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Eating the Standard American Diet (SAD)

So, Katie and I go at a minimum of two weeks in between what we refer to as a rare inappropriate, it is a phrase I got from Ray Cronise, for me it mentally separates the experience from what we all know as cheat meals. The concept of a cheat meal I think creates an unhealthy association in your mind of the experience, and it actually leads to more unhealthy habits. Anyways, we do this every so often because ultimately, we are not plant based whole food for ethical reasons, we both love steak and seafood and everything else that is bad for us, but we don’t feel well eating like that every single day, we want to eat healthier than that in order to feel better. This past weekend we had been planning on eating bad for two days because family was coming into town, that trip was postponed, but we had already planned on these meals, so we had Chinese food Thursday and pizza on Friday. Both meals were absolutely amazing, but the day after is always a reminder to me of the sluggishness that comes with meals heavy in fats, salt, and carbs combined. I get super bloated; I retain like five pounds of just water for two days it seems. So, while I love these meals, I use them as a reminder of why it is so important to me to eat better. And this all leads to the core of this blog, the pursuit of happiness, we all spend an inordinate amount of time in our lives worrying about how we look, I think to some degree most people in developed nations have body dysmorphia, I definitely do, and it is important to identify the things that make you unhappy and start to address them. I have found over the last five years of roller-coaster weights, 230 to 169 in a year, back to 240 and now just under 210; that health is one of my key underlying factors in happiness. When I’m skinny and I get to start buying smaller and smaller clothes, I am ecstatic and want to go out into the world and do things, but as I increase in weight I get more and more depressed leading me to stay home more and more. Both are feedback loops, and we all need to learn how to feed the right loop in order to be happier. Whatever it is in the world that keeps you depressed, it is important to be self-aware and figure out that thing, then you need to dig deep and start addressing that thing. And you may have to try many things, what works for one person may not work for you, I have been clinically depressed most of my life, this last five years though has been a huge awakening for me in figuring out what drives me and makes me happy. For me personally, my self-image of how fat or skinny I am ties directly into my happiness, I have been working hard on that this year, not just the losing weight part, but breaking that cycle. I want to be skinny, but I don’t want to be happy because I’m skinny, I want to feel healthy, and that drives my happiness. That is why breaking the link in my brain of “delicious” food, i.e. the S.A.D., is important, I seek healthy options more often than not now, because they make me feel healthier, and that makes me happier.

- Matt

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