A few months ago I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. It changed my life incredibly. I couldn’t eat any of the things that I used to love such as pizza and beer. I had to make a list of things that I couldn’t ingest and add to the list of the things that I had to eat more of.
As soon as I got the news I immediately became upset. What was I going to do? I loved the things I ate. Pasta was a staple in my home. Hamburgers weren’t going to taste the same without the buns I loved to put them on. So many things were made with wheat that I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
It took me about forty minutes to get home, but on the way I knew that my state of mind was not going to get me anywhere. I had to figure out what the positive result of my prognosis was. Was this truly a curse or was it a blessing? I came to the conclusion that it was truly a blessing that I just couldn’t truly understand at the moment. I had to take inventory of the benefits of how my life was to proceed going forward.
I immediately started to make a list of all of the things I had to cut out. Off the menu were processed meats, bread, pasta, beer and pizza. They encompassed the main things that gave me enjoyment on a daily basis. That joy came to an end. Now, what was going to replace this joy? What new experiences were awaiting me?
I was lucky I already loved fruits and vegetables. I had my favorites: broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, pears, pineapple; the list went on. I found out I could eat rice, which was already served with almost every meal in my house. Beans were also on the list. You can’t live in a Latino household and not have beans and rice.
I began to research gluten free products. There were breads that were made from ancient grains that I could eat. I also recently found out that I could have gluten free pizza at half the price of a regular pizza and still get great enjoyment out of eating it. A new world started opening up to me.
Over the course of time, as I adjusted my diet and tested out new things, I began to lose weight. As of this day I am about twenty pounds lighter than I was when I was diagnosed. This has contributed to me feeling better physically as well as mentally and emotionally. I’m looking forward to shrinking my waist even more.
Through experimentation over that past few months I learned a few things about my body and what I put into it that I thought I’d pass on to you to show you that all the things the news and magazines say are not totally untrue regarding one’s health. The basics are five in total.
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES
I was a meat lover. I still am, but there are so many things that the food industry is injecting into the meat we eat, such as hormones and antibiotics. I cut out red meat almost entirely and started to load up on salads. They included cucumbers, celery, mushrooms and tomatoes. I also ate a lot of these vegetables raw. My favorite is tiny carrots with red pepper hummus. I could eat a whole bag.
GET UP AND GET MOVING
Some of us hate the thought of exercising. I have been exercising my entire life and it’s just a part of who I am at this point. In either case, the fact of the matter is we were created to move. We have legs to walk and arms to pick things up. Even if you walk, bounce, hop, jump, or swim, make sure you do something daily and it is more than just ten minutes a day. Obesity is a serious killer in western society. Don’t be a statistic. The more you move, the better you will eventually feel. Your body will start to secrete endorphins, which are chemicals which make you feel good. This will cause you to want to perform movement even more.
You might hate it. You might scream and curse. That’s ok. Do it while you’re moving. When you’re done make sure you check a box that day that shows you were good to your body. Over time your body will start paying you back.
This cannot be stated enough. Stop smoking. It’s like dumping toxic waste into your body every time you light up. I used to be a smoker. I wish the habit was not deadly and disgusting, but it is. I quit because it put me in the hospital. Being smoke free is the best thing that happened to me and will happen to you. Your body will start to recover and some amazing changes will happen. Couple it with exercise and eating right and the results will be incredible.
If you’ve tried to quit in the past and you are having a really bad time of kicking the habit of smoking for good, make an appointment to visit your doctor. There are so many ways to stop smoking that your chances of success have increased exponentially. Vaping could also be a viable option until you are ready. Anything is better than tobacco use.
STAY AWAY FROM FAST FOOD
My favorite place to go and treat myself was Five Guys. No matter how unhealthy their food was I still dream of their burgers. And that is all it should be. A dream!
Fast food is notorious for being as unhealthy as food can be. Their meat is processed, full of fat, cholesterol, and other chemical nasties. I understand that it’s tempting and maybe you don’t have time to eat properly during the day, but there are always healthier alternatives.
I packed my own lunch in the morning, when I was working two hours away from where I live. It consisted of giant cucumbers, which are very filling, carrots, and a salad. I even brought grilled chicken with me. If I felt slightly hungry during the day, I drank a protein shake, which helped me a lot.
Ultimately, I never felt bloated and I never felt like I was about to enter a carb coma. I also drank coffee during the day, but not excessively. This helped me to not only stay awake, but to curb my appetite.
Humans are made up of mostly water. We need it to stay alive. It will also help you lose weight while you’re striving with your physical fitness regimen and your diet. Stay away from sodas and other processed, sugar laden drinks that they serve at your local coffee shop your deli. Your body has to work very hard to get rid of those empty calories than you think. Your progress will actually be slowed by drinking anything but water. Water is the elixir of life and without it we will die.
If you put your mind to it, your transformation will begin. These are just a few steps that you can take in order to change your life. There are more, but it’s ultimately up to you to want it enough to make the change. There will be disappointments ahead, but also sweet victories. Remember to accept both and continue to drive on. Stay determined, read, watch YouTube videos, and stay disciplined. You will be amazed at the results the next time you look in the mirror, the next time you step on the scale, and the next time you visit the doctor. It won’t be easy, but champions, like yourself, don’t take the easy road to victory.