Being Good to Your Body

img_0150If you’re like me, when you were  young, you thought your body was pretty resilient and tough, and while you’ve heard people say things like, “Your body is a temple and should be taken care of,” you ignored that and ate whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. You skipped exercise, and as a result, you put on some pounds. Well, time has a way of catching up with us, and so does a lack of care for our bodies.

I was terrible to my body. I ate anything and everything. I ate to excess, often to the point of feeling stuffed. I remember leaving restaurants and feeling the food in my stomach sloshing around. I used to think that was great. I didn’t realize just how much damage I was doing to my body until the doctor told me I was diabetic, prescribed medication to control my blood sugar, and then told me I had fatty liver disease and needed to lose weight.

I know people who never became overweight and unfit. They took care of themselves through diet, exercise, yoga, or any combination of those. I’m not talking about people who stay thin regardless of the abuse they put their bodies through. Science has shown that these people, while appearing skinny, actually are doing just as much damage to their organs as overweight people. They just don’t store fat the same way. No, those people who kept up with their health and fitness have a leg up on me, and they have my respect. I used to think it was a fool’s errand to limit one’s food intake and to expend energy to be fit. How wrong I was!

Someone asked me once why they should take my advice about health and fitness when I was so outspoken against both in the past. I argued that it is because of my transformation, my change of heart, and the first-hand experience of going from unhealthy to healthy that lends veracity to my advice. I know what it’s like to be obese, to feel helpless, and to think that there is no hope for me to ever be healthy and/or fit ever again. I know what it’s like to make the changes, to commit to a new lifestyle, and to follow through with the work necessary to make it all happen. Most importantly, I have learned that what works to keep some people thin and healthy just didn’t work for me, and they were not what was necessary to lose the weight.

All of our journeys are unique to each us, yet some of us travel the same roads. If I were driving between Houston and San Diego, I would consult not only the Internet for directions, but I would solicit the help of people I knew who have travelled that road before. People who fly between those two cities would not have the same experience, and their advice would not be as helpful. The same is true for people who have always been healthy giving advice to those who are overweight and trying to lose weight.

Be good to your body. Eat better, and try to get some exercise. But know that losing weight doesn’t need to involve exercise, and it doesn’t need to involve counting calories or depriving yourself of delicious and filling foods. Take a look at the information in the sidebar here to read more about how I lost 110 lbs in a year and look up Whole30 and The Paleo Diet.

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