Saturday, March 9, 2013

Getting Healthy

Last Sunday at church we had a lesson based on the talk Of Regrets and Resolutions by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. At the start of the lesson, the teacher, which happens to be one of my good friends, asked us to write down some regrets of the past year. I had a few initial thoughts, but as I went home and really thought about the lesson I started thinking not of my regrets, but of how I could stop having regrets.

One of my biggest regrets is my health. When I was a kid I played multiple sports and was ALWAYS on the field, court, or track! Sports were my life until my junior year of high school when I tore my ACL. Everything that I had ever known was gone and I had to find new things to fill my time. That is when my activity level went to zero and I started gaining weight. Since then I have not worked out consistently and have not really taken charge of the food that goes into my body. Since last Sunday I have realized that my health has consistently been a looming disappointment and regret for me. I've decided to finally take charge! No, I don't have any grand plans to workout or become the ripped goddess that is so readily pushed on me by the media, but I have decided to become more vigilant and decisive about the food that goes into my body.

A couple days ago I watched a video called Vegucated (on Netflix). This documentary is all about Veganism. I had never explored the vegan option, but after watching this documentary I was appalled at the treatment of animals, disgusted with the idea of animal food products, and ready to change my diet to be plant based rather than meat and dairy based. Now, I'm not saying I'm going to choose the vegan route, mainly because I know it would be very difficult for me to entirely cut out all meat and dairy products, but there was a quote in the documentary that I felt was completely relevant to my attitude. "Being vegan is about minimizing the suffering of animals," or in other words I can minimize my intake of animal products. I'm not going to become an animal activist and and I don't believe that our meat eating culture will change any time soon, but I do believe that as Americans we overeat animal products as well as sugar, unhealthy fats, and a limitless amount of other products. I guess it boils down to this: I learned how meat comes to be in stores, our bodies don't need all that meat to sustain life, and there are alternate options to the meat and potatoes diet.

The next video I watched is called Hungry for Change (also on Netflix). This was an absolutely amazing video! It was really educational and was put in terms that a non-scientist could understand. It touched on the fact that there is sugar in nearly everything in grocery stores, that Americans are eating more food than ever and yet not getting any nutrients, and that health is 80% based on the food you eat! The video emphasized the importance of eating clean foods and putting the required nutrients into your body. Our bodies are not sure how to break down and store all the crap we put in it so when we put good foods into it, it recognizes the change and immediately begins functioning and looking how it ought we all want it to.

I would highly recommend watching these two videos if you are in need of inspiration to change your eating habits!

As I was searching for some kind of eating clean guide I stumbled upon a book at the library by Tosca Reno. Her website, Eating Clean, is great! Eating clean is about eating lean protein, complex carbs, and good fats, aka fruits and veggies, lean meat, eggs, seeds and beans, and SO many other healthy options.

I've already started changing my attitude towards food and being healthy by watching the above mentioned videos and by reading clean eating  articles and books. This is going to be a permanent change and lifestyle for me and my family. It is not about me not being able to have a slice of cake, it is about me having the option to have the cake but not wanting the cake.

To go back to last Sunday and the lesson that started this all: my life on this earth is short and precious and I want to be my best self in order to enjoy each moment. I have been blessed with this wonderful body that used to be agile enough to jump hurdles, quick enough sprint down a court, and strong enough to kick a soccer ball the length of the field. I may not be able to do those things anymore, but at least I can look like I can!