Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight loss. Show all posts

Monday, February 10, 2020

13. Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable - "Living in Light" Series

Most of us want to make positive changes for the better. But here's some honest, cold, hard truth, change is hard. If you want to change your thoughts, get ready for some constant painstaking examination and awareness of every single thought. If you want to change your body, get ready for some physical rebellion! If you want to change your life, get ready to be pushed out of your comfort zone altogether...

The truth is: change is uncomfortable

So knowing this, how do we get "comfortable" with uncomfortable?

Let's start with how strong your desire is to change. Some things may sound good "in theory" in your mind. We can say, "It would be nice if..." or "Maybe someday I will..." but the power to change comes from your choice, and how deeply rooted this desire is, will ultimately determine how long you can stay "uncomfortable".

Two things are involved, our acceptance of how things are and our awareness of needing to change how things are.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time, we can placate and rationalize our acceptance to death with, "Oh it's not so bad" or "This is just the way I am" or even, "That's life". We will do everything we can to stay in our comfort zone no matter what. That's when awareness needs to step in!

Only when we have awareness of needed change, is when we can accept that how things are right now are not how you want things to truly, really, deeply, be. 

Ask yourself, "How badly do I want this?" "Am I willing to go through hell to get it?" or does the "If it happens it happens," mentality kick in?

For your changes to really succeed, your desire for these changes better be deeply rooted, well thought out, and relentlessly pursued no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Now I'm not suggesting that you have an all or none mentality, a leap off a cliff idea, a throw yourself into a baptism by fire situation, in fact, it's just the opposite. You can read a previous post called "The Power of Baby Steps" here on how small, incremental changes lead to big results.

What I am suggesting is that before you choose to make changes in your life, you should be mentally prepared for those changes and remember that the mind, the body, even just life itself, will resist change to no end, simply to remain comfortable.

So once you've decided to quit drinking, lose 50 pounds, move half-way across the country or whatever your needed changes are, how do we get comfortable with uncomfortable? (All these things I've done and let's just say, it wasn't/isn't so comfy!)

Let's delve into quitting drinking alcohol. This is a tough one in our society. Your friends and family may drink. You may go to restaurants that serve alcohol. Every holiday or special event seems to breed intoxication. This is when your deeply held desire to stop drinking better be really, really deep. You will be tempted, put in really uncomfortable positions by saying something like "No thanks, I'll just have water." You may even make others feel uncomfortable because your not drinking can feel like you're judging them for drinking. (Let that go.)

This is when our choice to be comfortable with uncomfortable must kick in: We must rise up, above our emotions and feelings, and use wisdom to tell ourselves, "I deeply want to stop drinking and stay sober, and even though this is hard, I know it will be worth it for what I want in my life, no matter what."

I love that quote from A League of Their Own, I'm paraphrasing, "They didn't say it would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it."

With the change you're thinking of doing, ask yourself, will it be worth it?

And here's a secret, positive changes are always worth it.

Let's look at weight-loss. Eating less is hard. It hurts. It's painful. The body especially hates change. It wants to stay exactly how it is and will resist whatever you try to change about it. There are times when you feel so starving. It can literally feel like you're dying, no lie! I really do believe in the power of baby steps when it comes to physical change, but regardless of how little the steps you take are, weight loss can be so uncomfortable. Or when you start working out, you get blisters, muscle soreness, sometimes fatigue, even added hunger! It's so frustrating!

But then all of sudden, you start feeling/seeing some benefits, and then you start believing... it is soooooo worth it.

I love when Joyce Meyer preaches on rising above your feelings, start making right decisions, then your feelings will catch up with your decisions. It's so true. If we always did what we felt like, we'd never make any progress. Feelings are so fickle and can lead us nowhere. But once we set our minds right, our feelings will have no choice but to succumb to our wisdom, and that's how we become wiser, stronger, and more in control of our thoughts, bodies, and lives.

What about moving halfway across the country? At first, our minds resist. "But I like where I live now," or "It's not what I really want right here, but it's okay," or "It sounds like too much work."

Sometimes even thinking new thoughts are extremely uncomfortable. We're creatures of habit. We're used to what we're used to. Fear can kick in telling all sorts of things like, the grass isn't always greener, what if I don't fit in, or how can I make it work financially.

