I just had a realization about why I end up taking these huge breaks from blogging, and it takes me forever to get back to it. It just felt too big, like I didn’t have time to sit down and write a profound, inspiring post, so I might as well just skip it. It’s the same reason it took me forever to start getting healthy. It felt too big to do it right, I figured I’d have to change everything about what I ate and start exercising (when I had hardly been moving off the couch), and that was too overwhelming to imagine. The answer to getting healthy was taking small steps each day, letting them build upon each other, and eventually I found I had changed everything about what I ate, and I was exercising nearly every day. So, I am going to try to start posting more often (I know, I know, I’ve said that before) and not worry about being profound or particularly original.
This week I received paperwork to become part of the National Weight Control Registry. The NWCR is a research study of people who have lost at least 30 pounds, and kept it off for at least a year. They are trying to come up with answers about how people successfully lose weight and keep it off. I had read a lot about the study while I was losing weight, so it feels like another big success to become a part of the study.
I posted (oh so long ago) that I really believe the secret to being healthier is to stop eating processed foods. Whether you are overweight or not, processed foods are not healthy for your body. I’m not the only one who now believes that, and I’ll post articles as they come up to support me on this. For now, with Halloween coming up, here’s a great John Oliver piece about what I believe is the #1 problem in the Standard American Diet (SAD), added sugar. Along with all the other health and weight benefits of reducing (or eliminating) added sugar, I have a friend right now fighting cancer, and she has found some research showing that sugar may feed cancer cells. Sugar is now added to so many foods we eat, and our taste buds have become dulled as a result. When you eliminate the added sugar, real foods start tasting so much more complex and delicious. It can be hard to get to that point, and there are many (many) books and websites out there encouraging a cold turkey method to eliminating sugar (i.e., I Quit Sugar and the 21 Day Sugar Detox). While this may work for some, I think I would have found the idea of going cold turkey to be too overwhelming. I believe the answer to reducing the amount of added sugar (and all processed food) in your diet is in taking small steps that lead you in the right direction. Start by replacing one of your sugary or processed-carb loaded snacks with a piece of fruit. Have a bowl of plain oatmeal with cinnamon, banana and chopped almonds for breakfast (my favorite!) instead of cold cereal (since they all have added sugar, or they would taste like cardboard). Try to make a small change each day, or even each week if you want to take it slower, and let them build upon themselves until you have achieved success.