*Small disclaimer- I did use to have a very unhealthy relationship with food and eating. I am still recovering and dealing with that every day. You can read about that HERE. I feel comfortable talking about this as I am in a relatively good place (with only a few rough days) and this mind shift has really helped me.
When my husband was a Drill Sergeant and had a crazy schedule, meals became whatever was quick, easy, and there wasn’t much thought put into them. We were often eating dinner late at night due to his hours (we always eat dinner together and I wasn’t changing that) and I was a big snacker throughout the day. It wasn’t until we moved that I was able to implement a real change in our eating.
When we moved almost 2 1/2 years ago I decided that we were cutting out the processed crap. I was going to cut all of those box dinners and get back to cooking meals. My husbands schedule tamed down a lot, didn’t have so many crazy or odd hours, and we were able to start meal planning a little better. Changing dinner meals was the easiest with of our lives and we’ve never looked back to those pre boxed quick meals. I actually can’t believe we ate as many as they did as most aren’t super good in taste.
The process of cutting out the junk food was a much harder road to travel. I am a huge snacker and for me, the only way to cut junk food was to cut out most of the snacking. I started by eating a proper breakfast in the morning and then really trying to focus on eating when I was hungry, rather than when I was bored. I also started to try and look at what I was actually eating, rather than just reach for whatever.
At this point, I’ve cut soda to one a week, plain water and hot tea during the day to drink, popcorn (my guilty pleasure) once a week, and no other chips or really candy. I eat 3 meals everyday, and then if I still feel like I need a little more I’ll reach either for a bar or some fruit.
To say that I have felt a shift is putting it very mildly. I’m not being “cooky” when I say it was like coming out of a fog. It is absolutely insane to realize how much just eating chips, or having some candy, or even a single soda can really do to you. Not only does my body just feel so much better and healthier, but mentally it is a whole separate ballgame. I find that I am much more even keeled and I don’t constantly just feel yucky.
I would say the moment that everything clicked was when I was a few weeks clear of chips and candy. I really just felt light and clear in my mindset. I felt like I was just in a better state across the board with my body, my mind, and my emotions. I was able to just do much more because I didn’t have the extra “junk” of junk food in my body.
That was when it clicked in my head. What fuels our body? In a very literal sense what fuels our bodies is what we actually put in. A lot of how we feel physical and even emotionally can be related to what we are consuming. Our bodies need nourishment in a most basic sense and what you put in is what you will get out.
This is not only something that I learned not only throughout recovery, but in just experiencing different things in life. What I eat is more than just what I eat. It relates not only to my body, but to my energy, my mood and just my overall health.
When you look at the idea of food being your fuel and you look at the big picture of what you are putting into your system, you start to get a crystal clear perspective.
Just a few years ago I was eating junk food all the time. I had chips and cookies everyday and a soda almost as frequently. We were having pre made box dinners at dinnertime (mostly out of ease and quickness of preparation than anything else) and while it didn’t seem so bad at the time, looking back I see just how bad I felt.
Hindsight is 20/20-although at the time, I very much knew that I wasn’t the healthiest with my eating habits. At this point we are eating almost all home cooked meals (there are a couple of exceptions here and there) and it has made such a difference. In fact, I would say eating healthier has made more of a difference than the workouts I’ve done. The workouts are great and needed, but where it all begins is with what you are consuming. It’s not a hard change, it just requires a little more thought at the outset. Once you feel the difference, you won’t go back to any previous eating habits.