Change Takes Time
So nearly two and a half years ago, I set out on a new path. Of course when I made the decision to try the Elimination Diet for one month, I never thought I would be taking the first step in a life changing journey. I had gotten to the point through lack of exercise and excessive Ben and Jerry’s where it was lose weight or buy bigger clothes. But worse still, I had the threat of blood pressure medication hanging over me. But truthfully, it wasn’t the possible health hazard but the thought of buying bigger clothes that motivated me.
This is where luck steps in. I chose as my first place to get some exercise, a personal fitness studio that put all their clients on the Elimination Diet. What I thought was wonderful about this place was that even though I just went for their classes and didn’t sign up for any personal training, they still gave me their time and the diet. In a nutshell, the Elimination Diet is no wheat, dairy, sugar except agave, alcohol and caffeine for a month. You cleanse your system, reintroduce these foods slowly and see if you have any reaction. Despite my steady diet of Ben and Jerry’s, I am lactose intolerant. I’m also very sensitive to caffeine and hardly drink alcohol so giving up these things wasn’t hard. The sugar was really tough as well as the wheat, it meant no more cookies, cakes or a convenient sandwich when I am out. But once I started, I realised that I was much happier without them. My body functioned much better especially without the wheat and sugar. So I never reintroduced the sugar or wheat back into my diet. We all know the right way to eat. But being virtuous was not enough of a motivation for me. It took feeling noticeably better for me to make the switch. Of course I am no longer as strict as I was that first year. But I now know what to look out for when I start to eat a little too much of what I shouldn’t. The adjustments are easy to make and the change is immediate.
In addition to the eating plan, this studio offered 30 minute exercise classes. I thought, “how bad could 30 minutes be?”. Well after the first class when I tried to walk home, I stepped off the kerb, crossed the road and then I wasn’t sure I could step back up on the other side. Things got better from there, I slowly got into shape and two gyms later, I now train 5 days a week, really enjoying the feeling of being fit. But lately I’ve noticed that I am finally figuring out how to use certain muscles that I had assumed I’d been using all these years. So even though it seems like I am doing the same thing all the time, I am actually making progress.
Having a diet that suits me and being in shape means I am more clear headed and am able to multi task more effectively. It’s hard to give it your all mentally if you’re lacking stamina. Of course I still forget things all the time and make silly mistakes, but I feel like I have accomplished a lot in the last 18 months. I’ve started up my cooking classes which has led to a nut business and I’m enjoying my translation work. I’d love to get rid of the muffin top but chocolate is the one indulgence I refuse to give up so I’ll live with it I think.
When you think about it, it is your body, you choose what to put in it and how hard to work it. You have total control. Easier said than done, I’m just glad that for now I have found the right balance.