Again, ask yourself how strong your desire is to move there. Is it deeply rooted? Do you really want to be closer to your family and friends? Do you really want that new job? Do you really want that fresh start?

Make the right decisions for yourself, and your feelings will catch up with your decisions.

"What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens--skip like a lamb, if you like!--for even if they don't like it, I do... and all heaven applauds." - Luke 6:23 (MSG)

If anyone truly knows what is uncomfortable is, it's Jesus. Walking in truth, in our truth, can be very uncomfortable. We know what good changes we need to make. Yes, you do. Yes, you do know! And with Christ as our strength, all things are possible. In our most difficult times of change, let's rely on His righteousness, perseverance, and glory to carry us through. For He knows, it is really worth it, and the rewards will be heavenly! Let's rejoice in our good "uncomfort", for it means that we are truly changing for the better. And when we walk in our truth, we can truly live in light, and light will never, ever, fail us.

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!


Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 8, 2019

7. Are You What You Eat? Part 2." Living in Light" Series

Part 1. which you can read here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/5-are-you-what-you-eat-part-1-living-in.html, delved into a few tried and true basics of what you consume. But this post will be about my food journey and its evolution. For me, it's been a slow process of really trying to figure out what's best for me. I'm sharing this story so that it may enlighten others to dig deeper and truly discover what's best for them.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to "diet". That word has a huge stigma, but for all intents and purposes, let's simply define "diet" as it is what you eat. Eating cheeseburgers, fried chicken and potato chips all day is a diet. Hopefully, it's not your diet, but you know what I mean. My main point is everyone is different and everyone has different needs. We may all have different medical issues, activities, lifestyles, and I think there's even a greater not talked about much of what our bodies have been used to for many years. You have to discover for yourself what makes you feel your best.

So let's start at the beginning! I give my parents a lot of credit. I was a very healthy baby and young child. They really did their best to give me proper nutrition and a lot of what I ate was a whole foods, plant-based diet, how ironic! They did limit my sugar intake and it wasn't until I was a little older did I start eating sugary cereals for breakfast. Probably something I begged my parents for rather than them wanting to give me those!

My dad was the one who taught me about balance. I especially remember when he made dinners, there would be a starch, a vegetable, and an animal protein. Considering the times and where the science was at this time, this was probably considered a very healthy diet. The important point is balance, which I believe, is the most crucial thing to any diet. I'm glad this was something I learned in my early childhood.

Now let's delve into when I got off track! I would say it was when I was about 10 years old and my family and I moved to Oklahoma. I'm not saying it's impossible to eat healthy in Oklahoma, this was just my personal experience. My parents were working a lot and I found myself eating a lot more fast food, t.v. dinners, or eating whatever at the babysitter's, whatever was convenient and cheap. I don't think I started drinking soda until I was about 11 or 12, and I, like most people got hooked.

It was at this same time that I started actively pursuing the life of a classical ballerina. I went to ballet school multiple times a week. I also went to a magnet school where I was a Dance Major, and was probably dancing nearly 10 hours a week. I can only imagine if I ate as healthy as I do now, how much more energy I would have had. But I can remember my usual lunch was pizza and a coke, then Wendy's was down the street from ballet school, so that was my usual dinner. To sum up, not very healthy.

And then it got much worse! When I moved away from home at the tender age of 19, I started working full time, living on nothing more than cokes, candy bars, caffeine and maybe some ramen noodles for dinner. Anything to just keep me going until I dropped. It wasn't until I met my husband and stopped running the rat race, did I have the time to learn about a healthy diet.

Confession: When I was in my 20's, the major reason why I was interested in a healthy diet was purely for vanity, superficial reasons, weight loss, etc. So the large part of what I studied was simply calorie restriction and low-calorie options.

Acknowledging that this wasn't the best motive, I really didn't delve deeper into nutrition at this time. It was more about cutting out sugars, especially High Fructose Corn Syrup, switching to artificial sweeteners (which is whole other messy ball of wax), cutting out fast food, junk food, etc. And I was probably working out 6-7 days a week, more than 10 hours a week of physical activity with all that 20-year-old energy I had. Long story short, it did work! I lost weight and was in great shape. But I will say, this diet lifestyle was very challenging hard work and it was easy to fall in and out of it from month to month with weight fluctuations galore.

