This morning, I’m sitting here thinking. I’m recommitting to a healthier way of eating, and in so doing there are the inevitable pitfalls, mess-ups, cheats, and all-around “whoops” days. At least, that’s how it’s been up until this point. After doing some reading (recommended by a friend), I stumbled across Bright Line Eating.
For those of you who don’t know, it’s very similar to GAPS (which is what I’ve been doing for the last year, with success but struggling with motivation). Bright Line Eating talks about the reason behind our struggles and ties it all in with behavioral analysis (which is absolutely fascinating if you haven’t looked into it yet) and decision fatigue.
The long and short of it is the more decisions we have to make in a day, the more apt we are to make poor ones later on in said day. Anyone who has ever “shopped until they dropped” can attest to the fatigue which sets in as you near the end of your excursion. Not to mention wedding planning, deciding on a name for a baby, or even deciding on a college. Decision fatigue is a real, documented, studied phenomena and it’s absolutely captivating.
So – after reading a few different books relating to willpower, decisionmaking, behavioral analysis and having my own interest in nutrition and the GAPS diet – stumbling into Bright Line Eating married the two interests for me in a way nothing else has, and it’s been so satisfying to see the two philosophies work so well together.
What I’m loving about the whole theory behind Bright Line Eating is it approaches healthful eating more as an addiction (and with sugar and flour there is actually quite a lot of research to support this theory – for more information read this article). Treating it as an addiction to sugar, you create “bright lines” for your food that you do not cross – freeing your mind to make decisions about other things, as opposed to food – and helping you strengthen your remaining decision-making abilities.
That’s a gross over-simplification of course, but it’s accurate nonetheless. It’s resonating so strongly with me right now because it’s all about whole food, vegetables, fruits, proteins – just the healthy building blocks our bodies need – and no gimmicks. The weight loss and body image industries are mammoth right now because everyone feels like they have weight to lose, inches to lose, or muscle to gain. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your body to be its’ best – but it’s sad that we are so willing to try every gimmick out there when the truth – at least it has been for me – is so simple. Not easy, but simple.
Our bodies are simple – they need whole food, little to no sugar, little to no flour, vegetables, fiber, protein, water, and movement. That’s it. It’s time we took the time to reset ourselves. It’s time we woke up in the morning and said, “Alright, body. Here we go. It’s time to function at our best level.”
It’s time for our minds to be sharp and clear, our hearts to be full, our stomachs fed, and our misconceptions cleared. Health is not a quick-fix and go back to what we were doing before. It’s something we provide our body because we are grateful and love this body for carting our souls around our entire lives. Let’s show some appreciation and clear out those things we no longer need, and that are no longer serving us.
All of that being said, it’s scary as hell! It’s so sad to think I’ll never have another cookie, or sweet treat, or drink of alcohol . . . wow. But I don’t have to think about how I’ll never have any of those things. I just have to think that today – just today – I’m not going to. It’s not making my body feel healthy, youthful, and alive. It’s making me ache, and struggle to breathe, and be less of a mom and wife than I could (and want to) be.
I won’t lie. The first week has been tough. The first three days were hell. I was cranky, tired, had a headache, had full body aches, couldn’t sleep. I was in withdrawal (tell me again how sugar isn’t addictive?), and I didn’t even eat much sugar when I started this. Truly – it was starchy vegetables. I wasn’t eating things with sugar in except very occasionally because I’ve already been trying to wean myself off.
But – I’m on day 6 now – and I’m 5 pounds down, and my thinking is already clearer, my energy levels are so much better throughout the day, I’m not dealing with the headache or body ache anymore, my sarcoidosis is improving (meaning I can actually breathe), and best of all, I’m sleeping better at night and am more able to pop out of bed in the morning. And this is only the first week.
Yes, it’s fast. Yes, it’s “extreme” by the normal standards of eating today. But it’s healthy. I can feel it. I’m not a doctor, but I can tell you this – my body is singing – and it feels great. I feel better this week than I have over the last 5 months of dealing with doctors and their theories on how I’m going to get better.
It’s time we really take a look at what the food we are eating is doing for us. Is it helping or hurting as we walk through this life.
Figure out for yourself those answers – and I would challenge you to make a change. Invest some energy in yourself.