As I mentioned in my last post, this post is about what I experienced towards the end of last year, which made me deeply think about looking after myself.
I have always seen myself as ‘someone who love being healthy, eating lots of vegetables, exercising regularly. I can generally eat whatever and whenever, as much as I want’. To me this image of myself was never really going to change, until I felt a significant discomfort in my gut which I couldn’t ignore.
Being on holiday and I was enjoying a relaxed time, both mentally and physically. But I felt something was not right, as if my bowel was blocked and there were even occasional pains. Whenever I had similar symptoms in the past, I always knew what caused the problem (usually bread or dry snack!), and it was usually resolved the following day. However, this time the discomfort lasted for several days and it was causing me a huge distress. I couldn’t overlook it and go about my day. Coincided with it was my mental and emotional side that was clearly starting to be affected. There was a general fatigue throughout the day, lack of energy and I was overwhelmed with my own negative thoughts about everything. Worst thing was that I didn’t even feel like standing in the kitchen creating recipes, which had always given me a huge energy, always, no matter what.
I decided that I must do something about it. I had to accept that I didn’t have the healthy body which I always thought I had. I had to face the discomfort. It was really tough. I looked back my lifestyle and diet for the last couple of months, and decided to change. At the same time I noticed there were things that I had been trying to escape or not paid attention, mentally, which resulted in the problem. This message was so direct and meant a lot to me. It made me appreciate the pain, too.
Eating when not hungry, over eating, even the healthiest foods, lack of sleep etc. all these habits were contributing to the symptom. I taught myself again about how digestive system works, what food to eat and how. At the same time, I started to really listen to my body, pay attention to my feelings and just relaxed. I stuck to very simple, bland foods at least until I felt ‘well’ again.
It’s been over a week since then. I am feeling well again. I feel more energy, enjoy exercising and eating the foods that really nourish my body. How great it is to feel healthy, but health doesn’t come automatically. You need to be constant at doing things that keeps your state of wellness. This was a big lesson.
This whole thing made me re-think about the power of food, what ‘eating’ is in a broader sense, and what it really means to look after myself. I still love cooking, of course. But I see food in a slightly different way now. They are there to nourish our body. They can maximize our wellness or harm us, depending on what we choose to do to our body. I believe that you heal yourself out of the desire to recover, to feel healthy with a strong will and above all, the actions.
In the future posts I am going to share what kind of food I am eating now to keep my body healthy, nourished and energized. So come back for it!