Let's Redefine Deprivation

My youngest son and I recently visited my oldest daughter and son-in-law in Seattle. We experienced all the wonderful landmarks of the city such as the Space Needle and Pike's Place Market, etc., but the highlight was hiking to the top of Rattlesnake Ridge to see the breathtaking and magnificent views from the summit.

I was so totally blown away by what I saw when I reached the summit that I squealed with delight! - just ask my daughter who captured my over-the-top enthusiasm on video via her iPhone! I was also reminded how very thankful I am to no longer be addicted to the Standard American Diet and obese. [A little over five years ago, at age 47, I was severely addicted to fake, low-nutrient foods, 100 lbs. overweight, prediabetic, and suffered from coronary artery disease, hypertension, chronic fatigue, and increasing immobility. Within a year, I dropped the weight and got my health restored.]  

Additionally, I would've missed out on so much of the trip if I were still unhealthy, because we walked and hiked a lot and had a wonderful time doing it!

 

The worst of the nightmarish memories of obesity and poor health have gradually faded over time, and I tend to take my health for granted these days. I need trips like this past one to be reminded, once again, how much freedom I have now as a healthy individual. Plus, my obesity would've ruined the visit for my daughter and son-in-law as I would've only been able to sit around in their apartment, or sightsee via bus tours, or dine continually on decadent foods – not much else - and that would've been a bummer for them.

I'm continually grateful for the many blessings that being fully committed to the nutritarian diet-style has allowed me to enjoy these past five years. And to think that for many years I incorrectly thought it was too restrictive, and I was afraid that I’d be regularly deprived.

Not being able to hike up Rattlesnake Ridge and experience the grandeur of the view at the summit, or watch the shear delight and excitement on my 14-year-old son's face would've been restrictive. Likewise, I would've been deprived of making a lifetime memory with my daughter and son-in-law as well.

We must get this deprivation thing turned around. Eating a crispy, succulent apple instead of a candy bar is not deprivation - it is liberty! Eating a scrumptious kale salad with orange-cashew-toasted sesame dressing instead of a grilled cheese sandwich and bag of chips is not restrictive – it is pure pleasure beyond what words can express! 

 

image credit by yarophoto.com

Sensible boundaries keep us safe

 

For many of us who are former, chronic dieters, restrictive eating may have been a very negative experience. We may have had the euphoric high of shedding a few pounds with artificially sweetened desserts and beverages, processed meal replacements, protein powder drinks, or meticulous counting, measuring and recording rituals; but then ate everything in sight afterwards to make up for the inhumane deprivation of vital nutrients that our bodies so desperately needed for survival. 

We may have lost 10 lbs, but then binged and gained 40.   

However, when we liberally and generously flood our bodies with micronutrients, phytochemicals and rich antioxidants, it turns off the biological necessity for craving addictive, unhealthy foods and overeating. For many, it takes at least 3-6 weeks of total abstinence; replacing standard America diet foods with high-nutrient foods for the taste buds to change and to cross over to that threshold of freedom.   

Eat to Live definitely scores as the only proven program out there that eradicates addictive biological cravings, which removes the strong power-struggle with food.

However, one can’t deny the fact that it is not an all-you-can-eat, no restraints way of eating either.  There are guidelines to follow like eating only when truly hungry and stopping before full.

For those of us who have developed unhealthy habits over the years such as: using food to stuff negative emotions, or to celebrate happy occasions, or to eat according to the clock, or as a recreational hobby, or to socialize with others, there’s an intentional and ongoing diligence that has to be maintained for life

Like all addictions, one can never return to destructive habits, no matter how much the cravings for unhealthy foods have ceased. 

For me personally, I can never eat at the computer while skimming Facebook or the news. For me, food turns into a recreational hobby when I do that and I no longer focus on stopping before full. 

Just like many recovering alcoholics can no longer hang out at bars lest they revert back to unhealthy patterns, I can’t mix food with leisure activities that trigger mindless overeating.  Eating is only to nourish my body. Nothing more. It’s no longer a recreational hobby. 

So for that reason, optimal health requires sensible boundaries to safeguard oneself from past engrained habits, depending upon one’s former lifestyle.   

                                 

Eat to live.  We nourish our bodies with high-nutrient foods; eating only when truly hungry and stopping before full. 

 

Simple. Sensible. Effective. Permanent. 

 

 

 

image credit:  vegetables, flickr by Martin Cathrae