Ever since I found out I have Hashimotos Hypothyroidism I’ve made a goal for myself to become as healthy as my body will permit. I wish I could say that with a little exercise and some healthy eating I’d lost 40 plus pounds. But unfortunately I can’t do that, my number is closer to 5 pounds over the course of 5 months, and it’s not a little exercise and some more healthy eating choices that brought me to that number. I wish it were that easy! For me to wrestle off that measly 5 pounds it has required a total transformation of how my husband and I live.
We aren’t fanatical. I’ll say that right from the start. I am not one of those people who think modern medicine and “Big Pharma” companies are trying to kill us (although I do agree they are out for our money), or that everything you need to be healthy can be found in nature. I am sure that will upset some people and I’ll probably hear a few arguments for saying it but that’s okay. You see, I have to take a pill for the rest of my life in order for one of the most important endocrine glands in my body to function properly and for me to not die. And I’m pretty darn thankful that modern medicine and research has allowed me the chance to take this pill. Truly, it has saved my life.
But the pill alone is not enough. Sadly it’s not a miracle medicine that has allowed me to quickly lose the 80 pounds I gained before anyone realized how sick I was. It just doesn’t work like that. But what it does do is allow my body the opportunity to slowly shed the residual weight if I am willing to work hard enough and stay committed. Enter in, healthy eating and healthy living.
I don’t want to be skinny. I can’t allow myself to want that because it may never happen. I have to be aware of the limitations of my body and I have to be willing to work with my body in order to be as healthy as I possibly can be. Even if that looks like I’m 20, 30, or 40 pounds over my goal weight.
So I’ve done a few things to help my body to begin the healing process and achieve health once more. The majority of these steps have to do with making better and smarter food choices. I may not think that food alone can magically cure my thyroid, but I am fully aware that cheeseburgers and french fries will prevent me from healing my body and achieving health once more. Personally, I think it’s all about balance. Balance between the right level of medicine and the right foods, the right foods and the best amount of exercise, and balance between determination to get healthy and grace to allow my body to heal in it’s own time.
In my kitchen you would probably not see potato chips or soda or ice cream, unless it’s one of our treat days. Notice I said treat day instead of cheat day. We don’t do cheat days because cheating carries with it a negative connotation and brings a sense of guilt and shame over something you’ve done. Now I don’t know about you but that’s not how I want to feel if I indulge in some ice cream every once in a while. The key though is just to do it every once in a while. To not get stuck in the trap of dessert every night, eating because you’re bored, or stuffing your feelings with some fresh baked bread. This was a really hard lesson for me to grasp because I am prone to doing all these things.
So for the most part my kitchen looks like the inside of a health food store; lots of organic fruits and veggies, whole organic milk, cheese and butter, probiotic rich foods like Kefir, and gluten free foods galore. We try very hard to creatively come up with more and more ways we can incorporate healthy eating into our lives, and we are well aware that we spend a lot more on groceries than other people but we think of it more as a preventative healthcare cost instead of an inconvenience. If you really are what you eat, which is something my husband and I both believe to be true, then we want to be healthy salads and the occasional grass fed steak instead of being two cheeseburgers away from a stroke or heart attack.
What drives me crazy though is when people ask me about the reason behind why we eat like we do, and then turn around and say that they aren’t willing to “go on such a drastic diet”. Don’t get me wrong, I get why people say it and why it’s hard to commit to such a huge lifestyle change, we have been in the process of doing this for almost two years. But it is not a diet. Not in the normal societal, hyper obsessive, skinny worshiping sense of the word. No, it is not that at all.
For me, this way of eating is essential to maintaining health and allowing my body to do things that everyone else can do without too much thought as to how their bodies do it. For me, this is a permanent change and a permanent investment into a healthier me. It is a way for me to find peace with my body. To show my children the importance of taking care of yourself. And to treat my body like the temple that God says it is instead of poisoning it with food like products and dangerous chemicals disguised as a brownie.
For me, and my family, healthy eating is a lifestyle choice that we consciously make every day. It is not a diet, a fad, a passing fancy, or a way to be supermodel skinny.
photo credit: http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/2014/06/