I was heading into a half of a century here in this world. Looking back over the decades I wondered if I was always tired. Not the it’s winter and cold and I am seasonally depressed kind of tired. More of the everyday I have to make myself get up and then I run a million miles an hour and have an energy crash after lunch that may or may not improve before the work day is over. Only to go home and ask myself on the drive if I have the energy to cook dinner or pick something up or neither.
If I understood chemistry or physics at all I might be able to actually realize the compounded effort it took to move me forward through the inertia …. but since I don’t, I just called it adrenaline. Adrenaline drove me through the decades of:
- my career consuming me and my desire to learn and do which was greater than being tired
- raising my 3 kids; 3 in 2.5 years and having to do because you have these humans totally dependent on you
- slowing down physically but leaning into my faith and trying to have purpose in my community
The bottom-line is that it all takes energy.
As I approached 50, I was tired of being tired. I never have really exercised in my life. Dieting always made me eat more and worse. I needed a change.
Did I mention that health has been on my yearly goals and prayer list for years? I have needed energy for years and years but now I really felt I needed it more than ever. After all, I am aging, and:
- I want to run my business with energy and enthusiasm
- I want to travel more and visit kids in college
- I want to physically be able to lift and play with my grandchildren
Finally, I have made progress. I have been working on it for (9) months – a record breaking nine months for me! Although I am certainly no role model, I wanted to share some of my journey to inspire other hard-working, aging, tired people that there is a way even for us.
The biggest benefit has been in my business.
I feel better, get more done, and have more enthusiasm with my clients …..even at the end of the day!
Today, I just want to focus on how changing my food changed my world.
I changed the way I eat.
The energy roller coaster was a big part of how I ate. I would minimize breakfast, work for hours and then eat a big lunch. Then, I wanted a nap.
I went to a health coach and he really helped me get started and stay on track. I think the success factor was that we are not working on a diet, we are working on a way of eating. Here were a few things he planned for me that really worked.
- We focused on regulating my blood sugar. He moved me to the oh-so-popular eating 5-6 times a day instead of 2-3 big meals. Just this in itself really helped me stabilize my energy during the day and significantly reduced my headaches. The second piece to regulating my blood sugar was making sure that in each of the 5-6 smaller meals/snacks that I had a carb, a fat and a protein. Having a small portion of protein every few hours helps a lot. The results just from this change were a steady energy through the day, eliminated my headaches, significantly reduced my constant dehydration, and improved my mood.
- We eliminated grains from my diet. This was not as hard for me as I know it would be for others. I am not a big bread and pasta person. Although I still like an occasional cornbread muffin or bun with my hamburger, I can say that I have eliminated at least 90% of the bread and pasta I was eating. I don’t think I have a gluten issue or anything. I think that carbs from bread and pasta just cause a temporary boost in energy and then you drop more quickly. I think this has stabilized the roller coaster.
- Only use butter, olive oil and coconut oil as a fat. Coconut oil was hard for me regardless of the health benefits. That is until they told me about Spectrum Coconut Oil. It doesn’t have any flavor. It is perfect. I put it in everything I cook.
These three first steps were a huge change for me and I believe have had the biggest impact on feeling better. I have always cooked a lot and generally use all fresh ingredients. Over the last 9 months, I have pretty much eliminated any processed or boxed foods that were still hanging around from my life.
There is much more that I am working on, but if you are like me, you have to start on one area of health at a time. So, I will stop with these tips for now.
I would love to hear what works for you. Or if you are struggling, what are your biggest energy issues? Maybe I can share some of what I have learned.