I’m about 23 days into a different way of living. Motivated by minor pain and a sense that things just “weren’t right”, I’ve adjusted my eating habits rather drastically.

And what a difference it has made.

(You can read about it here.)

After three weeks, the physical changes are becoming the norm. I still don’t struggle much with cravings, although as I sit here surrounded by packages Sarah brought from the Savannah Candy Kitchen, I’ll admit to a bit of minor desire for something chocolate…and sugary….

But the desire isn’t enough to provoke action.

(Although I did eat a bit of chocolate last night; the Candy Kitchen makes this stuff called Gophers and they are TO DIE FOR and so I asked for one little piece, just a tiny bit. Tony – my biggest cheerleader – broke off a piece and handed it to me. And listen to this, people: I sucked on it for about 20 seconds. I swirled the chocolate taste in my mouth and oh how I wanted to chew up the caramel and the nuts and the dark chocolate but I didn’t. I gingerly spit it into a napkin and threw it away, much to the horror of the candy-loving people around the table. I just couldn’t eat it. I think I earned some major points with that bit of willpower…)

Here’s what I’m learning:

  • What I eat has a powerful impact on how I feel. I have introduced – carefully – caffeine, with a cup of homemade Chai tea Friday morning. The caffeine sent me through the roof.  I could feel the impact of the caffeine on my body. It wasn’t necessarily bad – or good – but the point is this: I put a stimulant into my body and I was aware of its impact.* To me, this is huge; I’ve spent years pouring caffeine and sugar and everything else into my body without any awareness of how it changed my mood, my energy level, my thought process, my ability to focus. By stripping everything down to such a raw level, I am back in touch with how my body works. I can’t begin to describe how freeing this is, and how empowered I feel. Plus, I am healthier – it’s obvious.
  • What I eat has a powerful impact on my confidence. I feel better. I have lost a bit of weight, but I’m still way far away from the skinny, size 2 I was several years ago. But it’s not about the size of my clothes. I’m learning that feeling in control of my eating habits and being free of the numbing influence of sugar and carbs and processed junk has done wonders for my self-esteem and confidence. It’s impacted my work life and my relationships at home and my ability to get up and tackle the day. It’s impacted my spiritual life; there’s some sort of righteousness that comes with honoring the body God gave me. I like this.
I am convinced that I walked around for years in a fog, numbed by Pringles and Oreos and yogurt and cheese and steak and sugar and Starbucks. Somehow over the course of my adult life, I gave my power away. I ate what was in front of me, what the commercials and the slick ad campaigns touted, what I craved. I ate what good Americans ate, what surrounded us, what was easy and available and quick and convenient. Indulgence was king.
No more. It is not convenient to buy fresh vegetables, to stop at Food Lion for red peppers and hummus when everybody else is eating pizza. It’s not convenient to eat oatmeal every day, without sugar. It’s not fun to drink only water. 
But there’s this: I feel great.  Spiritually, physically, emotionally. I am present in my life. Honestly, I’m not sure there’s any amount of Oreo’s that could get me here.
I’m thankful. This is good. Amen.
*By the way, I also experimented with eating just a bit of red meat in some chili. No major issues, not much of a noticeable impact. However, not so for the soup I made for the family last night. It included homemade cornmeal dumplings, and after working so hard to make them, I decided to eat just a few. The impact on my stomach was quick and not pleasant. My body doesn’t like corn, or flour. We’ll figure that out as we go along. The point is – now I know. When I eat certain things, I don’t feel good. So, the choice is mine. I can choose the temporary pain, or I can avoid the food and feel better. 

This is good.

BY THE WAY: THANKSGIVING? YES. I AM EATING. NOT OVERDOING IT, BUT I’LL EAT. 

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