In this podcast we explore the concept of changing your diet. It’s something we all want to do and yet for most of us it is one of the hardest things to do.
I also share some inspiring health stories and talk about why it is so important to ask questions of your health professionals.
This podcast is definitely going to leave you feeling inspired and motivated to take some more healthy action.
Welcome back to the GFE podcast, this is episode #56.
If you’ve been thinking it might have been a while between podcasts you’d be right, it’s been almost 2 weeks since I recorded the last podcast. With just a few weeks to go until deadline I’ve been super busy finishing my thesis and last week I just needed to put my head down and get really stuck into some solid writing so I simply had to prioritize my time, which we all have to do sometimes. But I’m happy to say that it was a very productive week and the paper is now shaping up nicely, which makes me feel a lot more comfortable because I’m on track to my deadline.
I was in the habit of recording these podcasts on Sunday BUT I’ve also been rearranging my week a little so that I can get a bit more downtime on the weekends. So instead of the podcast coming out early in the week, the podcast will now be going out on Friday each week instead. That way I can do my recording during my working week and take some well deserved relaxation time on the weekends.
Do you look at your own schedule and try to do this sometimes?
I find it a really important thing to do because often we’ll get stuck in a bit of a loop not realizing that we could be more productive with our time. And when we are stuck in a loop we might begin to feel a little frazzled or low on energy, or maybe a little irritated, at least I can find myself feeling that way at times and I know it’s a bit of an alarm bell to change something.
So I’ve changed a few things around lately. As I said I’ve rearranged my schedule so that I can be more productive during my working week. I’ve added more exercise into my life the past few weeks. Although I do always try to go walking or riding daily, I’ve now added in a few gym workouts a week, and on the off days have allocated one hour a day to do my walk or ride.
Personally I find exercise is an energizing activity, though sometimes it’s the hardest thing to get into the habit of doing. But after sitting writing a paper and working a lot in front of the computer it feels great to get the body moving.
Most importantly what I’ve don from rearranging things is I’ve scheduled in some relaxation and fun time for myself instead of working 24/7 – yes I can be guilty of that at times. But not anymore, I’m sure you’ll agree that there are ALWAYS a million things to be done but we do need time for ourselves. So I am saving the weekends for relaxation and fun. I’ll probably be out in the garden, which is still doing something but it’s another thing I find relaxing.
I think with our busy lifestyles today it is important to reevaluate our routine sometimes otherwise you can just go on and on. I’ve done that before and it can lead you to places you might not want to be. So if you feel a bit flat, low on energy, irritated, or like you are treading water, I’d encourage you to just take a look at things a little closer. Try to identify what’s working and what’s not and then change your routine. Just do things a bit differently and make sure there is YOU time in that routine.
Of course when we decide to change things we also have to commit to doing them and this can take a few weeks to get into a new flow. We are creatures of comfort and routine with many things in our life, but we can change things if we really want to. So just start somewhere and see if you can get some energy moving in a different direction for yourself and if you do, please come and share it with me because I’d love to hear about what you’ve changed or what you are working on changing right now.
While we’re on the topic of change, let’s talk about changing our diet. When I say the word diet I’m not referring to a new fad diet or something like that but rather just the things we eat everyday. And when it comes to the things we eat every day there are usually some habits to be broken. You might find yourself getting frustrated when you do commit to changing your diet, because you will wake up with the motivation to change, only to find yourself reaching for that muffin at 3pm like you always do, or sitting back on the couch after dinner for a piece of chocolate like you always do.
Then you’re there saying to yourself ‘well I didn’t last long there did I, my willpower is hopeless, or something else along those lines.
When we make a decision and then find ourselves doing something totally different it doesn’t align with our inner goals, so we can turn to blaming ourselves for our lack of will power. But just for a second I’d like you to stop and think about a few things.
Think about what kind of eating habits you grew up with when you were a kid. I know in my house the nutrition wasn’t great. My mum wasn’t a great cook, my dad loved or should I say loves his white bread and chips, we ate sugary breakfast cereals and toast every day because that’s just what you do, and well that’s just the kind of environment I grew up in.
What about you? The kind of environment you grew up in may have been similar.
