“God is in the details,” the old saying goes, and I’m unfortunately learning that one the hard way.
When you’re adhering to a strict diet, or ANY diet for that matter, it’s the details –the little things! — that can really trip you up and make you want to quit. Sometimes it’s those details that seem like the difference between complete success and utter failure.
In my case, success is a delicate thread. I still have a branch of my left anterior descending artery (LAD) that is 97% blocked and unreachable with a stent. I’m not eating this way just to lose weight, I’m counting on it both to arrest and reverse my coronary artery disease. This means adhering strictly to this way of life. “No cheating,” as Dr. Esselstyn says…often…and to my chagrin…haunting my dreams.
This week, I found that one of my favorite dishes, Black Bean Tacos (flavored with packaged taco seasoning), had oil in it. I don’t know what prompted me to finally read the seasoning packet, but there it was…in black and white…soybean oil. It wasn’t much — just one of those little things — but to me it felt like utter failure.
“How many times have I eaten this,” I thought. “How much damage have I done? How far have I set myself back on this journey?”
It was a frustrating and somewhat devastating moment for me.
I started thinking of all the small ways I’d been “cheating” or not following closely enough. I started obsessing over taco sauce and the tofu we ate and how much sodium might have been in this or that.
I eventually stopped.
I went back to my loseit.com account, where I’m tracking my weight loss and occasionally tracking my meals. I looked at where I started and how far I’ve come. I thought about what it felt like to carry that weight around on my body and how awful I felt. I thought about how many times I’ve been to the hospital, thinking it was my last day of being alive. I thought about that photo where I look like a bloated mountain man and the awful foods I was eating when it was taken. I thought about how much I hated to be up and around back then, and how much easier it is now to simply take a walk or put away the food after dinner.
I’ve been losing in some of the little things, sure. But I’m still winning the war, and I won’t let anything change that.
If you’re on the road to health and find yourself experiencing a blowout, take heart. This is a journey. It’s a way of life, and your job is to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you reach your destination.
What “little things” are tripping you up in your journey towards good health?