Monday, June 6, 2011

Just change your lifestyle, duh!

This weekend I was sharing my new lifestyle with a friend and explaining my journey with intermittent fasting. It really opened my eyes while I was talking just how far I have come.

You hear it all the time in relation to losing weight, "It has to be a lifestyle change." Everyone who has succeeded with weight loss (and by success I mean losing weight and keeping it off) preaches the lifestyle change. Since I have begun my journey with intermittent fasting I feel like I finally understand what they are all talking about.

Changing your lifestyle is the key. Problem is, this is not an easy key to find. 

Changing your lifestyle is EXTREMELY difficult. They don't really mention this in their diet books that they sell. It kind of comes off as "just change your lifestyle, easy, duh!" But there is nothing easy about it. 

We are who we are. Changing usually happens as a result of a trauma or a very difficult time in our lives that forces change upon us. Usually we are better for it and that is why almost anyone you ask who has suffered hardship in their lives will tell you that they wouldn't change the bad things that have happened to them because it made them who they are today. Usually stronger, wiser, happier people who appreciate the good things in life because they know how fragile they are.

So changing your physical appearance and your internal health is not going to just happen without there being some significant event that forces change. We have to "hit rock bottom" so to speak.

When I say something significant, I don't mean that it has to be significant to everyone else looking in, although it could be, but it could also be significant only to themselves. It may seem small to outsiders looking in, but to them it was THE thing that triggered change. We have to WANT it for OURSELVES. 

A good example of this is someone I know was a smoker, for almost their whole lives, smoking excessively. They tried everything you can try to quit smoking. Patch, gum, hypnosis, electronic gadgets and on and on and on...thousands of dollars and years of effort all ending in failure. One day something caused a click in the brain that made them decide they had had enough and now was the time to quit. They put down the cigarettes and never picked them up again, with no patch, no gum, no help of any kind, just the power of the mind.

Even though it is difficult, it really is a change in lifestyle that is needed. There really is no way around this. You can try to follow this diet and that diet for a while, but unless you change the way you live, you will continue to struggle. 

The good news is, if you are lucky enough to hit your bottom and are ready for change, it isn't hard to do once it starts happening. Because a true change in lifestyle happens because we start doing things differently because we WANT to and because we LIKE to. I don't eat salad everyday because I have to and I really wish I was having a burger...I eat salad because I actually WANT to and LIKE to! 

I think intermittent fasting has helped me achieve this. I am no doctor, I am only going on my own experience but, I noticed that before intermittent fasting, my body never told me what it wanted, all I knew was I was starving and I wanted to eat everything all the time.

Fasting has allowed my body the time to asses the foods I provide and send out signals about the foods it wants and the foods it doesn't want. 

When you hear about pregnant women who crave really weird things like dirt or drywall, it is called PICA. They don't know for sure why this happens but suspect that it may be because of an iron deficiency. But these cravings are strong, the body is telling them to eat dirt, and they want to eat it just like we would want to eat chocolate or donuts or anything else that we really CRAVE. This is similar to what has happened with me, my body is CRAVING the things it really wants, like nutrients and vitamins and healthy good for me foods that make my body feel good. It tells me what it wants and makes me CRAVE these things and I eat them because I really WANT to. 

Another good analogy I read in the book The Gabriel Method  (an excellent book which also talks a lot about how to make tiny changes that make a huge impact on your lifestyle). He uses the example of a baby crying for milk. If every time a baby cries for milk you give it Pepsi, the baby will continue to scream because what it really wants is milk. Even though the baby may get very fat and look completely well nourished and well fed, it will still scream like it is starving because what it really needs is MILK!

The Gabriel Method tells us that even though a person is obese and in no way starving, they actually are starving because they are starving NUTRITIONALLY. So the body will keep screaming for food because it is not getting what it needs. And because we live in a society of fast food and convenience stores, more often than not, what we have to offer the body is food with no nutrients.

This is why before intermittent fasting, even though I was extremely overweight, I always felt starving and wanted to eat everything all the time. My body knew it was missing something, it just didn't know what it was, or how to tell me, so it just kept telling me it was starving.

So, for people who are obese, it is something that they really don't have control over. It really is unfair how society has branded overweight/obese people as lazy with no will power and blamed it all on them like they have some control over the situation. 

The body is a powerful thing, capable of healing itself, creating a life, controlling our limbs, an immeasurably complex machine. If this powerful body feels like it is starving, starving for nutrients and the only way to get what it wants is to send a message that it is starving, we are going to eat, and eat and eat whether we like it or not. 

If you are overweight or obese, it isn't your fault no matter what anyone says, no matter how much guilt you feel, you are not to blame. If you still haven't had that one significant thing happen to you to make change possible, maybe this can help, maybe intermittent fasting can help your body finally understand what it is really screaming for. 

You can change, you can switch your own switch in your mind and take the first baby step towards a new lifestyle that you live because you WANT to and LIKE to.

3 comments:

  1. GREAT post!! I totally agree with everything you wrote. I just uploaded an old video to youtube and posted it to my blog and it was pretty cool to find out I have been fasting for more than 2 years and weigh 10 pounds less than I did when I shot the video. I was 144 pounds in October 2009 and am now around 135 pounds, depending on the day. (((hugs)))

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  2. Very good post! Inspirational as always :)

    I tried losing weight so many times the past ten years. The "trauma" or eye opener for me was a blood pressure of 200/110. (Yes, that's crazy, life threatening, high).

    And since I really hate to take any kind of meds I finally found a GOOD reason to really work on my weight and healthy eating. (I had to take the meds in the beginning of course, but no need anymore).

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  3. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Idea to Help Dieters LOSE 20 Pounds within Only 21 Days!

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