For so long I never really appreciated my body, I used to think negatively towards it, always focus on parts I hated, I even had diaries full of the latest diets I was planning to try out (or did try), the craziest regimes I would put myself on, lots of different fads through my teen years and even ended up being a size 24 in jeans, which is fine for some people, but for my frame, it wasn’t right. I used to think I was fat and I was really unhappy, even when I did lose all that weight, I thought I would be happy, but I wasn’t. I still had a lot of depression because my life just wasn’t right. I had many stresses going on around me, I hadn’t long been diagnosed with my illness and I wasn’t settled at all. All of this led to being unhappy (most part due to being restricted), but a lot to do with my lifestyle. I’ve spent years battling with anxiety and depression and even though I have refused numerous times to be put on anti-depressants from doctors (simply because I believe you can cure yourself), I was still lost trying to find ways to get better. [Sorry for the very open and depressive intro, but it’s necessary for where this post is going!]
But, the older I get, the wiser I get and the more knowledge I take in, and it’s taken me all these years (from about age 13 until now, where I’m 25) to really understand my body, who I am and how I feel. I’ve always been the type of person who was strong willed, never succumbed to peer pressure and had my own ideas and needs, so I’ve always stuck by the fact that I wont drink alcohol, I wont smoke, I wont take drugs and I try to be healthy, but even though I thought this was being healthy, this year of 2014 has really opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed in terms of health. You may remember a post I made around new year where I said that this was the year for change for me and achieving goals, one of which was to really make my life better and myself better and I can safely say that I am 75% there already.
I’ve been learning so much over the past few months and honestly, I have never felt so healthy and so happy and despite life still throwing me curve balls as often as it can, I now have a much better and healthier way of dealing with situations that I couldn’t necessarily handle before. I started reading Cameron Diaz’s book ‘The Body Book’ after researching and purchasing it and it’s actually changed my life. Considering I made healthier choices when it came to foods in the first place, I now understand my body so much that I know exactly what it needs, when it needs it and why it needs it and I no longer look at food as an enemy that makes you fat, I look at it as an amazing fuel that your body needs just to function and get you through day to day life. I’m not talking about any food though as fast foods, processed foods and junk for me are a thing of the past (as of almost 3 months) and I’m opting for whole grains, lentils, more protein, more water, more fruits and vegetables, porridge with raw honey, green tea… All foods which are a vital source of nutrients for me. It really gives me more energy, a clearer head, happiness and a sense of relaxation.
I admire Cameron for doing what she did because I find a lot of similarities in myself with her. I’m thankful that she has put all of this information in this book for others like myself to read and follow. I’ve also noticed that my eyes are no longer darker underneath, they are brighter, my skin is actually brighter too and clearer, my hair is better and my overall energy and vibe is wonderful. I’ve learned so much about how nature really knows what it’s doing with foods and how having more of a natural diet, just like nature intended, is good for the body and just what it needs. Fast foods may be easier, but they are literally empty calories, there is nothing in them but calories and I enjoy eating now, more than I ever did before. My boyfriend even said to me that he’s happy that I look forward to eating food as I’ve had so many issues with it in the past.
I honestly never really realised how important the right food is to the body. So many times I’ve been filled with such rubbish information in magazines about not eating carbs, not eating this, not eating that, slimming meals which are pre-made, diet foods etc and it’s all useless. None of it helps and none of it is good for our bodies long term. The only sure way to gain health and happiness and remain a healthy weight is with a healthy lifestyle. Like I said, I’m actually eating more now than I was before and I have actually lost a few pounds and changed shape (which I know a few of your have noticed), but I couldn’t be more healthier. It’s amazing. I even always used to suffer with digestion issues and have stomach ache a lot of the time, but I no longer do.
One thing that I thought was really interesting and got me thinking was something that my boyfriend said to me and that was with today’s medical technology and knowledge, if we had the diet of say 60 years ago, how much longer would we live? That fascinated me because I reckon it would be a lot longer. The amount of health issues we get these days which are from a bad lifestyle is crazy! High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, liver damage, kidney damage, lung conditions, weight related issues etc, all from bad diets.
I have always felt like people don’t take me seriously because I don’t look like my age. I’m always told that I look about 16 and when I’m almost 26, that can be quite upsetting to hear. Just because I look like a teenager doesn’t mean I act like one and that I’m not mature enough to handle certain things, however I realised in this progression of my life right now that people treat you the way they see you. If I’m confident and enthusiastic about what I’m speaking about then they will perceive me that way and treat me that way. If I’m shy and quiet and look scared, then I will be treated accordingly. This is slightly off topic and non food related, but it’s definitely a huge part of how my mentality has changed over the past few months.
This isn’t something I would normally write about, but I feel like I have made a breakthrough this year in terms of myself and my well being and I wanted to share it with you in case any of you are going through a similar thing. If you are unhappy, anxious, feeling exhausted and ill a lot, I definitely encourage you to try changing your diet and lifestyle and see if it improves your mental state because I can seriously say that is has for me and the health I feel on the inside really shows through on the outside now, I want to scream and shout it from the hills, it means that much to me. Making sure I am drinking loads of water, getting enough sleep and nutrients is number one on my list now.
I realise that this type of post might not go down well with some of you, which is fine, but it’s something that I needed to share with those who feel the same way as I do. I hope it can inspire you to really take care of yourself, look after your body and treat it with respect as it’s the only one you have and it’s with you for a very, very long time. You can’t just trade it in for a new one like you can a bag or a car, it’s yours for the duration of your life, so it deserves respect.
I don’t know how true this is but I heard in some Eastern countries the women don’t really suffer badly with their menstrual cycles and don’t really go through a menopause either because their natural diets don’t mess up their hormones. So many lovely Chinese and Japanese people live such long and healthy lives and have wonderful skin because of their natural diets. I think this truly speaks for itself. Can anyone else confirm this as true? Speaking of skin though, this is what got me into the healthy eating and learning about my body in the first place. I’ve had problematic skin for years, probably since I was 13 (thank you to Photoshop now though!) and I’ve not been able to make it budge. I’ve found out though that eating the wrong things, especially chocolate, sweets and fatty/sugary foods is a huge no no for me now as it just breaks me out within a day. Now that I’m eating the right foods and avoiding bad ones (this is where my other book comes in, The Clear Skin Diet), my skin has improved dramatically and I’m so happy! I still have hormonal issues and get small breakouts at certain times of the month, but the majority has since gone and as something that’s plagued me for about 12 years, I’m elated.
If this is a topic you are interested in, I would be more than happy to talk more to you about the type of things I am eating now, my routines, everything like that which has changed my life around as it’s now something I am hugely passionate about. I didn’t mention it before though as I wanted to make sure that this is something that works and is right for me and after 3 months of healthy eating, it definitely does work. I don’t think I’m the only blogger though who has changed their life this year as I know Kristina Bazan from Kayture recently posted something similar. All about how she’s changed her diet and is now incredibly healthy and her skin glows. Anyway, please let me know what you think of this post as I would love to know your honest thoughts! You can also buy the Cameron Diaz book here and The Clear Skin Diet here.