I remember when I was my younger college age self that I had so much energy I didn’t know what to do with it. I never had aches and pains and it was easy to learn new things. Flash forward a significant amount of time and the picture looks completely different. Slowly but surely I have watched my physical and mental self take a downward turn. I am not as sharp as I used to be. I have funny symptoms that I can’t explain and don’t make sense. I just generally don’t feel like myself any more.
The answer I get from most health practitioners when I tell them this information is that it’s just my age. In my heart I just know this isn’t the case. Certainly I don’t expect to be able to do ‘all nighters’ any more or to be able to still eat what I want. It’s hard to explain but I just know that something isn’t right. Here’s a little about what I think started my downward path into my struggle to be ‘normal’.
I grew up with parents that really delved deeply into health when I was young. For the first half of my childhood we ate liver. My mom shopped at the co-op before it was a cool thing to do. Fast food, sugar and soda were very rare treats and being a vegetarian was nothing new to me (though this was only something we tried for a short time as a family ; ). I was no stranger to veggies and salads and there were many a dinners I finished the next morning because I didn’t like what was being served : ).
When I was 19 an opportunity came to live on my own. Finally I had the freedom to eat and drink whatever it is that I wanted. Out when the salads, veggies, fruits and whole grains and exercise. In came the boxed meals, frozen pizzas, soda, fast food and basically anything I wasn’t allowed to have when I lived at my parents. Everything seemed to be going along fine until I hit 22. Over the course of just a couple years I gained 20 lbs. I remember I went to the store one day to by new jeans and realized I had gone up two sizes! You know what it scared the crap out of me! I new if I kept going it was not going to end well. So I decided to go on a diet. Out went the fat, salt, cholesterol and anything the government and nutritionists told me I was not supposed to eat. I cut my calories and lost almost the entire weight I had gained.
I was feeling great. I went back to college to major in nutrition and I was so sure I wanted that degree. The next five years I managed to only gain 10lbs back. It didn’t really concern me because I knew I was getting older and I figured it was just a part of what happens. Something really odd happened when I was pursuing my degree and I realized that it wasn’t for me. Honestly, I’m so glad I didn’t go down that road which I’ll explain later.
Stay tuned for Part 2!