I’m going to tell you with some amount of pride that a “mess o’ ribs” just doesn’t DO it for me anymore.
Not long ago — only a few months, truthfully — I was a connoisseur of all things meat.
I low carb’d it, often living on bacon-wrapped chicken and salad (with cheese and lots of dressing) as the staple of my healthy diet. I wasn’t worried about the fat. I just knew I was losing weight, and losing it fairly quickly.
Inevitably, however, the carb cravings would catch up with me…I would engorge myself with cake or candy bars, and within a week, I was up 10 pounds and feeling awful.
I initially struggled with my current lifestyle, too, mind you. I haven’t cheated, but getting “creative” with dinners hasn’t always been something I’ve had the time to do. And, to be truthful, this is a diet that requires PREPARATION. I can’t stress that enough to the four of you. Now, slap each other and say, “I love Justin Bieber and play with Barney toys!”
What were we talking about again?
Preparation, that’s right. Like preparing a blog entry that stays on topic. Yeah, like that.
So early on with Esselstyn, I would forget to pack a lunch and, not really knowing what to do, I would just pick up salad stuff and dress it with straight Balsamic Vinegar. It wasn’t the most appetizing thing I’ve done, but I put my head down and took my lumps. It taught me to be more prepared, which I’ve mentioned before…right?!
These were the most perilous days for me. It would’ve been easy to say, “Geez, I’ll just go to Zaxby’s and get a chicken salad. At least it’s ‘healthy.'” I would’ve been wrong, and I knew the damage it would do both to my body and my progress.
I say all this to say that, after four months of living this way, I have indeed lost the taste and craving for FAT, and this is a triumph for me!
I recoil at cheeseburgers with their dripping grease. I’m appalled by a slab of ribs and the pool of thick barbecue sauce and fat-congealing. I know that I would have a violent reaction to those foods if I ate them, and my body reacts accordingly. The smells don’t waft through my nose with the same allure. The sight of their pallid and muted hues hardly compares to the vibrant colors of the food I eat. They don’t hold pleasure for me. At all.
Why am I telling you all this…as if I’ve figured it all out?
I’m telling you this to encourage you in this one fact: IT. GETS. EASIER.
It gets easier to stay away from the “comfort foods” that provide no real comfort at all. It gets easier to avoid the frozen pizza bites because there’s no time and nothing else on the menu tonight. It gets easier to avoid the candy aisle, grabbing something from the produce section instead. It gets easier to avoid the convenience of a drive-thru when you don’t know what else to do. It all gets easier.
The longer you go, the easier it gets. The more you do it, the more preparation you learn.
These days, I’m thinking ahead constantly. If I’m invited to lunch, I might direct us to a more vegan-friendly establishment where I might get the food I need. If I’m meeting up with family after work, I might have dinner for myself, so that I’m not hungry and won’t dig into the goodies. If I know we’ve run out of leftovers or the pantry’s getting low, I’ll make sure to call home, check in, and stop at the store to stock up on something I can make quickly (usually rice and beans).
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a fear-based motivation. I’m not constantly afraid I’ll screw up if I don’t prepare. It’s RESOLVE. I eat a certain way for very good reason. Therefore, I will prepare my food in every situation.
I’m telling you all this because there is a point at which it will get easier and easier for you to travel the narrow road to health. One of the reasons so many doctors don’t recommend this lifestyle to their patients is because they believe it’s TOO STRICT. It certainly takes preparation, but people can learn to live in any situation. Just ask the Inuit up in Canada. Jeez.
I’m also telling you all this because I’m a nobody. I’m a nobody who is doing this everyday.
And if a flaky, procrastinating nobody like me can do it, you most assuredly can.
What obstacles do you think are keeping you from healthy living?