For some, food is a social thing. We go out to eat with our loves, we pick at platters at parties, and “grab a bite” with friends. Holidays are spent congregated around an often luscious spread of fatty, sugary, salty food. Food is, admittedly, a deep pleasure for most people. And for some us, it’s also deeply personal.
There are a lot of health, diet, food, and fat blogs out there. So many people, the great majority I’d assume, relate to food and their own bodies in ways that are less than desirable. As a society, our diets are so far removed from what our bodies have evolved to process that it’s like putting diesel fuel in your unleaded tank.
We all know this. We know that sugar, salt, fat, and processed foods are biggest contributors by far to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer – as well as a host of other diseases and maladies. There are documentaries on Netflix if you’re ever bored – I’ll recommend some and review them from time to time. I believe we know intrinsically what is good for our bodies. I think Michael Pollan summed it up beautifully: “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”
My own relationship to food has been rocky. I have carried around an obese body for 34 years and I don’t recall a time that I wasn’t fat. I know that my eating habits and lack of exercise got me here, and intellectually I knew all along what I should have been putting into my body. I have been reluctant to give up my deeply personal, comforting relationship with food. But, a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Suddenly, it wasn’t an option anymore. For me, the diagnosis was a life-saver. It was a glaring message that the effects of my lifestyle ran deep – and could, in a very real way, alter my life forever.
So I decided to kick some ass.
I picked up The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman (check it out here) . I’ve been following the Advanced diet plan in this book for two weeks and I have already lost 14 pounds. My fasting blood sugar – which was 281 the day after I received the letter from my doctor stating that I had diabetes – has now come down to a normal level for someone without diabetes. But that’s only the beginning.
I feel amazing. Think bounding gazelles. My skin is radiant. My body feels coiled with energy – ready to get up and zoom. And despite the fact that I’m still carrying around two people on my one skeleton, I feel as light as possibility.
Very few people know this about me, but it has been my greatest dream to learn how to surf. I know I’ll never surf at Pipeline Masters (though it’d be nice to see in person – and a trip to the North Shore of Oahu does sound like good medicine) but I could work my way up to a 3-footer! I have always believed this was an unreachable goal for me. Just to stand up on a surfboard is beyond my physical ability. Not to mention, surfboards have weight limits. Did you know that? These are the things I’ve had to worry about when most people as stoked to surf as I am are worried about wiping out or holding their breath long enough. I would be happy to just stand up.
I think “going public” with my journey helps me stay committed, but also helps me to define myself in ways other than “the fat lady.” There is so much more to me, but I have often believed a great deal of people can’t see past my physical body. I wonder if people meet me, think I’m great, and wonder how I ended up so large – and why I don’t do anything about it. These are good questions – if extremely personal. Unwinding the answers to these questions is part of my journey too. But one truth I have learned is that everyone carries around something – some pain, some sense of failure or unworthiness, an addiction, a coping mechanism, fear, anxiety, depression, etc. – I just carry mine on the outside. The world gets to see, and judge, the private weights my heart carries.
Not all of my posts will be this wordy. I hope to touch briefly upon the process and the results from time to time – but this blog is about FOOD. It’s about what I’m eating and why. I will post recipes, pictures, reviews, and inspiration. I hope that anyone following along is inspired to discover whole foods and their amazing health benefits. I hope to serve as a success story and an example of what determination and courage can change in a person’s life.
And, eventually, there will be pictures of me…surfing.