Cardio or cardio with weight training, or just weight training. Higher reps or low reps with more weight? Which kinds of cardio? And diets? Paleo, Vegan, No Carb, Weight Watchers, Grain Free, GAPS, Juicing, Fermenting Grains, No Grains, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Organic, No Sugars, Low Fat, Whole Grains, mini-meals, 3 squares, liquids only.
It’s enough to make one’s head explode. Or fat cells.
But I loved learning about it all. I loved the science of it, but really even then, there is only so much science can prove and we are still missing a lot. The only ones who will say that we have it all figured out are the ones that are naturally thin and have never struggled with weight issues a day in their lives. Trust me. I love getting dietary advice from them, it’s really the best thing ever. Right up there with your size two friend complaining about their fat thighs. That’s super special as well.
However, I was always amazed in class when I’d learn where we get some of our standard dietary advice. The kind you see on posters in Dr.’s offices or printed on cereal boxes. The kind that PE and health teachers preach to children.
The kind we all just accept as fact but which lack scientific data and probability.
Now there is an explosion of information and every diet imaginable being touted as the next best thing. And anyone can say so, because every diet has worked for someone. At least for a while.
But this new diet has less to do with weight loss as it does lifelong digestive issues and health problems. I have always struggled with stomach pain, irritable bowels, fatigue, and migraines.
I have heard the benefits of going sugar, dairy, and grain free in an attempt to pinpoint the culprits that may contribute to these and other dietary issues but honestly never had the oomph or energy to revamp my diet. After all, I have been dealing with all of these symptoms for years now and it has weakened my resolve or my hope that anything will ever change, least of all my weight.
But this last year was a reckoning in which I was sick more than I was well and plagued with constant migraines, exhaustion, and stomach problems that kept increasing in severity.
So begins my experiment in refined sugar, dairy, and grain free-living. Thus far, I’m well into week two and have had no migraines, a lot of energy, and no emergency bathroom trips.
However, I realize just how much of my life and enjoyment I associate with food. Sweetened creamer in my coffee, ice cream with the kids on a hot day, casseroles and baked goods at a potluck, and pizza night with the family.
And I think maybe just maybe, this push to discover what is going on with my health will also help me to evaluate what is going on with my heart.
How I look to food to comfort me and entertain me.
How food is used in celebration but how easily it turns from a joyful feast to a secret shameful sin as you delve into the last spoonfuls of the mint chocolate chip alone in the dark of the kitchen, while promising repentance and adherence to a strict set of rules tomorrow.
“You’ll be good,” you tell yourself. “You just need a few more bites, because it’s tastes right and truthfully you can’t ever seem to get full.” And then you feel hollow again, and the empty carton echoes your soul.
I don’t see this diet as a fix it to all my issues with overeating but I do pray that God uses this renewed energy and time of concentrating on my health to reveal the heart issues he has been working in me over the past few years and to give me the stamina to make the changes so necessary to being able to glorify Him in my body as well as my spirit. I’d love prayer over the next few weeks as I try to get my digestion issues under control. Thanks, sweet friends for journeying with me.