(insert deep breath)
The holidays are coming to an end. And by end I mean I am coming out of a cloudy fog that was shrouded by chocolates, gum drop cakes and just about anything else within a hand’s reach (and by reach I mean insert into mouth and repeat).
Over the last few weeks I’ve started reading a book that I think is pretty hot on the market right now; It Starts With Food (Hartwig). It’s no secret that I follow (and by follow I mean I try to follow to the best of my ability) a Paleo foundation for eating. The book was sent by the publisher for Mimi and I to review. I can’t read too many pages at a time because a) it’s a lot of info to take in and b) it makes me really pissed off at the food industry.
You don’t have to convince me why eating Paleo is good for me (and because I’m biased on how it makes me feel I’ll venture to say good for many others as well) so reading the book isn’t about trying to convert me (as I’m already a convert). For me, it’s about really understanding why eating Paleo makes me feel a crap-ton better than eating a Standard American Diet (I guess now that I live in Canada I should replace American with Canadian but come on S.A.D. makes more of an impact than S.C.D). The book goes into detail about how the food industry has basically paid gazillions (my words not theirs) of dollars to figure out how to make me addicted to particular foods on a cellular level.
I won’t lie, I’m not the smartest cookie in a the bunch so I have to take things a little more slowly when it comes to understanding the cellular level of food digestion and what precisely happens when I eat something but the book is doing a pretty good job of helping me understand and over the holiday season I’ve been somewhat hyper sensitive to what is happening to me emotionally when I veer off the Paleo highway of food consumption.
It’s not pretty.
And as the book points out in the very beginning:
“Food is either Helping you or Hurting you”
There is no neutral food.
If I’m taking anything away from the book as I try to understand the information in each page, it’s that food is truly either helping you (and helping is as individually defined as the people who read the book) or hurting you (again individually defined). I know how foods hinder me physically (inflammation) but to understand what I know (that it hinders me emotionally as well) on a more complex level (why it hinders me emotionally on a cellular level) has been an extremely powerful tool in my commitment to move forward on this journey of Life Changes.
As I write this blog post today I’m reminded that exactly three years ago I was sitting in a cubicle topping the scales at 270 pounds. My life was defined by the thousands of hours sitting in front of my laptop playing World of Warcraft, living in a false reality because I was too afraid to be a part of my true reality. Exactly three years ago I made one simple choice to do something different and that small decision was the first step in changing everything I thought I knew to be true about who I saw when I looked in the mirror.
As I left the old self behind in pursuit of the new self that I deserved to seek, to find, to chase, to dream, to accomplish, I kept the World of Warcraft authenticator as a reminder of who I didn’t want to be and as a reminder that I didn’t need to rely on the strength of a made up character; that I could lose the weight. That I could once and for all leave morbid obesity behind me. That I could be strong. Fast. Conscious. In 2011, to set a goal I hit the authenticator and was given the random number 201421. I set the physical goal of climbing stairs (approx 13,500 floors). I didn’t make the goal (not for lack of trying) but I came pretty damn close.
I still carry the authenticator on my key chain. Even though it’s been three years since I played WoW, I haven’t forgotten how it affected my life (and by life I mean my lack of living in the present). I pressed that little black button again to set up a fitness goal specifically to remind the self of new who I am when I look in the mirror.
approx 81 miles.
I’ve decided that this is how many miles I will swim over the course of 2013 (and the few days left of 2012). Five thousand seven hundred and two lengths of a standard Olympic size pool (75 meters). I picked swimming because it will coincide with Half Iron Man training during the first half of the year (two birds, one stone) and because swimming is something I love to do (and if you’re going to move for 81 miles it should be something you love to do).
As my physical goals start to solidify for 2013, having a better understanding of how food affects me on a cellular level is also going to help me. Whether you’re thinking about eating Paleo, or just want to understand why the food industry is banking on our food addictions (and not just to sweets my friends), think about picking up a copy of “It Starts With Food” (and by picking up I mean buy it in the store, borrow it from a friend or request it from the library).
Arm yourself for the coming year.
Both in the physical sense
and the emotional.
It’s going to be pretty effing fantastic!