Tipping the Scales

Americans have been trying to lose weight for decades with fad diets, silly products and short term work out programs that claim to give fast results. Most of us are probably rolling our eyes at this and that’s a good thing because most of this stuff is ridiculous.

According to a recent study, Americans are dieting less; and women, who make up for 85% of diet-product consumers, are leading the decline. This may be because people are looking for long-term solutions to health, searching for safer and more sustainable lifestyles.

We are reining in our consumeristic behavior as we see concepts like minimalism on the rise. In my experience, living simpler and using unconventional methods to help change my own thought process yielded in big results all around.

I’m excited to share my own journey in which I learned how to prescriptively use cannabis to heal my gut and my anxiety; resulting in a 45 pound weight-loss and counting.

Working in the wine and spirits industry, I tricked myself into believing that drinking was a part of my job. A lifestyle I had to indulge in order to schmooze clients and stay up to date on the hottest and newest food and beverage trends. Many of my clients were out of state and I travelled at least once a month to visit them – sometimes more.

Quickly I learned that traveling for work (and kind of in general) is not as glamorous as it appears to be on social media. Lots of crammed flights, common colds, lonely nights in a hotel and working late – I was not happy and certainly not healthy. Eating out for every meal, excessive drinking and even the occasional cigarette (which I convinced myself was completely harmless) had thrown my body, mind and spirit completely out of sync.

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March 2015 while traveling to Napa for a wine & beverage conference

I remember returning from one trip in particular and actually felt pain in my knees when I got out of bed. I went to step on the scale and in just a year I had managed to gain 35 pounds, a nightly wine habit and a boatload of anxiety. I felt so down and so embarrassed that for the first time in a really long time, I sobbed. That day, I decided to change my life forever.

Soon after my epiphany, I started breaking out into a horrible, itchy rash on my arms and chest that would not go away, because the universe decided that just feeling like crap wasn’t enough. After a few trips to the doctor, an allergist confirmed that I have a gluten allergy but on top of that, stress and other factors could be contributing as to why it manifested at that time. This also explains the depression and anxiety that I was experiencing – symptoms that are highly impacted by diet and gluten in particular.

Giving up wheat was not hard for me at the time because I was so ready to make a big lifestyle change and tired of being sick and tired. I cleaned out my pantry and did a total reset. Instead of grains I turned to vegetables, instead of sugar I turned to fruit and instead of alcohol… I turned to cannabis.

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I decided to give up my nightly half (sometimes full) bottle of wine that I convinced myself I needed for stress and replaced it prescriptively with Mary Jane. I’ve always enjoyed cannabis, but rarely did I partake when alcohol wasn’t involved and when I did, it was purely for recreation. I knew a little about the medicinal benefits of cannabis and how it’s been shown to help ease symptoms of celiac disease, depression and anxiety but was too nervous to see a doctor who would prescribe it.

Thankfully I didn’t have to because my home state of Washington made it legal 2015; so I could reap the benefits without having to make a doctors appointment or pay an out of pocket expense for a medical marijuana card.

Excited to explore my new legal options and develop my wellness routine, I kept an open mind and went into my first recreational store. I shopped for something that would help me wind down and to ease my chronically upset stomach. I bought a gram of platinum girl scout cookies and began my healing journey with the herb.

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Image Courtesy of Leafly

I instantly noticed the benefits of being prescriptive with cannabis. I slept deeper, I wasn’t dragging in the morning, my stomach was no longer in knots and my waistline began to melt away. My anxiety and irritability disappeared and were replaced with feelings of gratitude and happiness. Using cannabis allowed me to relax; it helped me to squash the negative talk in my head and bring me into the present moment.

This was the birth of a new beautiful theme in my life – Mindful Consumption.

It’s so easy to over-indulge in anything you love be it food, sweets, wine, alcohol, television etc.. When you over consume the things that you love – the things that you love begin to consume you. It may seem obvious but it’s hard for many of us to put mindful consumption into practice.

I found that medicating with cannabis helped me slow down and take a break from the constant stimulation that we’re all faced with all of the time. Slowing down ultimately helped me consume less; look at my phone less, eat less, drink less, compare less, spend less, drive less…. you get the idea.

Your body, mind and spirit are all unified; if one of those things is out of balance, all of them are. A holistic approach is the key to being healthy in all areas of your life. Cannabis helped me heal my negative thoughts and create a positive climate in my mind. This positive shift resulted in me saying yes to activities that would normally make me uncomfortable due to being too self-conscious. Freeing my mind from this negativity ultimately resulted in a better body because I was no longer afraid to push my physical limits.

Using this healing herb with intention was effective for me but there was certainly some trial and error involved – meaning some strains worked for me while others didn’t. Like wine, coffee or tea, you’ll develop your own preferences as your canna-palate matures.

I highly (no pun intended) recommend microdosing with edibles or using a dry leaf vaporizer to achieve the benefits that I experienced. When you microdose, cannabis acts more like a vitamin or supplement, allowing you to tap into your intention instead of getting too stoned. Modern cannabis culture shows that this historically controversial plant can actually aid in productivity, creativity, muscle recovery, and so much more so long as you are mindfully consuming.

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March 2017 at Tacoma’s St. Patty’s Day Run

Two years later, I am 45 pounds lighter, one million times happier and aside from the healthy amount, stress-free. I’ve come a long way on this path and work hard every day to keep my balance. Through mindful consumption and practice, I’ve learned how to quiet my mind and listen to my body. When I started practicing intention, I was able to develop the life I have always wanted; and cannabis helped me do that, one present moment at a time.

Would you incorporate cannabis into your wellness routine? Comment below!

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