If you were lucky enough to grow up in a home where your parents were health conscious and nutrition minded you are definitely one of a rare few. My kids will be some of those rare few, but for most of us we didn’t grow up with health conscious, nutrition minded parents. We just grew up in households where our parents ate what they liked and wanted and so we’d do the same.
Next think about when you left home as a young person, what type of things did you eat? You probably weren’t a good cook, you still might not be now, but when you were younger you were probably lazier with food. I know many young people are. But just think about how long some of the habits you have right now have been ingrained. How long have you been eating a certain way? It’s probably been a long time, right?! Maybe even your whole lifetime!
Think about just one more thing, the type of health messages that we have learned from mass media over the years. Philosophies like it’s healthier to eat low fat products, or buying ‘diet’ products is better for you, don’t eat fat because it makes you fat, and the millions of marketing messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis.
The last time I was in the supermarket doing some grocery shopping I saw a family with this huge loaded up cart full of ‘so called foods’. The parents, grandparents, and children were all overweight, and the mother was there loading up the conveyor belt. It was full of ‘diet’ sodas, low fat yogurt, low fat milk, diet microwave meals, low salt soups that you buy in those cartons, reduced fat cheese, and the list goes on but she turns around to the grandmother holding a packet and says ‘look at these rice cakes, they are topped with yogurt’. I took it to mean she thought they would be a healthy tasty snack for them to have but they were probably topped with sugar filled yogurt.
Don’t get me wrong, I was not making any judgement of this family but at the time I was just thinking about the fact that everyone seems to believe that as long as they eat these low fat, diet, low salt, reduced fat items then they are eating healthy. But I could not see any fresh fruits or vegetables in sight.
All I could think about was how much of a disservice society has done to us by investing in money rather than the health of its people. And all I could think about was having my work cut out for me, because there are still millions of families that need good nutrition information. I just wanted to share this story because I think t demonstrates how societies pervasive health messages and the never ending product bombardment has entered our everyday life without us even knowing it.
So we have our upbringing, we have our life experiences, we have society, and all of these things have an influence on our own daily habits. Often we are not even aware of where our habits have come from. One thing we do know is that it’s awfully frustrating because we can’t seem to change them.
Well, we can ALL change our habits, no matter how young or old or how far gone you think you are, we can ALL change. But when we have been doing something for a long time or maybe even our entire lifetime, do you think it is going to be easy?
It will not be easy.
Easy is waking up tomorrow and pouring that cup of coffee like you always do. That’s what’s easy because you’ve been doing it for ages and don’t have to think about it.
But to create true change in our lives it is going to be a challenge that will require our attention for sometime. There may be several times when we feel like we’ve taken one step forward and two steps back.
I wanted to tell you that this is totally normal for most people. You might be sitting there beating yourself up and getting frustrated for not having the willpower, and wondering why everyone can change but you just can’t seem to get it together.
Well trust me you’re not the only one; it’s just that people don’t like to talk about these things openly.
The truth is that changing our diet is a process, changing habits is a process. It often doesn’t happen over night, in fact I’ve worked on changing many of my own habits over years and am still working to improve things. In many ways I guess we’re all just a work in progress.
That’s one reason why I love what I do. I love to share stuff about nutrition and health because I hope to help make the process a bit faster and easier for you. And I know from many emails I’ve received from listeners that you have taken some of the info from these podcasts and put them into action, and that just makes me so incredibly happy. I love getting those emails! They ALWAYS make my day!
One thing is for sure, next time you find yourself “failing”, just put things into perspective a bit and be kind and gentle with yourself.
I’ve found that when you can learn to be more kind and gentle with yourself then the process of change becomes a lot easier. Most importantly, just remember to keep things in perspective and then you can just keep pulling yourself up but what you just don’t need is to bring in the blame and the self-negatives. It really doesn’t help us make any progress when we do this.
I just say keep taking small steps forward every single day because you’ll be amazed at the cumulative results you can build upon when you do this. Just keep tweaking things, keep the goal of being the best version of yourself in mind and just keep working towards it. Time is our best friend when it comes to change so as long as we can keep taking small steps forward we can only keep feeling better and better.
Today I also wanted to share today a couple of other stories.
