Our diet is so incredibly important to our health, our wellbeing, our happiness.
What we eat can have a direct impact on how we feel, our mental health and state of mind. I’ve experienced it firsthand and am still surprised at and fascinated by the positive results.
Before I embarked on this alimentary adventure, I would experience daily mood swings, episodes of depression and extreme anxiety, not to mention daytime sleepiness, confusion and irritability, as well as a variety of physical symptoms.
Uncontrollable weight gain made matters even worse. First, the process was slow and steady: 6 kg in a little over two years. However, in the last month, I was gaining 1 kg per week, which made me realise something was seriously wrong.
I reached out to a nutritionist specialised in autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalances. Although the adjustment process hasn’t always been easy – it’s more of a lifestyle change that a diet – the outcome is worth every effort.
Her recommendations? Eliminate all product groups that can cause inflammation in the body, meaning gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Having lived for many years in Italy, that sounded like a life-sentence. What would I eat, then?
Well, having followed this new food regimen for three months now, I am happy to report that I’m feeling – and hopefully looking – much, much better. I’ve lost 5 out of 10 kg that I had gained and, most importantly, my overall well-being has improved greatly.
No more mid-afternoon sleepiness attacks, unpredictable mood swings and dramatic stress responses. I feel more balanced and self-aware. I’ve learned to make better choices for myself and improved my health along the way.
What I wasn’t expecting is that this new diet would affect so much more than my food choices – it really is a new lifestyle. Some of my friends are supportive, some are skeptical, contrary or even hostile.
In all honestly, I really feel like a different person sometimes, so I can’t blame them for missing the old me: the tipsy, loose-lipped, always party-ready girl who’s now happily reconnected to her introvert side.
I’m still very self-conscious about my my new healthy habits, so social situations – especially dating – feels daunting. But I’m learning to find the courage to stand up for myself and refuse to let others run my live.
And it feels pretty damn good.
What about you? Have you ever experienced the food-mood connection? How do you deal with dietary and lifestyle changes? Please, share your stories in the comments section below.