Now in this paragraph you might expect me to rant about the evils of our society embracing sugar, or the ease of obtaining non healthy foods, causing us to sway. You might even expect a paragraph about how eventually my life got busy and it just became easier to not exercise or eat right for a day, then a week, then a month, then a year. Even I am amazed that I’m not churning out an eloquent series of words about how the world is always against us, but this time I will overcome.
But the truth is, the world isn’t against us and the time, choice, and ability to be healthy is right there inside each of us. OK, please don’t give up reading this blog yet, thinking I’m going to get all preachy and try to have you throw your sodas away, I have a point to make that might still hit home with you.
Think back to a point when you actively decided to become healthier in your life. Maybe you counted calories, cut out sweets, hit the gym five times a week, or the hundred other things you could do. After a couple of months, you started to feel different I’m sure. You reached a point where you looked in the mirror and saw some changes in your body. You started walking a little taller because of the 10-15 pounds you likely lost and it seemed like some of the weight on your heart had lifted. When you left the gym or healthy activity, it’s like you could feel yourself losing weight and you embraced that feeling.
That feeling sustained you for the most part, but after three months, the rope of reality starts to tug on you and desperately tries to throw you off track. Maybe you get sick for a week and it throws you off. Possibly a vacation where you throw caution and eating to the wind, vowing to enjoy yourself and then “get back on the horse” once you arrive home, only to realize how tough it is to get into those routines once again. Maybe you are just tired of going to a party and eating the carrot sticks while everyone else is enjoying the frosted brownies. (Sorry, that last one is from my history.)
Now stop thinking about the moments you failed, and go back in your mind to that healthy point I talked about two paragraphs ago. That moment is happening to me right now after just 18 days of my experiment. I have reached a point in my quest that has typically taken months to reach, months of sacrifice, months of dedication, and months of sheer daily willpower. Yes, I made a change that many people will see as “drastic” in our society or impossible to achieve in their eyes, but I can say that it isn’t impossible if someone like me can tackle it. I have been able to shop for and eat regular food, I’ve eaten my fill and never felt hungry, I’ve never counted a calorie or measured a portion, and my body has adjusted. On top of that, today was only my second trip to the gym and it’s not like I’m doing the Biggest Loser marathon workouts.
Look, I can’t say for sure what will happen on April 1st when my experiment is officially over, but I can say this. Doing this experiment has put me in a place mentally and physically in less than three weeks, versus the 2 – 3 months it’s taken me in the past to reach the same point. The beauty of this is that with so little time invested for the results; maybe my willpower can still go for another month or two after this. Possibly at that point, my body and physical ability will be at a point where I set another goal based on where I am then, I just don’t know.
I raised the question in my first blog about what would you do or give up for a month for a big reward at the end, but let me adjust that. If you are at a point in your life where you want to be healthy, would you give up sugar and flour for one month if it meant you didn’t have to sacrifice your time and energy to reach the same place in three? How much is your cereal, pizza, soda, etc worth to you at that point?
In the end, I appreciate you spending your time reading my thoughts and following along with my experiment. I enjoy it when I’m told that I motivated you or someone to start down a healthy path. My biggest fear is that I’ll become “that guy” to folks. “That guy who did something you think you could never do.” “That guy that has so much more motivation than you do.” “That guy who is just crazy to try something like this.” “That guy who has tons of willpower and inner strength, which is why he could do something that I could never do.”
Honestly, I’m just “that guy” who decided to try an experiment because he needed to do SOMETHING. I’m “that guy” that ate 3-4 packages of Keebler cookies in the final days before starting this experiment because I needed to “work it out” of my system before giving everything up. I’m “that guy” that is no different from you and is now afraid of losing this amazing feeling in my body and mind after just eighteen days of giving up flour and sugar.
Be who you are, but understand that you are capable of amazing things. What would you give up for thirty days and for what reward.
What I ate today
- Yes the same old thing, but I realized something interesting today. In the beginning of the month I relied pretty heavy on cheese on my food. As time passes, I find myself using less cheese and enjoying the main ingredients more. Either I’m getting tired of cheese, or I just don’t need it as much.
- Salad for lunch. I really wanted to make another batch of taco meat so I could change things up, but I went grocery shopping instead and had no time.
- Dinner was a chicken sausage bonanza. Almost like a stir fry, it had cauliflower, zuccinini, chicken sausage chunks, and various other things that I couldn’t identify. I had a sweet potato on the side, something I’ve come to enjoy just eating plain with no butter or seasoning. We just cook the sweet potatoes for a long period of time and then get all soft and tasty.
Onward to day nineteen.