When I use the word diet, in no way do I mean it as a sacrificial, punishing term where I am depriving myself of anything. I just mean diet as in what I fuel my body with to perform at its optimal level. I have never looked at food as something to count calories or avoid in order to look a certain way. I believe that I have a great relationship with food because I see it as a wonderful needed addition to my life. A way of making me feel stronger, healthier and able to heal faster. If you don’t see food the same way it may be time to change your perspective and develop a beautiful relationship with God’s gift to our bodies. Don’t keep a scale in your house. Don’t obsessively measure your waist line. Don’t compare yourself to other people’s bodies. Also your body is constantly changing and adjusting because of everyday stressors, hormones, travel, weather changes and sadly tragedies that may occur. This is adaptation. God designed us to adapt to our ever changing physical world. Let your body adapt as needed.
I don’t mind sharing personal information because I am not a private person… I’m just not. I’m not a complicated person. I’m not a secretive person. I’m very open because I love to help people and by sharing my experiences and allowing people to know that they are not alone in what they have gone through or are going through, I believe it helps. In my adult life I have ranged from 102 pounds to 154 pounds. When I was 154 pounds I was pregnant with my daughter Ari (by the way I’m 5’4 if this puts things in perspective). I was one joyful mother to be and I felt beautiful. After I gave birth to her I was still heavier and thicker than I had ever been but I could care less. It took me 9 months to put on that weight and I didn’t care if it took another 9 months for the weight to come off. Sadly within a few short months my weight dropped down to 102 pounds though. Breast feeding does help with weight loss but I had just experienced the most devastating betrayal of my life. I lost my (now ex) husband and one of my friends because of an affair. This is what I mean by adaptation. This shook me to the core and mentally I was lost. I went into survival mode, eating when I had to, only because I believed in the benefits of breast feeding babies. Some people over eat when they are depressed for me it’s the opposite. I completely withdraw from things that once gave me joy, like food. I want you to know that skinny does not always mean healthy and it does not mean sexy and/or happy. I didn’t notice how drastic my weight loss was until a friend took a photo of me and as all girls do after a photo is taken I said, ” K, let me see, let me see!!” When I saw the photo I was frightened. I looked like a skeleton/ crack head (no offense to anyone whose hobby might be… never mind). I’m not going to say I heroically overnight arose from my misery, it honestly took a couple of years to recover from something that not only broke my heart, but made me question my trust in others and their morals. On a much happier note though I was blessed with incredible friends who were always there for me. I thank God for them. They would not tolerate my self pity, darkness and harping on the broken dreams that I had imagined as a once 18 year old girl in a white dress. My friends helped me with all of the legal work, they showed me how to smile and laugh again, they helped me raise my daughter and be the loving, supportive family that she needed, they helped me manage my school assignments, dragged me to church every Sunday and Wednesday (where I cried every Sunday and Wednesday for a year straight!). We took trips to the beach, to the park, the local pizza place every Thursday, the farm, the state fair and eventually those forced smiles became real. The light slowly came back into my life. I even stopped crying at church much to the pastor’s relief! And this is when I began to cook (I figured if I was going to be a single mom I’d be a darn good one). I loved it (even if the first meals may not have turned out as well as planned and I most certainly have the scars on my hands to prove it). And those amazing friends that I had were always there to come and eat at my little wobbly table. By the time I had graduated from college I felt stronger and prouder of myself than ever before- And I was at a healthy weight!
So what was the point in telling you about that part of my life? That balance is key. You will not have a healthy body if you do not have a healthy mind. My suggestion is not cutting carbs, fats, sugars and bacon cheese burgers out of your life. My suggestion is just substituting the bad with the good. Get the bad people out of your life and get the good ones in! Trade the box of Kleenex in for one of your favorite comedies. Instead of going out with a friend who likes to go out every night and drink, maybe pick a friend who wants to wake up early, watch the sun rise and go for a run with you. Spend the money you might use on a martini for something that will nourish your body like fresh produce. And maybe every once in a while substitute the whipped cream chocolate drizzled hot chocolate for a freshly squeezed juice (my daily dilemma). Don’t deprive yourself just substitute and live your life in balance.
I believe that God designed us and this world to be in perfect balance. At times it may seem chaotic but everything has structure and order to it. If you don’t believe in God again just substitute higher power, the universe whatever you want… And if your God is science I can also level with you. Every hot beautiful day will eventually be followed by rain because so much heat is created that water evaporates up to the sky where it then cools and falls as rain. Not every day will be sunshine, there will be rain because we need balance. This is biology 101 I don’t need to get into why the birds, trees and flowers need sunshine and rain. Another example, for every cell in our body there must be perfect balance. A cell cannot be greedy and it cannot over produce. Over production leads to cancer. Greed leads to the cell exploding. A cell must live its life in balance for the greater good of the organism it is a part of.
As a child I loved studying history and one civilization that fascinated me were the Athenians. They believed that training and developing a young person’s physical body was just as important as disciplining and developing their mind. Your mental health will directly impact your body. Your body needs to be healthy; your cholesterol and blood pressure need to be at a healthy level, but if that means a size 8 for you and a size 0 for your neighbor then so be it. Don’t be a size 0 and unable to live a beautiful happy life because of your neighbor’s body type. Be a healthy size whatever you are and live that long, happy, beautiful life that God meant for you!
I just want to add that while you may be crying over someone’s Audrey Hepburn-esque thin body they may be crying over your Marilyn Monroe-esque jaw dropping hips and breasts.. or vice-versa! There is one you, don’t waste God’s one precious you.