Let’s face it, everyday we are fed unrealistic sex propaganda that depicts what beauty “is”. We’re fed this day in and day out. The media is the judge and jury, making rulings that if you don’t have a thigh gap, then you’re doing something wrong. For many of us living on the other side of the fence, the grass isn’t greener and we know that you don’t have to be supermodel skinny and show your clavicles to be healthy. I have a secret for you! There is no standard weight for any of us. We’re not a one size fits all civilization. A medium blouse is going to fit you differently than it will your girlfriend of the same size.
Our bodies are magnificent machines, and each a one of a kind. How you take care of your body and what you put into it will determine how healthy you are; not a number on a pair of jeans. Just like what grade of gasoline you put in your car, and how often you take it to the mechanic, that and only that, determines how well it will run, and for how long. Your health is determined by how well you take care of yourself and this book will help cultivate a better way of living.
I developed The My Sacred Life after years of researching nutrition and trying diet after diet, until finally, enough was enough. I pieced together what worked from all of my research and personal experiences to create a lifestyle guide that will help you reach optimal health and wellness.
When I started out, I wasn’t looking for a diet to lose weight. I was always too skinny, actually. I just set out to find a diet that allowed me to be healthy. I set out to find a healthy way of eating. There are so many great diets out there that have been researched extensively that work really well. Then again, there are some that I don’t believe in based simply on my personal opinion, experience and research.
My individual health situation also played a role in my opinion. I’ve known many people that have gone Paleo as a result of the Cross Fit trend, only to later develop gallbladder issues from consuming such large quantities of meat, but then I have met people who Paleo works great for! Some clients had previous success with low-carb diets, where it failed for others. Many diets though, have one thing in common; counting calories. Now, if you’re like me, you don’t like to worry about counting. My Sacred Life doesn’t count calories. The difference? Your body is the judge. Your body will regulate to its optimal weight. The thing is, your body is a powerful healing machine. It wants to constantly heal and wants to be a healthy weight. All we have to do is give it the appropriate tools.
My problem began when I would start a diet, it took away my sugary candy and junk food that kept me full and provided a level of comfort from daily stress. With the absence of these foods, I turned into this horrible (mean) person because I was hungry and aggravated that I couldn’t eat the gooey slice of pizza that my friends were eating at dinner. Me, being left with a plate of veggies, I felt a void. I was jealous of my pizza eating friends, often being the motivation for me to throw in the towel and say, “Screw it. I’m eating pizza.”
I don’t know what milestone I reached in my life, whether it was depression, a quarter life crisis, or what, but the long and the short of it was I started gaining weight… quickly, and a lot. I placed the reasoning to simply being “happy”, but I wasn’t happy. I was eating what I wanted, and my weight gain had nothing to do with lying in bed eating a pint of ice cream at midnight (possibly binge-watching Friends on TV), or having plates of dinner, each plate being big enough for a dinner for two.
All of this began to add up, and I began to gain weight. I saw the scale tip past 175 lbs. for the first time in my life, and then it hit 190 lbs., and then 220 lbs., and so on and so on until it finally read 275 lbs.! That is almost 300 lbs.! I used to wonder how obese people let themselves get to that point. I would ask myself when they saw the scale number growing larger and larger, why they didn’t say “enough is enough” and try and correct it. This is far easier than you may think. I was often motivated by a promise to myself that I would start eating healthy tomorrow, until tomorrow finally came and it changed from promising myself, to trying to convince myself.
For my new year’s resolution one year, I promised myself, like many others during the month of December, that this was going to be the year that I lose weight and get healthy! Except this time, I took a different approach (I had to) and wanted to develop the diet that would work for me. I had four factors that I had to fulfill; It had to allow grazing (because I love eating), It had to allow alcohol (because I love my wine), it had to be reasonably priced (because who wants to spend their entire paycheck on groceries?), and finally it had to be normal, meaning I had to be able to eat at restaurants with my friends, or grab a quick lunch on the go, and not be hard pressed to cheat my diet, or treated like the difficult dinner guest, nobody wants to invite.
I interviewed several dieters figuring out what they wanted in a diet, and believe it or not, their answers were very similar to mine; they wanted to drink alcohol, order something from any restaurant, and be able to eat often; oh yes, while still losing weight! I also interviewed dieters who had success stories, mostly dieters who “finally” lost the weight that they have been trying to lose for years, some even decades! I asked them what they ate, and what they didn’t eat, and I began noticing a trend, all the foods they cut out were foods that are known as inflammatory foods, foods that physically cause inflammation within the body. This led me onto an investigation, researching diet after diet, to learn the why and how of their success and failures.
This data is the very core foundation to my method. To gain more insight, I interviewed several nutritionists asking a simple question, and could not ever get a straight answer; they all beat around the bush.
Want to know my question?
“As a nutritionist, if you had to go to a fast food restaurant, what would you order?”
I got the same beat-around-the-bush answer from each one; “I wouldn’t go to a fast food restaurant.”
They would offer me advice of: A) Bringing my own lunch B) Throwing a pack of almonds in the glove compartment for that “emergency” when you found yourself having to swing through the drive-thru, or C) I wouldn’t eat.
But these answers weren’t the ones I was looking for. I wanted a straight-up, cut-to-the-chase answer. “What does a nutritionist order if they found themselves at a fast food restaurant.” I didn’t think it was a difficult question, but for some reason, no nutritionist would answer it.
I did manage to get an actual answer from a couple of nutritionist, but it was the cliché answer of ordering “grilled this” and “hold-the-mayo that”. Now, as a certified nutritionist, want to know what I would order if I had to go to a fast food restaurant in an emergency? I would order a salad (FYI, some salads from major fast food chains could contain nearly 800 calories!) not because of it being a salad, but because gluten and dairy does a number on your digestive system, especially after it’s been removed from your system. “Splurging” on a cheeseburger or some other fast food is going to take days, even weeks to recover from. The symptoms and chaos that follows this fast food emergency is not worth the “splurge” a cheeseburger brings with it.
So, now I take back my criticism for other nutritionist not answering my question. I get it now. Knowing the physiological impact food has on your body, I see why they would rather not eat than go through a drive-thru.