change is a bitch

I think that inherently, as human beings, most of us fear change.  In so many different ways, we all struggle to ensure that our lives remain static so we do not have to confront a rocking of the boat.  This resistance is an exercise in futility.  As life moves along, change must and will occur.

In my own experience, major change has been a part of my life from very early on.  I was born into a military family.  Transition was second nature to us, as we moved from one home to another – usually every three years or so.  I made friends and let them go on a regular basis.  My horizon changed with every move – from the mountains of Washington State to the flat expanse of Texas, to the mesas and olive groves of Spain.

At present, I must undergo significant change.  I am finding that when it has to come from within, when the power of one’s own will is put to the test, it can be a real bitch.

Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  At the time that this information was delivered to me, I was devastated.  I implemented a handful of changes to my lifestyle, and took the medication that was prescribed to me.  Over time, I waffled between being a “good” diabetic and a “bad” one.  I didn’t give a great deal of thought to the possible consequences of my bad behavior.  It was simply too hard to face.

Overwhelming, no?

During the time that I worked in the wine industry, for instance, I had to drink.  Not that I wasn’t doing that before, but having a job that requires one to consume alcohol in order to broaden a base of knowledge is a whole different ballgame.  It was part of my daily life for a year.  I rarely gave thought to how it would affect my health.

Additionally, I would often buckle under my food cravings.  I have eaten enough cheese to make even the fattest of mice jealous.  I am a lover of bread in all forms.  Crackers would often comprise my dinner, and of course, they were topped with cheese.  Don’t forget about the glass of wine that would wash it all down.

Oh cheese. I knew you so well.

As a food writer, I consider my palate to be broad.  I am a lover of many vegetables, and even trained my picky-eater husband to appreciate tofu.  But ultimately, my diet wasn’t consistently clean.  This ongoing state of denial has gotten me into a bit of trouble.

At present, I am revamping my approach to food and working within the parameters outlined by Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution.  Reading the dedication of his book provides an immediate understanding of what this guy is about:

“For the first generation of children in history that will live sicker and die younger than their parents.  For their sakes and ours, may we all work together to take back our health.”

That statement, to me, nails it.  Our nation is in trouble, and the idea that we should be eating whole foods and learning the value of a clean diet is becoming an imperative.  Unfortunately, there is a harsh economic divide in this country, and convenient meals are more economically viable than say, shopping in the produce department at Whole Foods.

Can we change enough to learn to grow our own produce?  Does the average American have those kind of skills or even care to learn them?

What steps have you taken in your own life to promote clean diet choices?  I would love to hear from anyone out there who has made a major lifestyle change involving diet or exercise.  Like Dr. Hyman likes to say, it’s time to take back our health.

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