This is not my usual style when it comes to writing but it’s an important story that I feel I must share with you!
Because you too, most likely have a love affair going on with wheat and the saddest part is, you probably don’t even know it.
What am I talking about?
Well it started with an elimination diet I initiated. I decided that for 21 days, I’d go completely sugar, grain, dairy and processed food free.
Crazy right? Yes, and HARD. It was actually way harder than what I expected it to be. I always saw myself as a pretty healthy, overall clean, not a lot or processed foods (close to none) type of eater. Still…quitting the above, particularly the first few days, was tough; super tough. Right up there with drug detoxing.
The most difficult one to cut out? Wheat.
During my coaching certification training I was immersed in information related to the consequences of wheat over consumption and negative effects of gluten. But like many, I was in denial. I felt like the information didn’t apply to me. I went to great extremes to source high quality organic wheat, sprouted organic wheat, took the time to soak wheat in acid mediums, and tried different types of wheat grains. As a result, I believed that I was exempt from gluten’s consequences and kept enjoying my wheat based foods and even priding myself in how healthy they were.
I was wrong, big time! I was just as much a prisoner of wheat as the next guy. Amazingly I didn’t even know it until I decided to take it out!
Sure, I knew I loved my sprouted grain quesadillas with spinach and yoghurt, along with my sprouted grain chips with grass fed melted cheese on top, but because they were masked in what I thought to be the utmost amount of “healthiness,” what I didn’t realize was that I had grown dependent on them just like everyone else.
Yes, dependent. The same way someone gets dependent on alcohol. Or cigarettes. Or crack cocaine.
How did I discover this dependence?
It went something like this:
Day 1 of no wheat: I felt fidgety, kept thinking about chips and dip, really wanted some bread with my food.
Day 2: The craving were even stronger! I felt lost. I ate, but wasn’t satisfied, kept thinking about toast and muffins and pancakes. Foods that I didn’t even really eat to begin with!
Day 3: Had a cloud over my thoughts, couldn’t focus, all I wanted was wheat! I was moody, crabby, fatigued, tired. I displayed every single symptom of wheat dependence and I hated that I was going through it. Especially after all the work I put into trying to make sure I didn’t fall victim to the wheat! The cravings were insane (I’m not exaggerating) and the thoughts compulsive in nature.
At this point, some of you may be thinking, why in the world would I put myself through that and more specifically why would you ever put yourselves through it?!
There’s a few reasons, but I’ll focus on 3.
When you force yourself to no longer make it about the food and instead make it about feeding your sense of self, the food loses its power and the awareness and personal growth that goes along with this shift is both exhilarating and freeing!
Huge revelation for me and for others on the same path. Once you become aware of this, you can more readily fulfill your needs with other, non-food items that don’t have any negative physiological effects associated with them.
Will I ever not eat wheat again? No, that’s not my plan. I am on day 16 though, and planning on going to day 21. But who knows? I’ve actually been having thoughts of continuing to day 30 because of how good I’ve been feeling being wheat free. I’ve lost a few pounds, my thoughts seem crisper, and I feel more organized in my life (best way to describe it).
Even though the struggle is still very real, and I’m on a path of progress not perfection, the benefits continue to regularly shine through; pulling and motivating me to continue in the same direction and remain on the same path.
Do I blame wheat for not experiencing the above benefits before? Not 100%. What I do blame though, is my dependence on the wheat, and by initiating this elimination diet I not only discovered and became aware of it, but am now in the process of breaking free from it.
Image Credit: Google Images
Interested in initiating your own elimination diet? I can help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“This year I will lose weight.”
“This year I will work out more.”
“This year I will drink less.”
“This year I will quit smoking.”
“This year I will eat healthy.”
Sound familiar? These are a few of the top New Year’s resolutions that people make EVERY year. Unfortunately, only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions and the majority of the population instead, falls short when reaching their New Year goals. If you’re reading this and you happen to be part of the successful 8% then the following is a just a recap for you. If you’re part of the 92% that struggles with keeping you’re resolutions every year, then the following will help.
Is this you? Why do so many people fail at keeping their resolutions? One big reason is that most fail to realize that any change in behavior that requires repetitive action (i.e. resolutions) is a habit. As the old saying goes, we are the sum of our habits and if your daily habits are undermining your health then they’ll also prevent you from sticking to your health related resolutions. Want to succeed with your resolutions this year? Then you’ll have to change or add in new habits.
Whatever you would make habitual, practice it; and if you would not make a thing habitual, do not practice it, but habituate yourself to something else.
- Epictetus: (Greek Stoic Philosopher).
When it comes to resolutions, just like any other positive habit that you’re trying to incorporate into your daily routine, clarity, planning and commitment are required. Always remember that the quality of your life mirrors the quality of your habits so if you’re trying to improve certain areas of your life, changing your habits is key. Here's how:
2. Keep your resolutions small
Keep them small. I’m a firm believer that small daily changes will eventually lead to big results! Have a resolution of wanting to eat healthier? Break it down and commit to eating a salad at least 5x a week. Or add in a green smoothie and or a fermented food every day. Resolutions such as these are easy to implement, don’t take a lot of foresight and most importantly can dramatically improve your health.
