Your Challenge Today:

A small amount of sacrifice …

By Bernadette Kathryn, LMT, IHLC


 

You can’t achieve anything in life

without a small amount of sacrifice.

~ Shakira

 


 

Sacrifice or trade?

 

I personally like to think of it as a trade, I am trading one thing that I want for something else that I want more. When I was growing up in Texas, I ate a lot of traditional comfort foods. My mom was an excellent cook and she inspired hunger in me … I smelled the food and wanted to eat! There was one thing she cooked that I didn’t like — cabbage — she completely over cooked it and I was not interested. Otherwise, everything she cooked was tasty, tasty, tasty. I remember some favorites were red beans and dirty rice, macaroni and cheese, a special casserole with chicken, rice, cinnamon and pine nuts (sounds odd but really yum), cherry cheesecake, fudge brownies, any kind of pasta sauce, grits & eggs, patty melts, frito pies – ever have one of those?

 

As you can see, we had a lot of ~ not so good for you or your figure tasty food ~ and I had to learn a new way to care for myself as an adult because it quickly became obvious that if I continued to eat the way I did as a child, I would be very large, fat and unhappy. Not only do I not need as many calories as I did when I was a child, I also needed to change the ratio of foods I was eating and eliminate processed foods. I ate way too much sugar and junk food and honestly had no idea that was a problem until I was diagnosed with a spastic colon. I used to get such bad stomach aches and no one ever made the connection that the food I ate was a contributing factor. I am not even sure the doctor made the connection at the time, he gave me prescription, said it was “stress” and sent me home. I was a teenager at the time and something told me that a prescription was not the way to go with this … I had a feeling there was a better answer out there for me.

 

Trusting the little voice in my head, I decided to look for answers in other places. I now know that stress and diet were the main contributing factors to my tummy troubles. And, as I began to learn more about exercise, stress reduction methods and healthier food choices I was able to slowly make habit changes that essentially saved my life. It was a long road to change my habits from sedentary to active, from comfort foods to healthier choices and from internalizing my stress to learning coping skills for my emotional stress.

 

I began to read books, talk to alternative health professionals, go to the park to exercise, and keep a journal. All of these strategies were instrumental in the success of my healthy transformation and it took ages, one habit change at a time. I still battle a variety of demons periodically, I still love sugar, chocolate, cheese, a good glass of wine or margarita and good old junk food ~ but, I remember how bad I felt when I wasn’t taking good care of myself and that memory keeps me on track most of the time. I feel very good about the changes I have made for my better health and Living Fit Lifestyle.

 

The biggest strategy for me was ‘trading’ not ‘sacrificing’. I decided to trade one poor food choice for a better one whenever I had a craving until I had systematically exchanged all of my old habits for healthier ones. I have found that food choices are quite emotionally driven and that process was the longest to change but well worth it. I don’t like to think of sacrificing because that sounds like I am suffering and the choices I am making to support my Living Fit Lifestyle do not include any suffering. I am making very tasty, enjoyable healthy food choices that are every bit as good and better than what I grew up with. I am creating new memories with a better understanding of and commitment to my wellness needs.