This weekend was a whirlwind of activity and emotions. Two cousins both graduated on Saturday- one from CWU and the other from high school. I graduated from Central in 2004, 2006 and again in 2011 (call me Mrs. VanWilder), my aunt and uncle graduated from Central, my aunt’s brother graduated from Central, their great grandmother graduated from Central. Central RUNS in the family. I had not been back in years and I was HIT with some emotions. Nothing has changed but everything has changed. I loved that place and I still love that place. It was a welcomed homecoming. I was not sad but I guess grateful…maybe a little sad. Grateful that my life happened there and a bit sad because that life is no longer my life. I grew up there…in those buildings and on those streets and in those apartments and in those bars and shops. And to know that my cousin had the same amazing experience I had is just awesome. Sure there were some shitty times…but that’s life. Central has 12,000 full time students on campus yet not a day would go by when an ADULT did not acknowledge me- there are no cracks to slip through at Central. You are a person and not a number at Central. It was at Central that I found my people…my tribe. It was there that I learned that it WAS in fact cool to be smart. It was there that I learned how to learn and the importance of lifelong learning. I learned how to level 2 adult there. I found myself there. Ohhhhh Ellensburg…#wildcatpride #CWOOOO
On my way to Ellensburg and back Saturday I listened to some great podcast, one in particular from Bulletproof Radio- #272 “Food Addiction and Why Willpower is Not Enough” to be exact. It was an interview with Dr. David Ludwig who has written a book called Always Hungry?: Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently. I own this book and about this time last year read it. What was most powerful for me is the impact certain foods can have on your part of the brain that is linked to addiction and how those foods can basically hijack your brain, making it impossible to say no to foods. In this podcast, he also talked about the impact that addictive foods- high carb/sugar/empty calorie foods can have on our moods, emotions, and behaviors. Then today on Facebook I came across this article from Well+Good that explores the link between food and depression. The article begins with
“By now, it shouldn’t be news to you that there’s a connection between the gut and the brain—doctors and nutritionists will both back this up. But a new book is making some bold claims about the matter, stating that gut inflammation is actually at the root of depression—and that the medical community’s current methods of treating the disease are all wrong.”.
I had to re-read that paragraph to make sure I really understood what it said. Inflammation could be a cause of depression? Some foods cause inflammation…inflammation causes depression…depression sucks. So I went to Amazon to look up the “new book” and see what it was really all about.
“Dr. Brogan illuminates the true cause of depression: it is not simply a chemical imbalance, but a lifestyle crisis that demands a reset. It is a signal that the interconnected systems in the body are out of balance – from blood sugar, to gut health, to thyroid function– and inflammation is at the root.” -Amazon
The Well+Good article highlights some of Dr. Brogen suggestions for limiting inflammation- author of A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies and Reclaim Their Lives
- Avoid processed foods
- Eliminate dairy, gluten, and sugar from your diet
- Eat plenty of natural fats
- Add probiotics and fermented foods your your diet
- Meditate- regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise at least 3 times a week
There was nothing shocking on this list EXCEPT meditation. I know it has been shown in many studies to impact your life in positive ways but to help in the reduction of inflammation in the body was a new one to me. And when I compare this list with the 30/10 program it seems they are on the same page.
- Avoid processed foods– the food 30/10 provide you is 100% processed. No getting around that. But 2/3rds of your lunch is not and your whole dinner is unprocessed. And the goal of 30/10 is to get you to that unprocessed dream land once on maintenance.
- Eliminate dairy, gluten, and sugar from your diet–This is basically the 30/10 way-the small serving of feta and your 2 tablespoons of creamer allowed daily on plan I think is a pretty amazing feat for most people! Almond milk is processed but you could make it on your own! Their foods do have sweetener but it again is process and not sugar based.
- Eat plenty of natural fats– Again, this is the 30/10 plan. EVOO, coconut oils, fats in meats and other protein sources are what make up your calories each day.
- Add probiotics and fermented foods your your diet– Pickles and sauerkraut are my GO TOs many days. When I need something but don’t want to blow the day, I reach for these two things! And the only salad dressing I use now is my homemade EVOO, vinegar and spices!
- Meditate– regularly- Those tapes that are available for you at EVERY 30/10 location…basically guided meditation!
- Get enough sleep– I was sleep MUCH better on plan. I am sleeping like shit now…wonder why? (eye roll)
- Exercise at least 3 times a week– 30/10 recommends that you wait a few weeks after starting your program before jumping into anything that builds a sweat and that is for two reasons: Your body and mind are adjusting to your new food intake and working out naturally increases your hunger. Until you are balanced out and you understand the different between your brain being hungry and you actually being hungry they want you to just sit back and relax. When you have adjusted you can return to your athletic endeavors!
SO…now that I have written all of that…what is MY POINT? Well…the short of it it is that I and everyone else who is going down the 30/10 path is on the right track. The long of it is this: I have been not feeling myself recently. I am bummed out, lethargic, panicky because I have SO much work to do but so scatterbrained to tackle any of it, irritated and annoyed at everything, tired, sad…I have been feeling MEH and I think I know why. It’s because I have been eating shitty foods and not following the program. The longer I go eating this way I the shittier I feel physically and emotionally and the deeper into MEH I get. Not only is the food I am choosing to eat nutritionally horrible it is also hijacking my rational brains’ ability to fight off my addition to the shitty foods. I can feel my joints and bones aching from inflammation and I can see it it my fingers and feet…they are both swollen from doing NOTHING. From here I can quickly move to the “Fuck It’ stage, “Fuck it…I have already screwed up today…I’ll hit it hard tomorrow.” My POINT: How I am feeling has been justified by people who write about people who know more sciency things about weight and weight loss than I do. That how I am feeling is how many, many, MANY other people are feeling because people don’t do studies and write books about how a few people feel. And that makes me feel not so crazy and alone and stupid for being fat.
So the story of this story is that it’s a cycle…the cycle of MEH is real. But so is the cycle of awesomeness: eat good food and don’t feel so shitty, which leads to more energy and your brain and body functioning on all cylinders so you can get more done in the time you have to do it so you have more time to do the things you like to do…like read and kayak. To stop one cycle and get on another cycle I have to make some changes.
The LESSON of this story is that when you are in need of something, asking the universe for help in finding what you need. EXPRESS what you are feeling, ask for help, and look around your community…any community…for the answers that will be there. Last week I FINALLY acknowledge that I have been feeling meh and that I need to pull myself out of the cycle I find myself in. What appeared was support, guidance, counsel, new learning, conformation of old learning, and a sense of calmness that has been lacking. The struggle IS real. And so are the people around you who are also struggling. Reach out to them and they will reach back.
Over the next few days I will put together a list of the cool podcasts I have found and the books I am thinking of reading or re-reading. The podcast community is one that I am totally new to and TOTALLY loving at the moment! If you know of some other great resources that dive into the issues of food, food addiction, weight loss, inflammation, and health please pass them along!