I was wrong!
I was so wrong. I admit it. I considered myself a fairly healthy, health-conscious person. I was married to a chiropractor. I chose home births over hospital births. I took vitamins. Yes, I ate some junk, but I felt it was in moderation. The truth is, I was wrong.
It’s hard to pinpoint when the healthy changes began, but I know how it began. It all started with changing the way I thought about things. Changing the way you think doesn’t usually happen when someone tells you, “You need to do this.” You might do it for a while, but if you don’t change the way you think, you’ll eventually go back to what you did before. I didn’t start to change the way we lived because a doctor or someone with authority told me I must. I began to change when I began to learn why I should change.
What I thought
I used to think that as long as I was taking my vitamins, it didn’t really matter what I ate, within reason of course. When I learned more about the nutrients our bodies need from real food, and the detrimental effects of the things I was eating and feeding my family—the processed, pre-fab meals, the high carb/low nutrient snacks, my afternoon Cokes—I started to put more effort into feeding my family well.
In the past, I thought organic food was overpriced much-ado-about-nothing food for the tree-hugging granola groupies. When I learned the harm that pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can do to my body (and my children’s bodies!), it changed the way I thought. Now, spending more for organic food is worth it to me. I’d rather pay the farmer now than the doctor (and hospital and drug company…) later.
Feeding our minds good information begins to change in the way we think, which will lead to action. Today we are blessed with the ability to access immeasurable information through the internet. If you want info, just Google it! Right? Books, of course, still hold a wealth of brain food which can help us change our thinking and our living. Plus, they’re a welcome break from staring at a screen for hours!
As I learned the whys and hows, I made changes. Small easy ones came first, bigger, harder ones sometimes still take time to metabolize in my brain, then to plan and implement. I now drive farther to get to my grocery store, because it has a better selection of quality food, and better prices on quality food, than my previous store. I spend a bit more time preparing food and have had to cut back on some other activities to allow for that. These investments in our health will not only pay off in the future, but are blessing our family now as well.
A big one
In future articles, I will share things that I learned, why we made the change, and how we did it. But I want to share the first big change I can remember. Almost 12 years ago, this change occurred as a result of change in thinking after reading a very powerful book, but it had nothing to do with health. I decided to go on a type of spiritual fast. It needed to be something I could do long term, so I decided to fast from sugar and all sweeteners. Now, you have to understand my diet until then—Frosted Miniwheats, coffee with cream and sugar, sweet snacks, Coke in the afternoon, ice cream at night. It was BIG change for me!
I didn’t realize how many processed foods contained sugar and/or other sweeteners. I had to say good-bye to a lot of foods I was used to eating, and hadn’t expected to have to give up. It was very difficult at first, but it has been one of the very best things I have done for my health. As I have learned of the terrible effects of sugar/sweeteners on my body, I am so glad I gave it up 12 years ago. I’ll never go back. One of the great, though unintentional, benefits of that change has been that I lost weight, and never gained it back, even with four more pregnancies.
Now and later
Recently, as I was looking into some financial decisions, a thought came to me. We invest money for our future selves so we’ll have money to live on when we’re too old to work. What if we thought about investing in our bodies like we do our bank accounts? I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to have the energy and ability to get down on the floor and play with all the grandchildren I’m going to have! I’m willing make sacrifices now to be able to enjoy good health later, but the great thing is, I get to enjoy better health now as well.