14 Nov Guest Post: My Dear Husband: Diet
After Colby posted last year while we were on vacation, I thought it would become something more regular, but looks like it might just be an annual tradition. When I asked him to post while we were on our trip, I was VERY surprised with what he sent me! Let’s just say that when Colby and I started dating we had very different eating habits. I like healthy things. He does not. One thing I love so much about him is his willingness to do anything for me and for our future babies. For someone to live off veggies, meats, some fruits, and nuts is very impressive, especially after he has had such a terrible diet for so many years. He has been such a trooper and must now be passionate about the topic of taking care of our bodies since that is what he decided to share about with us today! Thanks Colby! Love you!
Over the past several months, Caroline and I made some strict changes to our diets based on the Phase 1 diet research and recommendations. It basically cut out all sugar, grain, alcohol, and caffeine…the base of my food pyramid for way too long, unfortunately! It also cuts very specific foods like corn, peanuts, and potatoes for various reasons while encouraging fresh and natural meats, vegetables, berries (most higher sugar fruits are banned), nuts, eggs, and limited dairy.
Making such a drastic change wasn’t always fun or easy, but we of course have a strong medical need and a desire for increased fertility as a motivation. Recent travel and upcoming holidays have eased the restrictions and vigilance we placed on our diets this summer, but I wanted to share some takeaways from the experience with the hopes of encouraging and challenging anyone needing or desiring a similar change in their life.
Diet > Exercise
When the topic comes up – and it does frequently when you’re declining to eat out and consistently eating such plain and nutritious food – people widely hold the same belief: when its time to get in better shape or lose weight, I’ll start exercising more or join a gym. A few more hours of running and strength training per week will get me back to where I want to be. These are absolutely fantastic steps and parts of positively changing your health and life. The problem is, it’s relatively a very small part. People boldly make these types of declarations, but will not address the things that they eat or drink. It’s not even on the table for discussion. Maybe it’s that our culture has overemphasized the benefits of exercise, a deep-down knowledge of the morning to night consumption sacrifice, or all things in between. But let’s be honest – a constant commitment to eating right is far more powerful than occasional exercise. Let go of the deceptive half-truth that exercise and an active lifestyle permits you to eat any and every thing. Real changes will come when you are ready to take an honest look at the things you are eating and drinking on a daily (hourly, really) basis.
In the same conversations, I advise people that they should only change their diets if they meet one or more of these conditions: are you unhappy with how feel physically (sickness/pain/medical conditions/prescriptions), are you unhappy with your physical appearance, or are you unhappy with your quality of sleep (and energy/alertness/focus through the day). What percentage of Americans could say that they are satisfied with all three? For most of my life, I felt like I was. But our battle with infertility knocked me out of that belief and gave me cause to learn about and make important dietary changes in my life. Ultimately, that struggle will serve to be a blessing on my future by freeing me from destructive eating habits and choices. Our children will be blessed by health and wisdom in this essential area of life, and future generations will benefit – all born from the need that came from the struggle of infertility.
Plan and Prepare
- make it a fun challenge and experiment on your own body with a reasonable starting goal of a couple of weeks, then try making it months
- find a partner or friend to join in this challenge with, because having someone to talk with (and answer to!) about such a difficult change is key
- be ready for social settings and travel as eating out and parties are the biggest obstacle to being disciplined about eating
- grocery shopping, cooking, and theirs costs will be changing too, so allow for the expense of higher quality meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, and berries
- check out Caroline’s past posts for greater detail and tips about cooking, recipes, and other practical ways to pursue greater health
We are hopeful that this is one part of our journey to a natural pregnancy, and are sure that it will reap benefits in every day of a long and healthy life. It is not our source of hope – we believe that our loving and compassionate God is answering our prayers and healing us in this and in a variety of other ways to bring us the family we desire at the perfect time. Our trust, hope, and joy is in Him alone.