And then bam, they found a life-threatening diaphragmatic hernia! You can read more about that story here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2010/07/life-after-death.html, but I basically went from a very healthy 25-year-old to someone with a chronic pain disability. I was on heavy medications which destroyed my health over a 10 year period. Referring to my diet, because I was in constant pain, I was wanting comfort food, wine, and whatever would bring me a little joy here and there. This did not do me any favors.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with prediabetes. So I cut out absolutely all sugars, even fruit and went Low Carb High Fat/Atkins/Keto, and in four short weeks, I had reversed my prediabetes. Going from a 5.6% A1C to 5.1%. But let me sum up how I felt during those diets: I felt horrible. I had absolutely no energy, it never felt like I could never get enough sleep and my mood was irritable and unpleasant, to say the least. Some people do very well on these types of diets, but I was not one of them.

So I started reintroducing low-glycemic carbs back into my diet. A lot of quinoa, sweet potatoes, and lower glycemic whole grains. My energy started to increase once again and my prediabetes numbers pretty much stayed the same.

Then a major lifestyle change! I moved to California and decided I was going to get off all my medications, and I did! This was an excruciating process, but I was determined to get healthier and go all-natural. And then another bam happened. I was hit with horrible abdominal pain. And even though I couldn't exactly pinpoint the cause, I really thought it was digestion based.

So then, I started Food Combining. Basically, it's a diet that focuses on what foods you eat together. For some examples, you can only eat fruit on its own. Only Carbs and Fats can be eaten at the same time, and only Proteins and greens can be eaten at the same time. There's more rules than just this, but the fact was, I started feeling better. I started learning that different foods digest at different rates and the importance of only combining certain foods for optimal digestion.

And then I learned what I was allergic to, to see if this was causing any of my abdominal pain. For more on this read here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/3-are-you-allergic-living-in-light.html, so I cut out all that I was allergic to and started feeling much better as well.

And then another chronic diagnosis hits, Interstitial Cystitis, a.k.a. Painful Bladder Syndrome and now I had to go on a very restrictive diet with no bladder irritants allowed. It's a huge list and unfortunately, I'm not allowed to eat some foods that are extremely healthy for me. Major bummer.

My diet became so limited! Now I had become a Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, bladder irritant-free, alcohol-free, caffeine-free, (seemed like everything free) type of person, something I never would have thought possible.

Before I knew it, I was actually 95% Vegan now. I was only eating a small amount of animal protein a day, less than 4 oz. at dinner, and I found myself not craving meat anymore. It was the strangest feeling! I had eaten meat my whole life and loved it, but now something was changing.

A major part of Living in Light has been reading the Bible and something very interesting that I learned was that Adam and Eve when they were first living in the Garden of Eden of complete and utter paradise, were vegetarians. Not only the humans were, but the animals were too! Isn't that amazing? It wasn't until after the fall did they begin eating animals. This part of the story really resonated with me. Because it's when they were most optimal, living in complete harmony with themselves and nature, they weren't eating meat. So I started thinking maybe there's something to this. Something much deeper and even spiritual to what we choose to consume.   

Since then, I decided to go full bore Vegan. I can't eat dairy or eggs anyway, so really all I had to cut out was animal protein. (I don't eat honey because of its high sugar content either.) This really was a slow and natural progression to my diet. Now I don't crave meat at all and I track all my macro and micronutrients to make sure I cover all my bases. It's been going so well! I can honestly say I feel better when I don't eat meat.

I think a major reason for this, is when I started doing food combining I learned that animal protein takes sometimes up to 4 hours just to digest out of your stomach, that doesn't even include how long it takes to go through your whole system! That's a lot of work and takes a toll on your system! No wonder I used to feel so bogged down and exhausted after dinners and had no idea why. I don't feel that way anymore.

I really hope I can stay a Vegan for the rest of my life. Time and my blood work will tell, but I feel like I'm getting younger every day. Another reason why I went Vegan was from hearing testimonials about people with Interstitial Cystitis and how after only 6 months, all their horrible symptoms are gone! I hope it can also work for me!

I know this was a long post, but I really hope it provides some insight as you delve deeper into your own food journey so you can feel healthier, happier and Live in Light! Please remember to subscribe here for notifications on the latest posts: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. This is for educational purposes only. Always seek the opinion of a medical professional before making any dietary changes.