Every time I discovered there was yet another food I was either sensitive to or learned that I shouldn’t be eating, I always felt so defeated. It made me sad to lose yet another food, especially since I already had seemingly slim pickins. I actually mourned the loss of these foods and it made me feel a little less “normal” each time I denounced one. Friends and family even began to poke fun “so, what is it you’re NOT eating this week?”. It was difficult and my resolve was tested every time I experimented with a new diet. The worst part is that as hard as I worked at it, and as difficult as it was, I still wasn’t getting the results. I would feel better for a while, but after a few months, I’d be right back where I started. It was beyond frustrating and although I wholeheartedly believed food and nutrition were the keys to feeling better, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the magical combination. When it feels like the whole world gets to eat whatever they want, it is difficult to feel like you can’t eat anything.
One day I finally got tired of feeling sorry for myself. I realized that it wasn’t doing me any good to see all the things I “can’t” eat, what a downer I would have ahead of me everyday, if that was all I focused on. I realized all those things I “can’t” eat, harm my body, they make me feel bad, they rob me of my energy, they make my joints hurt and my back ache, they keep me from feeling my best. So, why would I even want to eat them if that’s the case. I figured that if I am really ready to embrace my body and accept that this is where I am right now, then why would I even be tempted to cause myself more harm. Sure, those muffins smell delicious and I remember how satisfying a latte can be. But I also came to realize how much more satisfying it is to be gentle with myself and completely care for the body I have, right here and now, than to curse it for not being something else.
That’s when it all started coming together. The food I ate stayed the same, but the way I felt sure did change! I started to feel better, my energy increased and my digestion improved simply because I was no longer putting all of that resentment into the food I ate. I no longer dreaded mealtime or having to explain why I wasn’t eating this food or that food. I was finally celebrating my choices, not defending them or apologizing for them. I was now armed with the attitude that made me feel completely in control of my own health and happiness, not defeated by all the “can’t’s”, but empowered by the “wan’t’s”.
Sometimes we forget just how important our attitude is when it comes to healing. We often look just to the body to do all the work, but the mind and spirit are equally vital in this quest towards health. When we address all three, we are able to get results that we might not otherwise get if we are focused on the body alone.