Last week, I had the opportunity to begin monthly consultations with a nutritionist through a collaboration between my day program and the local community action concern. It was an insightful meeting where I learned to make better changes to improve my health.
One of the biggest takeaways that I got through her was the need to continue the many other efforts that I have been doing the past few decades such as going to my weekly weight loss support group and being accountable to the scale. Even though I gained over 200 pounds in the course of the past two decades, things are starting to turn around for the better.
I had started in recent weeks making swaps of the foods that I eat in my home, but now I realize that I have to eat evenly and often. I should have breakfast, lunch and dinner along with three snacks a day. The attention of this consultation was the need to start the day off right with a healthy breakfast and a morning snack. I am doing well with the morning snack, but the breakfast, while I thought I was in the right mindset, needed to focus as in all meals, all the food groups.
Last week, breakfast consisted of 2 eggs, Cheerios, Milk and fruit. I haven’t always been keen on incorporating fruit into my food palate since I have many sensitivity issues to many of them But the nutritionist encouraged me to have what works for me. I started off with a package of sliced apples from the local supercenter. This has now become a daily habit with breakfast and some snacks, wherein I have some peanut butter to accompany it as a protein.
Incorporating healthier foods is indeed progress. Many times those that assist in nourishing autistics no longer want to fight the battle of introducing new food to an individual’s diet. It can be a big and challenging and even sometimes messy battle that is rarely won. You have to do what works for the individual. Acquired tastes do not happen overnight and they have to be incorporated slowly into the food palate. Who would have thought I would also have been eating more vegetables as I have been in the past year, let alone getting comfortable in the kitchen?
Autistics often do not learn in the way that their neurotypical peers do. As was with my weight challenges, it took until something clicked to need to stop being senseless. I remember not being able to make it through the supercenter until I reached my highest weight ever in 2021. Those that cared for me were scared and didn’t know what to do. I can tell you that while I’m starting to be more accountable to myself, in hindsight, I am doing WAY better than I was back then and now realize that I have to be in control of what I need to do to be healthy.
It isn’t saying that I need to go completely rogue, but I know I need to make a lifestyle change to be healthier, not for looks, not for others, but for me. I didn’t put this weight on overnight and it won’t come off overnight, it will take time. The main thing is that I recognize that I need to change my ways, I have to want to do it and it starts with me. Everyone has their “a-ha” moments, about a month ago, I had mine. I know that this is the way to go and make what was great better. Change isn’t always easy to conquer, especially if it involves trying new foods that you have challenges that make it more difficult to undertake, but I know that it is worth it in the end and that it is a necessary lifestyle change that will better my health for my own good.