Our Healthy Eating Journey, Part 9By
I had just been released from the hospital from complications from asthma and Malachi was miserable with his eczema…something had to give. We were starting to make several changes in the way we ate (more whole grains, more organic produce) and the way we cleaned (no harmful chemicals in our cleaning products)…but I was NOT willing to give up my Pepsi. I did feel a little ridiculous drinking a Pepsi (or three) with my organic, free range chicken…but what-ever. I needed my Pepsi!
So, do you want to know what FINALLY broke me of drinking Pepsi? I’m sorry if it’s not as exciting or enlightening as you were maybe hoping it would be…but this is my Pepsi quitting story nonetheless:
We had several thousand dollars worth of medical bills from my hospital visit (insurance didn’t touch it because there was a rider on my asthma). Nor did insurance cover one bit of the Osteopathic treatments we were experimenting with to try to get my asthma and Malachi’s eczema under control. (This is not an insurance bashing post…we just had a lame insurance plan.) Bills were stacking up like crazy. Our financial reserves were pretty much gone.
I basically had to make a decision: Keep eating poorly and drinking lots of Pepsi and remain sick, while spending LOTS of money to try to improve my health. (Sounds like money down the drain, huh?) Or, stop hurting my body and let the money we were putting into my health be WORTH SOMETHING.
I was an all or nothing Pepsi drinker. I couldn’t just have a little. If I had a little…I would have a lot. And then I would have some more.
I was going to have to quit.
As I was wrestling with all of this and “trying to quit”, one of my friends who was quite a few months ahead of me on the healthy eating journey (and who was worried sick over my health) said to me, “Laura, you’re so sick. Your asthma is out of control. You can’t keep up with your kids. You need nourishment.”
Nourishment. I needed nourishment. My family needed nourishment.
Funny isn’t it that although I’d already read through Nourishing Traditions and looked into eating a healthier diet…I still hadn’t equated food with nourishment.
I had taken all the information I’d learned and just worked to avoid pesticides and avoid hydrogenated oils and avoid high fructose corn syrup…but I’d forgotten that the big point of eating is to fill our bodies with nourishment!!
Until then, eating and food was all about “dos” and “don’ts”. Don’t eat fat. Oh wait, do eat healthy fat. Don’t eat red meat. Oh wait, do eat grass fed red meat. Don’t eat eggs. Oh wait, do eat free range eggs. Don’t eat food coloring, additives, pesticides, chicken from the store, etcetera, etcetera. But do eat organic produce, free range chicken, food without preservatives, etcetera, etcetera.
That simple statement from my friend, “Laura, you need nourishment” was a light bulb moment for me. I suddenly saw food for what it was: a way to nourish every part of our body.
And the Pepsi? Not only was it not giving me nourishment…it was completely wrecking me. What in the WORLD was my body supposed to do with all the Pepsi I was putting into it?
I quit drinking Pepsi that day. I missed it, I craved it, I had withdrawals from it. But I knew that I had to just give it up. I had lots of support. And I had so many reasons to stop my Pepsi madness. Five of them are my most precious men who count on me to take care of them every day.
I then had to change the way I thought about Pepsi. I had to stop believing the lie that “I needed my Pepsi”. I had to change my afternoon “relax with a Pepsi” habit and I had to replace it with a healthy habit. I had to pray. I had to be strong.
So now that I’d conquered the Pepsi addiction…what was next in our healthy eating journey? Ugh, so many other healthy eating changes I thought my head would fall off.
To be continued…
This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday.