For a while I was starting to experience some serious brain fog and a lack of motivation. I had gained a significant amount of weight and began to feel more and more sluggish, and less and less like writing. I could not focus and I was beginning to experience some health issues. Not only was a getting heavier, but my blood pressure was going up, and to an alarming degree. The problem? My extremely unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

About two years ago I lost 65 pounds and improved my diet, and my health was getting better. Unfortunately I got way off track and began to eat fast food and stopped exercising. This all got worse when I started working in an office where I would often go to fast food joints for lunch, and even again after I got off work for dinner. I was eating so many useless carbs and so much sugar with sweet tea and the occasional caramel frappe, or milkshake, or ice cream, or even soda, that I started to feel worse and worse, and I thought that I could get it under control eventually, but I wasn’t. I gained a third of my weight back, began to loathe my physical appearance, and felt less and less focused. I almost lost interest in writing and was in a fog all the time.

The biggest scare was my blood pressure. I went to my appointment to receive my antipsychotic injection and my blood pressure was through the roof, which terrified me. I knew at that point I needed to change everything drastically if I was going to get any healthier. I needed to lose the weight, improve my diet, and cut out a lot of toxic lifestyle choices that were literally killing me. And that is what I began to do.

Two years ago I felt on top of the world. I was getting leaner, was focused and diligent, motivated to succeed, and was on my way to a better life, until I drifted away from it when I got my job. I was anxious and frustrated, and therefore gave up on healthy living. That was the end of feeling good.

It is true that I have felt better from a mental health standpoint, but I felt incredibly frustrated because I could not stop procrastinating. I was getting more and more worried that I would never even start the novels I had in my head, never mind finish them when I wanted to, and I was going nowhere on my website or podcast. I was barely writing, not really reading, and overall I was wasting away. Junk food was screwing up my brain and body to the point where I had no energy and no hope for a successful future if I could not get back on track.

After finding out my blood pressure was sky high, I made some serious changes, and I knew that the biggest change I was going to have to make was cutting out sugar and reducing my intake of empty carbohydrates. I stopped eating bread, began eating more leafy greens, and meats. I am no longer going to eat fast food or high calorie junk that does nothing but satiate taste buds, considering that I need to clean them out of my body.

Making these adjustments have helped me tremendously already. I am starting to lose some weight, but the greatest improvement it the reduction in my brain fog. I am much more alert, focused, motivated, and I already feel more energized and better about myself and my life. I feel as though I have regained control over my diet again, and I am going to do my absolute best to stay on track, and permanently this time. I do not want to go back to feeling the disorganized chaos I have been feeling for quite some time.

I have written more in the last three days than I have in the two weeks prior, and that gives me a sense of hope that I will continue to do so in the future. My mind is starting to wake up again, and the ideas I have are becoming more and more colorful and exciting. This all proves to me that diet plays an extremely important role in how we function and how we are able to process things emotionally and cognitively. And the fact that I am starting to drop pounds is all the encouragement I need to keep going.

I have many hopes for 2018 and one of them is to improve my health markers and get into better shape so that I can stay around longer. I do not want to die young of health issues that can be prevented now while I am young, and it would be good to get into the shape I envision in my mind. But the biggest and most important goal is health of body and mind, and getting my blood pressure down to a healthy normal.

When I am able to purchase insurance, I want to go to a nutritionist and get all my blood work done to see where I am at and where I need to go. As far as that goes, it might be a little while, but in the mean time I can start doing what I know I need to do to get in better shape.

My writing has also improved and I think I can finally start to get my website up. I was just so unfocused and frustrated before and the clearer my mind gets, the more productive I will be able to be and the better the writer I can become. Something as simple and adjusting the diet can give you the boost you need. I think that the American diet has become so centered on sugar that we are seeing ourselves fall away from our potential. I have a hard time with those who say that sugar isn’t an issue when twice now I have seen vast improvements in my life when I get away from it.

When I was a kid and younger teen, I barely ate sugar, and I was in excellent shape and physical health (until my mental breakdown which happened independently from physical health and that was the turning point downward) and I was more active. I was 6’1” and weighed a lean 180 pounds, which was perfect for my age. Now I am way off that and it is time for me to get back on the wagon and start myself in a better mode of living.

From my perspective, diet plays the most essential role in my mental focus and I am excited to see what this year brings. Hopefully I can get to a nutritionist and work with them to get on the right track.