Saturday, October 19, 2013
I belong to several wonderful and amazing groups who are committed to the same path that I have, more or less. I also follow every committed juice faster and raw foodist that I can find on youtube. Lately I have seen a rash of people hitting "bumps in the road." It always hurts my heart to see/hear someone questioning their own commitment and wondering if they should throw away all they've accomplished because of the slip ups, whether it be the first one or the 101st one. I have a favorite saying: "You never fail until you quit." The problem is that when you really screw the pooch and dive headfirst into a mountain of processed or fast food, all your past failures and all the nasty chemicals start whispering to you that you are a failure; that you "can't do it" and trying to convince yourself to tune those voices out is really hard while you are under that influence. It's like trying to talk to an alcoholic about AA WHILE they are drunk. It just doesn't work.
I consider there to be two kinds of slip-ups. Lets get this straight first. There are slip-ups and then there is screwing the pooch. A slip-up is, for example, eating too much of a food that is actually allowed on your plan. The food is okay but you ate much more of it than planned. Or perhaps you ate a slice of tomato while on a juice fast. It isn't going to really mess with your head in a chemical way but it wasn't "The Plan." Now screwing the pooch is an entirely different thing. For example, going for a value meal at McDonalds, possibly followed up with a box of donuts or a trip to Braum's for a brownie fudge sundae. Of course, there are also all the degrees in between. I have had slip-ups but since I started down this path back in August, I haven't screwed the pooch even once. Not even close. I see these people who seem so committed and so strong and who are even having great results slip and sometimes fall altogether. The ones who just never show back up break my heart. The ones that get up, dust themselves off, and trot right back down that path again are heroes.
As I said, I've encountered quite a few of both types of slip-ups, fall-downs and crash and burns lately and it's got me asking myself how have I avoided it? I have only experienced the milder version of slip-ups and one week of trying to put bread back into my diet and discovering that was a bad idea. (Previous blog - and for the record, I have taken off the lbs I regained from that little experiment as of today.) Every healthy thing I have attempted in my entire life, I have thoroughly screwed up within short order and then I've given up entirely. Every time and there have been many. Weight watchers, Nutrisystem, Atkins, South Beach, you name it. I have been the Crowned Queen of excuses and giving up. How have I avoided that this time?
I know this will sound simplistic but it really, really isn't. I have not screwed any pooches this time for a couple of reasons. This plan, this path, juicing and whole foods is awesome. That's reason number one. I don't feel deprived. I have learned the truth about the caca I was eating before and I really, truly, deeply don't have any interest in putting that junk in my body anymore. I've become an activist for my own cause. Me. The other reason is a little harder to articulate so bear with me.
I have changed my personal dialogue - you know you have conversations with yourself in your head, don't deny it. I don't stand in front of a mirror and tell myself I'm thin and healthy and becoming more successful every day. (Nothing against affirmations. If they work for you, knock yourself out.) I have literally internalized and come to believe different things about myself. I think of myself as someone who has conquered a huge slavering beast and come out of it with super powers, because I did. I think of myself as someone who loves all those beautiful rainbow treats in the produce section, because I am. For real. I think of myself who has the number of the food industry liars and the FDA and the Dept of Ag liars and doesn't fall for their bs anymore. I'm smarter than that. I think of myself as someone who sets a good example for her family and friends because I AM. And I think of myself as someone who is clearly losing weight and becoming healthier and stronger every day Because. I. Am. There used to be evil little voices in my head questioning every move I made. Telling me that I will fail at this just like I've failed at everything else. Nowadays that voice is mostly gone and on the days when it tries to speak up again, it is drowned out by the Superhero in my head who knows better.
I am human and, let's face it, the holidays are approaching like a locomotive. I was concerned that the first big test would be all the masses of Halloween candy that appeared a couple of weeks ago. But honest to goodness, it just isn't even on my radar. Not even when a friend holds out a big basket of it and says, "have a piece!" I mean it sincerely when I tell you it isn't even difficult to say, "No thanks." If I ever, finally, face that day, that situation, that I can't say no to and I experience a true Screw-the-pooch moment, I am confident that I will have the strength to turn right back down my chosen path. But I reject the conventional wisdom that says that day is inevitable.