s just say these had become staples for me at my weekly grocery store trips. Oh, and don’t even get me started on Larabars. I was having at least one a day, if not two! My sugar cravings were insane!!
I’ve also over-indulged on dairy, which I know doesn’t agree with me. I’ve had pizza more times than I care to admit over the past several weeks, I’ve been eating more greek yogurt, and my omelets and burgers (when eating out) have been smothered in cheese. In my mind, these have all been *occasional*. Mind you, when viewed all together, I was actually overloading my system with copious amounts of sugar and dairy! And let’s just say neither agree with my system.
It wasn’t until this morning that I had a huge wake-up call that something wasn’t right. Yes, I am stubborn because I’ve had *several* wake-up calls before today, but I didn’t actually see it until today. Let’s see…where to begin. I haven’t been sleeping very well lately, getting in bed and tossing and turning, plus waking up completely exhausted, no matter how much sleep I actually get. I’ve been completely drained throughout the day and struggle through many of my work-outs. My face has been breaking out and I’ve been fighting some sort of sickness. My knees (and other joints) have been bothering me a lot more than normal. I have a weird rash/bumps on both my elbows/arms.
But here’s the big one…the one that you’d think would have been an “aha” moment for me. On Monday during my Crossfit workout, I had a major asthma attack…as in, my coach told me my lips were blue asthma attack. I haven’t had one in YEARS!! I don’t even carry an inhaler anymore because I have it under control. But let’s be straight with each other…that wasn’t enough for me!! I thought nothing of it, other than it was humid and that’s what caused my attack.
Enter my workout this morning. It was humid, but didn’t think anything of it. I started out pretty strong…and then came the burpees. And out went my breath. I finished the workout, but struggled with catching my breath. Afterwards, I asked my coach (the same amazing one from Monday) if my time was “slow” for an Rx workout, to which he immediately responded, “Yes.” He clarified what he meant and we talked about what could be causing my breathing issues this year since I had no problems last summer.
Let’s just say when I left the gym, I started doing some hard soul-searching. I was really trying to pinpoint why I was having these issues, because I felt like a complete failure at the gym. I needed that harsh truth this morning. Because only then did it finally hit me like a ton of bricks…it was my diet. Duh. Like, serious smack myself in the head duh.
We all have slip-ups…that once in awhile little treat or dessert or dairy (or whatever food triggers you may have). But when those once in awhile treats become an every day or every other day thing, it creeps up on you. I know it crept up on me. My body had been trying to tell me for weeks…I just wasn’t listening. Truthfully, I don’t think I wanted to listen.
So I’m here to ask you all to help hold me accountable. I am going to get back on track and hopefully kick my asthma’s butt (for the second time around)! I’m cutting out dairy and sugar, which may not be very pretty. I have a feeling my withdrawal symptoms aren’t going to be very fun!
Have any of you had these “aha” moments recently? Or been ignoring the things your body is telling you? Let’s go on this journey together! Because, let’s face it, it’s more fun (and easier) to do these things with someone else! Let me know in the comments what you’ve been struggling with…sugar cravings? Pizza addiction (who isn’t addicted to pizza?!)? A love for all things breaded?
I can’t wait to go on this journey with you! And I can’t wait to share my results of cutting out sugar and dairy…even more importantly, I can’t wait to get my breathing back on track so I can get back to kicking butt during my workouts!!!
With love and wellness,
So you’ve done it…you’ve decided to change the way you eat. You started eating better, whether that was incorporating real, whole foods into your diet or going paleo (you know, the caveman way of eating…meat, fruits, veggies, nuts, etc.) or **gasp** you started counting calories. Now, I won’t get into this in detail here, but counting calories is (in my humble opinion) one of the WORST ways to lose weight. Especially because most people eat those fat free frozen meals or the fat free desserts thinking they are good for you. Guess what?! They are chemical shit-storms (pardon my French). They are empty calories that are not nutritious!! How can you possibly be getting what your body needs from a frozen meal?!?! Anyways, I digress.
So you’re eating healthier, however that may look for you (remember, everyone is an individual and what works for me won’t necessarily work for you – it’s that beautiful thing called bio-individuality). But you’ve noticed you aren’t losing weight…you aren’t feeling any better, you aren’t sleeping better. What gives? You’re frustrated and about to throw in the towel. It can be SO disheartening to feel like you’re doing everything “right” and yet still not having any results…at least positive results.
But let’s stop and take a step back. First things first, are you keeping a food journal and being completely honest with yourself about what you’re eating? When I first started learning how to cook (i.e., broke away from the frozen meals and microwave dinners), I didn’t pay too much attention to what I was eating or when or how much…until I started keeping track of it. I kept a food journal for quite awhile, mainly to keep track of what was bothering me and causing me symptoms, but also to keep myself accountable to what I was actually consuming on a daily basis. If I didn’t write it down, then I didn’t have that piece of pie (or three), right?! This is the time to really hold yourself accountable and be honest with yourself!
Also, take a look at some of the “swaps” you’ve made. For instance, I used to be a sucker for no-bake cookies…you know, the oats, chocolate, peanut butter balls of goodness that you threw together when you needed a chocolate fix. OMG – I could eat those for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Have I mentioned I’m a sugar addict?!
So when I switched to eating healthier and focusing on real, whole foods, I also switched my sugar/”sweet treats,” as I called them. I would still make myself a “sweet treat” after dinner, but use the “healthy” ingredients. So it couldn’t possibly be bad for me! I would make a chocolate brownie in a mug with coconut flour and coconut sugar and cacao powder and all the other little ingredients that went along with it…or a pumpkin pie in a mug…or fruit “ice cream” with cacao nibs and coconut milk. It was all natural and not processed, so it had to be good for me! Right?!?!
Except I still felt awful…I was bloated and my acne wasn’t improving and I continued sleeping poorly and feeling exhausted all the time. Having these “sweet treats” became an every night treat for me…it was an after dinner treat that I couldn’t not have. It became a necessity. That’s when I took a hard look at what exactly these treats were doing to my body. Because the harsh reality is that our bodies do not differentiate between the highly processed sugar treats and the all-natural “good for you” treats. Sugar is sugar is sugar, according to your body.
So for me, being super sensitive to sugar and having reactions to eating a ton of it (think acne and mood swings and trouble sleeping), having these treats every night was extremely detrimental for me. And I have to be careful when I do have them because I tend to go a little overboard.
My point in all this is to be careful in making these seemingly healthy treats. Hop on google and there are countless ways to make desserts paleo or healthier or “better for you.” But be careful…because it is still sugar!! And your body will still react to it, whether it’s “healthy” sugar or not!
This one thing may be one huge reason you aren’t seeing any results. I know it was for me. So keep track of your food intake…are you eating too much sugar? Test it out…take it out for 14-21 days, and see how you react. Do you feel better? Are you sleeping better? Does your skin clear up? Are your mood swings better? Keep track of it! I promise, you will see results and you will learn so much about yourself in the process!!
Have a fantastic weekend! I’m in Boulder, CO for a doTerra conference :) I’ll fill you in about it next week.
With love and wellness,