3. Change your mindset
Resolve to change any hindering types of thoughts that interfere with your commitment to following through on your health related resolutions. For example, if you’ve set a goal of working out 3x a week for the new year and you find yourself having thoughts such as ” I don’t feel like it,” “I’m not in the mood,” or “ I’ll do it tomorrow,” make a conscious effort to actually change your thoughts so that they benefit you.
Instead, tell yourself “I DO feel like working out,” “I AM in the mood,” and “I’ll DO IT TODAY”! Practicing this exercise is key for its success, since not only are our actions habitual but so are our thoughts!
4. Decide to commit
Along with mindset comes commitment. Stick to it no matter what! Keep in mind that a strong focus now creates a different future later. Schedule it in, join a gym, hire a health coach, do whatever you feel is needed to help you commit to your goals and do whatever it takes! The first couple of weeks when implementing a new habit are the most uncomfortable and where most people fall off. The resistance and uncomfortable feelings (negative mindset) associated with these new habits is temporary and once you pass through them (usually lasting 2-3 weeks), maintaining becomes easier and most importantly, extremely rewarding!
5. Start today!
Have you resolved to eat healthier in the New Year but actually find yourself eating even worse than before, the last few weeks of this year?! Unfortunately, this type of compensatory behavior is a type of self-sabotage that actually reinforces the current unwanted behavior you’re trying to change, making it even harder to implement your resolutions. Instead, choose to start today and start “practicing” your new habit on a daily basis, preparing yourself for full commitment on New Year’s Day.
Practice yourself, for heaven's sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater.
Even if you do find yourself by mid-January starting to fall short of your resolutions, following the steps above will allow you to just pick up where you left off and keep going without missing a beat. While the length of your list is dependent on how much you’re trying to improve this year, don’t forget to also add on to resolve to NOT GIVE UP on your resolutions.
A significant part of losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle is physical activity. Not only does it speed up our metabolism but it also helps reduce stress, sleep better, makes us smarter, and helps us make better food choices throughout the day. But even while knowing this some people STILL have a hard time fitting in some type of physical activity on a daily basis. Common excuses include:
So how do you get past these excuses that prevent you from working out? One way to start is to look at your excuse and ask yourself, how is this type of thinking serving me?
How is NOT working out helping me reach my goal of weight loss and or overall desire to lead a healthy lifestyle?
When framed in this context, most likely, you will realize that you’re current thinking is NOT helping you get to where you want to be. At this point you may want to ask yourself:
Do I really want to make the changes necessary to reach my goals?
If you’re reading this blog you probably do, and put simply, your own self is what is most likely preventing you from working out. So what do you do about it?
Re-Evaluate and Re-Frame your Goal
Will your goal make you “feel good” once accomplished? If your daily to-do-list has a goal of working out, will checking it off your list make you happy? Or is it just another “thing” that needs to get done during your day?
If running for 40 minutes on the treadmill is something on your to-do-list, but when looking at it does NOT make you feel good, you can instead change it to some type of functional activity. 40 minutes of playing tag with your kids, 30 minutes of gardening, walking to a friend’s house instead of driving, a 30 minute hike; these are all examples of functional exercising and COUNT towards incorporating physical activity into your day!
Once you find an activity that makes you feel good, working out then no longer becomes just an item to check off, but rather a life style change.
Arrange for childcare, housework and or work to be taken care of. Hang out with like-minded individuals who also enjoy the same type of physical activity as you. If external support is difficult for you to acquire, focus on building up your own internal support! Pull out your workout clothes and or gear somewhere so they're visible throughout the day. Post a couple of positive affirmations in your house to motivate and remind you of your work out goal throughout the day.
Focus on Today
Stop thinking about trying to work out every day for the rest of your life, which can be discouraging (and not very reasonable) and instead put all your thoughts into working out TODAY! Plan your day, and chisel in a time that works in your favor and focus on TODAY. By doing so you relieve yourself of unnecessary stress (uncertainty of the future) AND you have a much better chance of accomplishing your goal!
Tell people that you are planning on working out at a certain time today and have them hold you accountable by checking in with you. This can be a friend, significant other, health coach…anyone that you have to report back to. This will eventually help you and lead you to holding yourself accountable, which is what’s most important when it comes to reaching your health related goals.
We are our own worst enemies when it comes to failing to stick to our goals!
And our excuses are our own self-imposed limitations projected into the future!
The sooner you realize this, the faster you can move past your excuses. So get rid of those excuses and instead replace them with love; love towards your body and love towards yourself as an individual. Our bodies crave and require movement! There is no better gift that we can give to ourselves other than physical movement on a daily basis!