Thursday, 30 August 2012

Healthy Living Freed Me From My Life of Lethargy

I have not lost the plot (well…), whilst I know it’s not Tuesday, today I’m joining Healthy Living Blogs’ Healthy Living Tuesdays where the subject is “Healthy Living Freed Me From…”.  I wish there were one single word I could insert at the end of that sentence that could encompass how much healthy living has changed me, both physically and mentally.

Many of you know that when I started my weight loss journey in January this year, I weighed 240 pounds.  It was nearly my all time heaviest weight.  I was sluggish, exhausted and yawning constantly, had zero energy, my skin suffered greatly and I fought constant acne breakouts on my face (while other areas of my skin, such as my legs, were so dry and itchy).  I also had horrible bouts of low blood sugar, which caused me to binge uncontrollably.  I knew that I not only wanted to lose weight and improve my appearance, I also wanted to get healthy.

Me at nearly 240 pounds
Part of my problem came from an undiagnosed adrenal fatigue condition (you can read more about that here).  I went to see a naturopath in London who prescribed natural supplements that would correct this imbalance.  This helped greatly with improving my energy levels and I now also no longer suffer with low blood sugar. 

Regarding my diet - I had previously followed the principles of the GI & GL Diets and knew that the science behind them was just good common sense – eat healthy, whole, nutrient rich foods – feel fuller for longer.  Whilst I haven’t followed either the GI or the GL to the letter, I do employ a lot of the principles in choosing what foods I eat on a daily basis.

I also started looking at the ingredients of what I was eating in much more detail.  A lot of so called “low fat” or “low sugar” foods are actually stuffed with artificial sweeteners or E numbers – thankfully I’ve never been one to rely on artificial sweeteners, but the thought of eating foods (or serving these types of foods to my children) really made me feel sick. 

I switched from sugar to Xylitol – this is a natural alternative to sugar that is not only lower in calories than sugar, but it also doesn’t create the spike in blood sugar and is even suitable for diabetics (most importantly to me, it has no aftertaste)!  I also changed my normal breakfast cereal to a low GL granola (Lizi’s) with all natural ingredients.  My standard lunchtime sandwich has been replaced with lentils, couscous, pasta, salads and low fat fish.  I’ve also kicked my soda habit (having switched to sparkling water instead).

The results have not just been confined to weight loss!  I’ve enjoyed a massive improvement in my complexion (no more acne – woohoo!), an annoying hoarse voice that plagued me previously is now gone, my energy levels have come on leaps and bounds, I no longer struggle with sluggishness and feeling tired – all this combined means that I can enjoy life to the full now!  Even more importantly – by improving my energy levels, it also means that I can enjoy my new found passion of running!

So, to finish that sentence: Healthy Living Free Me From my life of lethargy.  My life has not only changed for the better because I feel better about how I look and have more energy, but I can also be a better mother to my children, and crucially, set a healthy example for them to follow.