The other day I mentioned that a friend had just made it to One-derland for the first time in over 20 years. The truth is, the friend is my sister Chele. (Don’t give me that look. She outed herself already.) And I am so proud for her I can hardly stand it! That number was an enormous mental hurdle that had stood for a long time. It was really difficult to take on and overcome. But she did it! She mentioned that I had been helpful; but, the truth is that she deserves 100% of the credit for changing her lifestyle and beginning to reap the health benefits.
Lying her in bed, she hurt. Her whole skeleton ached and she felt like garbage. She thought, “I’m too young to feel this bad.” So, she began to make changes. That’s how it happens.
No one ever quit drinking, smoking, or eating poorly because someone nagged them into it. I do not believe that anyone has ever been saved from anything by nagging (although it’s possible some people may have disappeared for doing it). People change when they get ready to.
I smoked for the better part of 20 years – sometimes more than two packs a day – and I quit when I got ready to. I was overweight for most of my life. I ate nutritionally bankrupt food and was sedentary. I ate better and exercised when I got ready to.
And, my sister made changes when she got ready to.
Even after just a few weeks of cleaner eating, she noticed a huge jump in her energy level. She went four days this week without her knee brace! Unheard of. She sleeps the night through and she looks great! Her skin and hair look healthier and she moves with greater ease. Now, she’s not exercising because, well, her knees are just shot. They are awful….seriously, telethon worthy; so, walking is out, running was never in the equation and I’m not sure she can even use a stationary bike. She is seeing these health improvements with dietary changes alone. She is eating more fruit and vegetables, less meat, nearly no wheat and limited dairy. She is rediscovering that natural foods are the key to good health. She is discovering that processed foods really do make us feel awful. One fast-food hamburger caused a several-day episode of knee pain. She told me that the temptations of former treats are easier to resist if she thinks of those foods as what they really are – poisons.
At one time, we probably all knew that, but we’ve forgotten it with the convenience of the drive-thru and the TV dinner. If we are going to take back our health, we are going to have to remember that whole foods are the source of that health.
I am so thrilled that she is feeling better and that she is really beginning to enjoy the benefits of better food choices. It’s a privilege to hear her excitement at having overcome such a huge mental hurdle and I look forward to her continued better health. After all, I’ve got plans for us in our old age!