This is an interesting concept for me since I probably spent the better part of the first 35 years of my life (ok, maybe 36) thinking about my weight, trying to change my weight, unhappy with my weight and just pretty much obsessed with weight. I have watched other women suffer from this obsession as well, trying every fad concept that comes out with little to no positive change.
Over the past several years, I have learned being healthy is not the same as being skinny. What?! In fact, the reality is many skinny people are very unhealthy and may suffer from chronic conditions such as painful inflammation, high cholesterol, pain, sinus problems, low energy, aging skin, toxicity, etc.
In the past I had a hard time accepting that genetics were a factor in everyone’s body shape. I believed that if I ate healthy, restricted calories, and worked out I could look like the women I knew who wore size 2’s. However, extreme measures can’t change the general body shape that God has given us. Because I spent all of that time obsessing about weight, I assumed that everyone else felt the same way. But as with many things in my life, I have learned that just because I believe or act a certain way, doesn’t mean that everyone else in the world agrees.
Here it is, my aha moment, the realization that not everyone wants to be thinner or lose weight. Many women are comfortable with their size and shape, and perhaps even accepted themselves for who they are. What an amazing and liberating concept. But they may realize they are not doing all they can to increase their health and to help their bodies to function as well-oiled machines.
Many of you may want to sleep better, increase your exercise, feel better throughout the day, lower your cholesterol and decrease your disease risk. Changing your lifestyle to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains will help you do those things and also maintain a healthy weight. Even small changes like reducing your animal product intake will make a big difference.
And if you want to lose weight these changes alone will help you to shed a few unwanted pounds. But what I know for sure is that not every woman wants to be a stick figure. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to learn that.
5 0ther reasons to switch to a less processed, more whole foods lifestyle.
1. Less “stuff”. Whole foods are more pure with no added sugar, salt and chemicals. You will not only you cut down on calories from these additives, but reduce your chemical toxicity from preservatives and food dyes. Here is a simple place to start to make the change away from processed foods. Begin to make it a habit to read the ingredients, every label helps! http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/01/18/10-highly-processed-foods-to-avoid/
2. Nutrient deficiencies. According to a national survey published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost a third of us get too little vitamin C; almost half get too little vitamin A; more than half get too little magnesium; and some 92% to 97% get too little fiber and potassium. Yet, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), these nutrients help lower the risk of major health problems such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Almost all of these nutrient shortfalls can be corrected by eating a well-balanced, mostly plant based diet.
3. Cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who eat a mostly plant-based diet full of whole foods can reduce their cholesterol by 30-35%. The #1 killer in the US is heart disease. Add more fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds for your heart.
4. Energy. The Standard American Diet has too many chemicals and not enough fiber, leading to sluggishness. Feed yourself more high quality fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains and less animal products. Your body can process plants quickly. Resulting in faster, more effective digestion, so your body won’t be spending as much energy on your food, leaving more for you to do the things you like. Also, it has been found that people who eat more plants sleep better.
5. Less inflammation. All inflammation begins in the intestines, therefore optimizing bowel function with whole foods and increased water intake will also reduce painful inflammation. Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause elevated insulin levels and can exacerbate inflammation and cause pain. Increase antioxidants with more colorful fruits and vegetables to help reduce inflammation.
Take a step in the right direction to increase your health. Together we can develop simple strategies to begin your change to a healthier, more whole foods lifestyle. I look forward to working with you.
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:1