I share my story because I want people to know they do not have to continue to suffer – and that includes suffering from hunger which is what most diets cause. Overweight/obese/morbidly obese people are suffering people – they’re suffering from depression, fatigue, addiction, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and aches and pains and it is all caused by food, specifically carbs and sugar.
My husband used to frustrate me so much when he would say, “It’s real simple, just eat less.” Gee, why didn’t I think of that??? Many, many people think the same way he did. He has since come around to understand, but there are millions of thin and fit people out there (and many who want to be) who still believe it is as simple as moderation or balance. Nothing grates on my nerves more than when someone preaches moderation to a struggling obese person who is trying to lose the weight and just can’t because they keep “falling off the wagon.” There is a reason they fall off the wagon and the reason is addiction.
Everytime I tried a calorie restriction diet or WW, or magic pills or excessive exercising, the common theme was hunger and feelings of “starving.” I know now that is because I was/am addicted to carbs and sugar and what I was feeling was the need for a fix. Let’s face it, when I was counting calories, I was looking for a way to fit cheesecake and candy bars into the calorie count. I didn’t realize that when I ate those things I was causing myself to crave more of it.
Addiction is very powerful, whether it is physical or mental (and I believe it is both) and the ONLY WAY to successfully and painlessly get the weight off and get healthy is to absolutely let go of the drug (carbs/sugar) – just like the alcoholic can’t drink in moderation or the heroin addict can’t indulge now and then, neither can the carb/sugar addict. There is no such thing as moderation or balance for addicts. The first key to success is acknowledging that we have a problem with carbs/sugar and then we need to come to the realization that we can live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives without those things.
I do not miss the food that made me diabetic and obese. I can’t describe the freedom I feel not being in bondage to the cravings anymore. I can’t imagine ever going back – it would be miserable. I say all this to say, that the food part of this way of eating is the easy part. The part that takes all the work is getting our mind right – daily, on purpose working on retraining our brain in how we think about food.
Three things you can do starting right now:
- Don’t have food fantasies
- Daily tell yourself that the carbs/sugar are poison and eventually will kill you
- Read and look at daily inspirational stories, pictures, quotes that will help you stay on track mentally
Just STOP. Don’t imagine or visualize eating the food you think you can’t live without. Our thoughts lead to action and that is when the binge/cheat happens.
You wouldn’t eat things that were labeled “poison” – so think of the nutrition label that indicates high carb and a lot of sugar – look at it and think, “POISON.” This might sound extreme, but your quality of life is at stake. Decide what you want – temporary satisfaction that comes with a lot of damage and guilt or do you want to refrain and be healthy?
I start everyday out on Pinterest, where I follow a lot of inspirational stuff. I start my day by feeding my mind positive thoughts and ideas. Praying doesn’t hurt either!
When our minds are strong, we can do anything. I promise that once you get past the physical cravings (and that time period will suck and you will have to find some semblance of will power to get through it) but when you do and the physical cravings are gone – you will feel RELIEF and then if you focus on making your mind strong and changing your view of food – every day it will get a little easier until eventually living this way is second nature. That is where I am, it is second nature. However, there are times I struggle – sweets were always my thing – so while I do not battle the “real thing” anymore, I still battle behavior issues with low carb desserts/sweets. We all have our struggles.
Bottom line, decide you want health once and for all, realize addiction is REAL and realize you CANNOT CHEAT – cheating cannot be excused with “it’s my birthday” “my cat died” “everyone deserves a treat now and then” etc – those are all excuses to get the fix. Don’t do it. Stay strong – life is good without the bread, pasta, sweets etc. They are not necessary for life. Decide and keep moving forward.
You can do this. Really, you can.