Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Long Journey

I dedicate this blog to those who are seeking, curious, or lost and to those who want to make a change for the better in their lives and to have a meaningful, lasting impact beyond their earthly existence.

 I don't know who you are.  I don't know where you've been.  I don't know where you are physically, emotionally, or spiritually at this very minute. I have been on a quest to right the poor choices I've made which have impacted my body, my emotional health, and spilled over out of my own life and lapped at the feet of those who I love. I've been on a winding, bumpy, jarring, sometimes joyful, sometimes frightening path. Yes, I've taken the longest journey of my life...the journey to find myself over the past 2 years.  And at long last, at the age of 60, I have found my way "home".  I tell myself, "You sure are a late bloomer"!!!!  But, I smile, knowing with joyful and thankful heart that it is better to bloom late than never to bloom at all.

 If you have a need and a desire to change something in yourself or to make a difference in your destiny or the destiny of someone you love,  I would like to share the insights that I have gleaned and the practices that I have implemented along the way in the hope that it will point you in the direction of finding your own way home.... to a place of peace, comfort, joy and contentment.

Unbelievably, the thing that brought me to this place of fulfillment, contentment, and self-awareness was a DIET challenge that a friend of mine spoke about in her blog almost 2 years ago. It made sense to me that I might determine on my own (without medical intervention and tests) what foods my body thrived on and what foods my body rejected. I had no overt physical symptoms like most people get: bloating, rashes, abdominal pain or worse but I had complexion issues and a couple of pounds that wanted to cling to my waist like a bad boyfriend.

The name of the DIET challenge was "The Whole 30". The premise of the challenge is that you abstain from dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, and  legumes for a full 30 cheating!!!!!! However, the upside is that you get to enjoy the meat of your choice,  plentiful veggies, and fruit without counting calories or worrying about how high the food is piled on your plate. At the end of the 30 days you begin to reintroduce one food group at a time over several weeks and see how your body reacts.

Being a nurse, I wanted a little bit more quantitative data.  I had blood work stats from my yearly physical just several months before and after I successfully completed the Whole 30 I had my blood work promptly drawn again.  Much to my disappointment, my cholesterol was at an all time high for me at 199. Borderline, but still an upward trend!

 Now, of course, I loved the concept of the diet because I love red meat (steak, ribs, burgers, pork.....I am a bacon whore.) I did lose some weight, my complexion was glowing, and I looked strong...however, the numbers from my blood profile did not make me feel secure with this eating plan.   Maybe I looked like a brick house on the outside, but what was going on underneath this Marilyn Monroe physique???? ( I'm prone to a bit of exaggeration when it comes to my appearance...both good and bad! This time I'm being way generous with my assessment in the looking glass).

About that same time, my husband was turned onto another book by a fellow physician called "The Wheat Belly" and together we both became immersed in this study to discover what really is the best way to eat and live a long and healthy life.  Incidentally, it was not the Whole 30 or Wheat Belly that turned the screw to life long fulfillment. What we discovered together and separately has changed our lives. Where we started and where we landed were not expected and certainly not part of our vision to achieving a whole hearted life.

Our children and our friends are scratching their heads wondering "Have they been brainwashed? Have they lost their minds? " By, today's standards of living it would be a reasonable assumption to make.  I can assure you that we are closer to the REAL TRUTH than white is to rice and we are living smarter, more healthy, and compassionate lives than we ever had in the past. We are mindful every day of what we used to take for granted and how it got on our plate!

 I won't tell you that it is easy to make "radical" changes!  I've had people I know tell me I don't know what I'm talking about or they are so committed to The American Plate that they don't want to hear anything that might clash with their lifestyle or threaten their physical and emotional comfort or is different than what mainstream news programming is preaching. It's a hard choice that smacks you upside the head, but in my experience making these changes will reward you with miracle after miracle. The impact that we can have as a people just by opening our eyes and our hearts to the realities of the choices we make and their devastating consequences could change the course of our children's future and the inevitable crash and burn of this planet if we keep shoving our head in the sand. And to think, all you have to do is change what you eat! (Well, maybe not quite all, but a very critical step indeed). I implemented some useful habits beyond conscious food choices that have enabled me to achieve a more well rounded life; to be content within myself and not rely on outside temptations (food, alcohol, numbing, shopping frenzies,etc). These practices have filled the hollow places in my soul and led me home.

Through my blog I would love to share the layers of sources which have helped me to build a mindful and balanced life :  books, quotes, documentaries, recipes, and life style routines that have rewarded me with a happy, healthy, and emotionally/spiritually grounded "home".

Let's take a journey together...the journey to find yourself!

Next:  The First Steps

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