For the past few years I have been working on improving my diet so that I can improve my health. I tend to have a suppressed immune system and I also have suffered from inflammation in my elbow and shoulder. Since I am currently enrolled in a health coaching course, it has pushed me to change my diet, experiment with different foods and above all eat healthier.
So far it has been great and I have felt really good. I have been consistent in adding in more vegetables and fruits while crowding out the sugar, gluten and carbs. I have noticed that I can actually focus more, that I have more energy, I am more motivated, I feel more creative, and I lost a few pounds without even trying, I am enjoying cooking healthy meals for my family and eating real rather than processed foods. I noticed that my cravings for sugar and sodas went way down. Even my PMS seemed a bit better. Now that IS a bonus!
All was going along swimmingly until all of a sudden out of the blue, I craved a cookie. This is rare for me. I hardly ever eat cookies and that is not one of my cravings if I do have them. I never even buy cookies for the kids. I am guessing that this craving had to do with the hormonal fluctuations going on at the time. It may also have had something to do with too much couch time. In the evening when I am sitting on the couch watching my favorite show (The Voice at the moment) is usually when a craving will hit. Do you get that too? What is up with the couch cravings? I believe it is because I programmed myself years ago when I used to eat ice cream about that time of night almost every night! Yikes!
So the next day when I was at the grocery store, I noticed a bag of gluten-free cookies that called my name. Obviously, the craving had not left my body yet because I reached up and added the cookies to my cart. Guess what the first thing was that I ate when I got home? Yup, you guessed it! Let me tell you, these cookies were to die for. I am not even going to tell you the name of them because I don’t want you to fall into the same predicament that I did. Because after the first bite I was hooked. And you can’t just eat one. So over the course of several weeks, I ate through one bag and went on to a second. No, I did not share them with my children. They were all mine! Luckily, the kids associate anything “gluten-free” as healthy and yucky so I did not have to worry about them getting into my stash.
I realize now that these cookies are really crack disguised as cookies! In fact, I know this to be true because in my studies I have come across many articles that explain that what sugar does to our brain is basically the same as what heroin or crack does to our brain. Seriously! The manufacturers of these products put combinations of ingredients in them that get us hooked just like the drugs. And hooked I was. I was freely eating them whenever I wanted, which is so against all I have worked toward over the last few years.
This one cookie led to a downward spiral but I did not see it as it was happening. I went to yoga last week and could barely get through the class. Then I realized I had not worked out in weeks. My body had been more achy lately because I was not moving it. So because of the lack of exercise and movement, I was starting to get tired and lethargic. Because I was tired I started craving more sugar. That led to a soda accidentally getting poured down my throat. Now this is very serious! I have to stay very far away from sodas. I was addicted…seriously addicted to Diet Coke/Dr. Pepper for many years and I am still in recovery. I can not even have one.
Once you allow yourself to let these types of junk food into your diet it is easier and easier to reach for more. I noticed that slowly it all started creeping in. I ate some chips then I went to a party and ate everything that was put out, I stared craving Pina Coladas and had to make them, I was too tired to make a healthy dinner one night so the pasta and jar of sauce came out and then the wheat belly was instantly back. ‘Sigh’. I should have noticed the symptoms: lack of energy, brain fog, feeling overwhelmed, getting behind in my class, a stuffy nose and my creativity disappeared. This is what becomes of us if we let our diet run us instead of us making good choices about what we put in our body. Food is fuel…food is medicine…and food is us. It is so, so true that we are what we eat so if we eat a bunch of sugary chemicals we are going to be chemically altered.
…AND ALL OF THIS BECAUSE OF ONE COOKIE!!!!
The moral of this story is to be aware of what you are eating. Be aware of how you are feeling. It all comes back to tuning into yourself and your body. If you are not feeling well and are having some of the same symptoms I mentioned then try changing what you are eating. Experiment. Life is not worth living in a chemical fog. You know deep down what you are doing to yourself but only you can change it. And above all, do NOT reach for the crack cookies!
“Show up, tune in, be real, enjoy the ride”