Eating to Live: Practical Ways to Catapault Change

Since my first post about my family’s new lifestyle, I have had countless people ask how in the world they could practically make this drastic change in their lives. They want to do it, but they want to know HOW. I have had multiple requests for MORE DETAILS, so I am going to comply.

I have to start by saying this journey is between YOU and the Father. I will outline our path for you, but our path may not be your path. The adventure with food is very personal. So I am the FIRST to say there is no right or wrong way. I will not stand in judgment over your decisions. You can discuss those with your spouse, your family, your mentors…but the buck stops with God.

With that all being said, I am going to outline some of the practical ways we changed our lives, and hopefully you will find them helpful. My inbox has flooded with lots of questions – please feel free to ask anything you would like. I am excited to share our miracle of life with anyone who will listen!

Remember, this is MY PATH, so what I’m about to say might feel like I’m stepping on your toes. But all this is your choice. When I was dieting, I always insisted I just couldn’t deny myself of certain things. I needed a “cheat” day or I would “go off” the diet for awhile. That is a stubborn mind set I lived in for many, many years. I was just denying the fact that nothing was really going to change until I was all in. I wouldn’t go back to all that for anything. I can’t. The 60 pounds I left behind are a testimony to the changes I’ve made. I also left behind severe stomach issues, fatigue, and excruciating foot pain. All that is GONE now. Not to mention I can actually shop in any store I want – and they have my size.

Going on a diet is like standing on the beach and only sticking your big toe in the ocean. I had to jump in full body and submerge in the water. It was time to change my life. I’m not a halfway kind of girl. It’s all or nothin’, baby.

So for those of you that like lists, here’s ours. Hopefully it will inspire you to make a change. Come on in, friends. The water’s fine.

 

THE WISEHART FAMILY LIST OF NON-NEGOTIABLES:

We only eat real food.

When I set out to only eat real food, I realized that 99% of my pantry had to go. I’ve become an avid label reader. It I can’t pronounce it, I don’t want it in my food. Even if the container says “ALL NATURAL” I still need to check the label. Usually food is best with five ingredients or less.

“Fast Food” is no longer in our vocabulary (or our lives).

Chipotle is acceptable – all organic. When we are stuck in a bind, we will eat Subway (only the sandwiches, but that bread tastes like wedding cake now). But other than that, we haven’t had typical fast food since last January. We will eat at sit-down restaurants but we make healthy choices such as salad or meat and baked potato. We can’t make exceptions because that’s the slippery slope. Coming from a girl who once drank two-two liters of Diet Coke a day, “no fast food” is a necessary thing.

Nothing fried. No sugar.

Another necessary evil. My husband used to buy entire bags of “gas station” candy and eat all of it in one sitting. It was a party for the two of us. Our “treats” now are organic ice cream and organic dark chocolate. We started out, however, with no sugar at all. We had to break ourselves of the addiction. Again, go back to reading labels. If it has sugar, it better be organic cane sugar or an alternative sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, or blue agave. I cook with alternative sweeteners. For example, I make my own bread in the bread machine, and the recipe calls for sugar. I use agave as a substitute.

Be active.

You need to find the exercise you LOVE. My family loves adventure, so we love hiking, climbing, and camping. I have tried to run for years, waiting for that “runner’s high” and it never came. But the minute I jumped on my bicycle, I was in love. Our family recently returned from a 142 mile weekend bike ride. When you find what you love, it’s much easier to keep going. So try everything – classes, running, weights, bicycling, cross training…keep trying until you find something you love. And do that.

Do it as a family.

It is much easier to drastically change your lifestyle if you do it together. If you don’t have a spouse, get a friend to hold you accountable. It’s just easier to make this happen if you have someone supporting you. I would like to point out, however, that we do it different with our daughter.  We make her eat like us at home, but we allow her to make her own decisions at school, church, and events. It has been a blessing to notice that she is starting to make her own healthy choices. Just tonight she was reading the label on a pack of gum someone gave her. She’s learning!

Make the decision and stick with it.

Pray about it, talk about it, and then EXECUTE. Brady and I sat down with Kayden and made this decision as a family. This wasn’t a temporary diet or something we could negotiate. This was it. Your temptation will be to tell yourself that if you need to, you can cheat. Special occasions, you can cheat. Christmas, Thanksgiving, you wouldn’t want to offend someone. If this isn’t a lifestyle, then what is it? What will happen when you stop? There is something freeing about knowing that this is just the way the Wisehart family operates now. We shop differently, eat differently, and take care of ourselves differently. And it’s absolutely wonderful. If you’re serious about changing your life, then be serious about it.

You can do it. I know you can. I never thought in a million years I could do it. And if I can do it, so can you.

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