Eat to live, stop living to eat!
By Sheila Heylin
This is one of my favorite subjects.
This is the place where we have all the power.
No food or drink can pass our lips without us saying “Yes” to it!
Now, the big question is… what are we saying yes to?
I know I said yes to almost every junk food available. Literally. I ate only take out and loads of candy. I was a sugar junkie. The only “good food” I ate was when I would eat at a real restaurant.
Then one day I woke up and I was 35 pounds heavier. Wow! How did that happen? I was a skinny kid my whole life. I could eat, and did eat, anything I wanted, I and never gained a pound. I didn’t truly realize it until…
My beautiful and amazing mom had me stop by her office so we could have a talk. Very kindly she asked, what was going on in my life and did I truly feel happy? I was newly married, just moved into our new house, and thought… sure, my life is great. My mom asked me to take another look. She lovingly and gingerly said to me, “No matter what is going on your life, you’re not taking care of yourself”.
It wasn’t about how I looked on the outside (a mother always thinks her daughter is beautiful). It was about what I was doing to the inside of my body. She knew if I stayed on that road I could do long term damage to my body.
So she handed me a book called “How To Lower Your Fat Thermostat” and asked me to read it. I didn’t like to read at the time, but I knew she was serious. So I read it. The reason this book worked is because it told me to eat! You must eat to have energy. Food is the fuel that feeds the furnace (your metabolism) so you can have energy. One of the most compelling stories from the book that has stuck with me is the way they would fatten up victims of malnourishment. They would feed them sporadically. Start with feeding them once a day so the body would store all the fat thinking it wasn’t going to be fed again. This was the first step in getting their weight back up.
That’s when I started to eat every 3 hours and had a new found gratitude for the food. I wanted my body to know it didn’t need to store anything. I would be right there giving more fuel for the furnace.
This started me on my path. I still wasn’t eating a very healthy diet, but eating every 3 hours kept my portions in control which helped me shed those 35 pounds. I was so proud of myself. So I wanted more…
I wanted to be fit and feel strong. I was bar tending at the time and one of my new customers was Michael Schwartz, a personal trainer. Well of course I would love a personal trainer but who could afford it–especially back then. We started talking, and he said he would give me a deal on his sessions. I could take most of my beer money, that I would spend after work, and see him 3 times a week.
I was on fire! He was amazing! I’m feeling stronger, but no matter what I did I couldn’t loose my belly fat. Of course I blamed him. “What aren’t you doing?” He didn’t hesitate. He said, “As soon as you stop eating Tombstone pizzas (my favorite frozen pizza) everyday it will go away.” He was right! And we all know the belly fat is the dangerous fat.
That’s when I stopped worrying about weight and started to care about what food I was putting in my body.
We are going to talk a lot about this here on Happiness Series. Food is an important component to happiness. You really are what you eat!
Once you really start to care for yourself from the inside out, everything changes. When you’re good to yourself and respect every part of yourself, then you’ll be good and give respect to those around you. Just wait and see what you get in return. We reflect what we put out. When you take care of yourself you become happier. Then YOU’LL WANT to meditate. You’ll want to start moving!
There is no reason to get overwhelmed. Just start. Instead of grabbing a candy bar when you’re at the store grab grapes and a banana. The volume of food you can consume when it’s a whole food like fruit as opposed to a candy bar is big. You get your sugar fix plus it keeps you full longer. And we all know the candy bar is going to start the hunger pangs for more crap food pretty quickly.
We’re all just breaking bad habits. When you’re breaking any bad habit your mind and body will manipulate you into going back to the old ways. Know that. Know that cravings only last for 3 minutes. I learned that when I quit smoking. So if you just wait, you only have to get through 3 minutes at a time. Don’t think any further than that. That’s all you have to deal with. Stick with it! No matter what it is your tackling. You’re stronger than you know!
Remember, your mind will come up with a million excuses to justify putting bad, fast and processed food in your mouth. Classic example: “I have no time. It’s to expensive to buy organic, whole foods. I don’t have the right store around me.” We are going to tackle all of these excuses here at Happiness Series.
I would love to hear any tips you have to help us all stay healthy. Let us know If you’re having any problems or about stumbling blocks that come up so we can knock them down together! There is strength in numbers.
Health and Happiness to you all!
About the Author: Sheila Heylin, the knowledgeable host of Happiness Series, lives in Chicago and Los Angeles. It was in LA where Sheila discovered healthy living. She realized that “what you’re not used to and what you hate are two different things.” She and Tania partnered to create Happiness Series and build an online and offline community that fosters wellness and happiness.