One of my clients recently had pancreatitis from stress. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. She did have to go to hospital, which she said was a very eye opening experience. After she got her inflammation under control she developed a cyst on her pancreas. So she basically decided to dramatically change her diet, rearrange her life by taking a less stressful position at work, and finding more downtime.
After a couple of months she has lost 8kgs, about 16pounds, and her health has improved dramatically, and thankfully the cyst on her pancreas is getting smaller. Recently she went back to see her specialist for a scan of her innards to be told that her cyst was going down but she had a bit of sludge in the gall bladder. Apparently having sludge is normal at 60, I forgot to mention this client is 60, but the specialist said, well since you have sludge we’ll just remove the gallbladder.
No, no hold on a minute my client says. I don’t have any problems with my gall bladder, things are fine on that front and so she asked the specialist if this sludge was a health problem.
Well no not really said the specialist, but you could develop gallstones. Well yes I could said my client, but I don’t have gall stones now and since my gall bladder doesn’t have any issues I think I’ll be keeping my gall bladder thanks!
I’ve got another story, and I promise there is a point to these stories but let me just share another one with you.
Another client of mine had ulcerative colitis and was seeing doctors and specialists for years. It’s a horrible condition to have where you get ulcers in the colon and anyone that has it knows it is no fun at all. But many doctors say there is no cure.
In fact this client of mine was going to the specialist being told to eat white bread and white rice and take the medications. But these things were only making him worse and while he kept asking questions the only thing they would say is there is no cure you will just have to live with it. While that may be true to a degree it is not a complete truth and we’ll explore this in just a moment.
What I do know is he is not the only one who receives advice like this because I just received an email from a subscriber recently who has the same condition and says her doctors keep telling her that her weight and diet has nothing to do with her diseases.
It is so unfortunate that there are many medical practitioners out in the world who are very narrow minded. They come from a medical model that is based on managing and masking symptoms, rather than evaluating the cause. They also fail to treat you like a whole person. Unfortunately doctors get very little nutrition training and most are not aware of alternative treatments or the fact that your diet influences EVERY SINGLE THING. Your diet can create the diseases, your diet can also reverse and prevent them too.
While this is not the doctors fault in many ways, because it’s the system that has let them down. But that same system is also letting many of us down. We are getting the wrong advice or no advice at all. We are simply told to take medication or remove organs that are functioning properly. We are given a diagnosis that puts us in a box without being given any hope for improvement or recovery. We aren’t given support or options. And in the end this can leave many of us struggling, suffering and grappling for straws for many years.
The thing I wanted to emphasize out of these stories is to take back your own power. Sure there may be some things wrong with your health but you don’t just have to be put into a box and do what you’re told.
I encourage you to always ask questions. Your doctor is not god and is there to provide a service to you so ask as many questions as you like and if they can’t answer them, seek a second or third opinion. Your specialist doesn’t necessarily know everything either because they are only looking at one particular thing, not YOU as a whole.
Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t just get out into that box and stay there. There are so many things we can do to improve our condition. Of course nutrition is one of the primary things we have conscious control over and trust me it affects every single thing in our body because all our cells are literally created from what we eat.
Keep seeking solutions and working on yourself. The client I mentioned before with the ulcerative colitis decided he couldn’t keep going on the way he was because he was only getting worse. So he started seeking his own solutions, he completely over hauled his diet and now it’s as if he doesn’t have the disease at all. And here the doctors and specialists were telling him there was no cure and to just keep taking meds and eating white bread. I could share many stories like this. Stories where people have taken back their own health through diet and lifestyle changes.
Sometimes it’s difficult to take back our power because we do put our trust in experts. While doctors are fantastic on many fronts, they can also be a hindrance to our recovery too. So always ask questions, start with changing your diet, seek out alternatives, and do what you can to help yourself because often times there are many small things we can do that will make a profound difference in our lives.
So I guess today’s podcast has been all about realizing we do hold the power to change in our own hands. Look after yourself because you deserve to live a healthy happy life and feel great.
That’s all I’ve got for today, I hope you’ve found something in these words to help you take that next step forward. I always love hearing from you so if you’ve got something to say pop over to Facebook.
Take care for now and I’ll see you next week. Bye