Today I woke-up late, but for the first time in a couple of months I feel refreshed and happy! I’ve been battling depression and frankly it’s been kicking my butt!
As most of you know, my beloved dog Leona passed away suddenly and this sort of triggered me. I’ve also begun a new eating habit which has also triggered me.
The loss of my dog I understand but the new eating habit? As I’ve done more research I realize I’m going through withdrawal from food. For many years now I’ve been on a high sugar diet. Not realizing how much it controlled me.
My mother never really instilled good eating habits. Growing up we ate A LOT of fast food, boxed food, and proceeded food. My mother (bless her heart) didn’t know how to eat healthfully. This habit passed to me.
I’ve always been active but ate like crap! On my way home from work I’d be too tired to cook, so I’d go to Mc Donald’s. Craving sweets I would indulge in ice cream. As time would go on, I would become addicted to junk food.
Why is this a big deal? Simply because it fosters poor eating and feeds into food addiction. I never ate much fruit or vegetables. Drank sodas regularly, and love chocolate.
After being diagnosed with type 1 bipolar disorder and going on medication I had to really start to look at how I was eating. As most of the medication I take causes weight gain. Not a bonus!
I’m grateful for the medication but not the weight gain. Unfortunately, none of my doctors really address how to manage this side effect. I suppose there’s really no time allotted per appointment.
So, I’m left to my own devices. I was tired so frequently from my poor diet, and medication side effects that I’ve finally done something about it.
I made an appointment with a nutritionist, who has put me on the right track. She gave me some suggestions on how and what dietary changes to make. She also told me to STOP counting calories but to count fiber instead (you can also find nutrition information on my website and healthy recipes).
She has me on a high fiber diet vs a low-calorie diet. As for my body the fiber is more important to intake then the calorie count should matter.
Now, historically I’ve been on MANY diets. Though my nutritionist has told me not to think of this change as a diet but as a dietary change. Actually, this helps! I don’t feel as though I’m depriving myself but making a change to how I eat.
It’s been 9-days now since my dietary change, and thankfully I’m doing well. In the past making it to-day 8 my body would freak out, realizing what I’m doing and I’d stop the diet. I would feel angry, grouchy, deprived, and out of sorts.
But this time feels different. I’m not super hungry, nor grouchy. I’m beginning to sleep better, and feeling less depressed. Although as I’ve mentioned it has triggered me. That depressed feeling is slowly but surely fading.
I’m beginning to take control of my eating and sugar addiction. In my 9-days I’ve not indulged in any sugar or high fats. I’ve substituted ice cream and chocolate with fruit.
I’m not eating meats or processed foods either. While it sounds strict, it’s actually just a diet of substitutes. I eat meat alternatives, dairy-free, and lots of fruit and vegetables.
I’m boarder lining a vegetarian and vegan diet. Which again may sound strict but I can eat healthy versions of mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, chips & salsa, bagels & cream cheese, sorbet, and cookies.
The difference is simply alternative eating. Not going for high calorie or high fat foods. I’ve already noticed my mood changing for the better. Like I mentioned, I woke-up this morning feeling happy for the first time in a couple of months!
Just so you know I did get the OK from my primary care physician and my psychiatrist prior to this dietary change. It was important to be sure I don’t actually trigger depression or mania. As I’ve learned it actually could!
With this change I’m hoping to not only lose weight but become healthier and find mood stability. As I understand those are the positive side effects of my dietary changes.
I wont lie, this is very difficult as I’ve had many years of poor eating. Habits die-hard. Though I feel it’s the right change and is going to give me more control.
As Fall/Autumn has arrived I also have to be concerned with falling into S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder), with my changes this will definitely help me find mood stability.
Who knew food played such a role in mood stability?! No this isn’t for everyone but it’s working for me.