It seems like such an easy thing for me to bring up as I do it all the time. When I am in a group setting where there is food laid out they will ask me if I want anything, sometimes I say yes and sometimes I say no. I truly don’t want to tell other people, “this is how YOU should eat” however, when they tell me something is “okay for you to eat” or whatever they are pointing out is “healthy” I usually give them a little insight as to why I am as picky as I am.

Food to me is fuel, but also more than that. I have had an unhealthy relationship with food far longer than I ever have had a real truly understandable one with it. Through books that I have read for many years to build up the information that I do it comes down to a few simple things in the way food matters to how I chose it. Will it hurt me? Will it benefit me? Does it taste good? That’s it, that is all I think about, yet still people feel the need to go too hard in the science and get lost in the labyrinth.

The Hurt

When I look at a food to figure out whether or not it will hurt me I take simple precautions to keep the things that cause me stress and pain away from getting into my stomach. I stay completely away from added sugar and grains as a base rule. They cause inflammation to rise in human bodies, so I stay away for the main problems I physically experience when I consume them. Another simple rule is I heavily limit the amount of fruits I eat. They have vitamins and all that stuff but fructose is processed in the liver and our bodies aren’t designed to eat fruit all the time. Starchy vegetables are limited as well as they usually have less nutrients.

Baseline inflammation varies from person to person, the manifestation of inflammation also varies. You can have a skinny person who eats the same as someone who is overweight, it doesn’t mean that the skinny person isn’t having problems you can’t see. Inflammation was a root cause of many factors in my life and when I removed that root from my life I noticed the inflammation I had went down dramatically, making me wonder where my baseline really was. I felt better overall but became more sensitive to the foods I thought I loved. To go over some of the real problems I had before I read all of these books I will give you some examples, and it isn’t even all of them.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have arthritis, anyone out there who has this can tell you its not a walk in the park, nor is it a run in the park. When I was younger I could run, not for very long but I could kick my little meat sticks and move forward even if I was the slowest kid in class. A little after high school I noticed problems with my hips and lower spine. This is an indicator that something is very wrong, so let me repeat in the internet form of slower and louder I WAS EXPERIENCING SIGNS OF ARTHRITIS AT AGE 19! I never told anyone that I couldn’t run for almost ten years because of back and hip problems. I had dreams of running and being truly mobile. After awaking from these dreams I would tear up knowing this wasn’t the case. Not running in turn caused my muscles to atrophy in the hip flexors and lower back so when I started getting better it was a much longer road. Eating the way I do keeps the autoimmune disorder from attacking my joints.

Massive Anxiety

I have high anxiety thanks to many factors in life you may or may not share with me including genetic from my parents. I had no idea where I was going in life when I was younger, I have a better idea now but its not set in stone. I was also an awkward kid who liked drawing and tried to make friends by doing so. This worked once in a while but I would not recommend it. I ate the Standard American Diet(SAD) at the time which caused me to be overweight. This diet was plastered all over the nurses office at my school showing that disgusting pyramid. There are vicious cycles everywhere you go, and with anxiety comes stress eating for many. I would stress eat candy and bread then drink sugary soda and milk. Eating garbage like that made my brain flip out because it wasn’t ready for all that stuff, but it kept telling me to eat it because we haven’t evolved out of the habit of consuming it because it was rare at one point. Cortisol gets produced when the body is under stress. Excessive amounts of sugar, starches and grains cause stress on the body as its trying to process something that it isn’t used to. So the vicious cycle was; react to something, get stressed, eat, react to something, get stressed, eat, react to something, get stressed I think you know where this is going.

Fat

I was a fat kid, no doubt about that. I was overweight most of my adult life up until now as well. I was teased in school which in turn caused me to eat more food and gain more fat. As I said, the cycles are everywhere. The sugars, grains and starches my body wasn’t used to were causing me to pump out more insulin, which caused storage of these foods. When I got stressed, insulin would pump itself out to combat that too so guess what? You guessed it, I gained stress weight on top of the regular weight from my diet. This also made me less mobile which caused me to be less athletic and boom, I was as far down as I’d ever been. Why would I feel the way I do about my fat? Why wouldn’t I embrace what I had and accept “body positivity”? Its literally pain driven, and that’s all. I wanted to be away from pain, not the pain of being made fun of or people telling me I should put down the cake. This pain was constant and could not be stopped by locking myself in my room.

Depression

With anxiety usually comes depression, imagine that. Depression kept me out of any particular social circle all the way through high school. Not that friends in different circles can’t be friends but it is weird when you have no real affiliation. I tried to be friends with people and was terrible at it, I felt like most of the people who talked to me at the time just felt sorry for me. This kept me from being an active person and I skipped every PE session I could. This also kept me from taking off my shirt to change in front of the other guys. Just the thought of having to possibly shower sent me through panic attacks so I smelled bad too. So being a smelly fat kid who had bouts of anxiety that caused me to lash out, somehow I wasn’t the popular kid. I did end up finding solace in some older kids who were willing to spend some time with me, most of them are still friends with me to this day. But just because someone has friends DOES NOT mean they aren’t depressed. Never ever think that just because you are telling someone, “I care about you” that they believe it. If you don’t believe what I just said then reread this whole paragraph out loud if you can. Thinking you are nothing isn’t new to anyone, they have all experienced it whether they admit it or not. Depression is was far worse in me when my hormones were out of whack, and for good reason. The brain is regulated by hormones. There are a hundred different drugs out there to treat depression and they all do the same thing; for good and or bad, they mess with the brain’s hormones. Sugar, grains and starches all have high impact on the hormone structure that the brain requires for functionality.

Hormone Monster

What also messes with hormones is other hormones, and if my cortisol was effected, so was my insulin. If my insulin and ghrelin have a link then what about leptin? So how far does the domino effect go? If you think the answer could possibly be all of them, you might be right. If these are all just hormones flipping about in the body, then is everything that we are doing caused by our disregulation of the one thing we actually own? I am thinking yes. Is there a proverbial first domino? There just might be, but not in the way one thinks of the linear domino system were there is a start and end. I said before that this the vicious cycle is everywhere. This is also a constant with these dominoes, they all lead to each other in one way or another and knocking one over results in similar patterns, but at the end they all fall down.

Have you ever been mesmerized by watching dominoes fall? The answer is yes, everyone has. The problem is we are all walking talking domino sets all stacked up and ready to get knocked over. I am tired of watching them get pushed down, I am here to stack mine up, and if anyone is willing to read, watch and listen to what I do on how I intend to get better then I am here for you and me.