Diet is one of those four-letter words that is not vulgarly offensive, but does make mere mortals cringe at the sound of it. What does diet mean to you? Does it mean you have to give up your favorite foods and suffer miserably all day long while you watch your co-workers dine on cinnabons and you are left off to the side gnawing on a carrot stick?
When you make the conscious effort of changing your lifestyle or life-long habits, you will experience the growing pains. However, the success of the transition depends on your overall outlook of the situation.
If I say I am going to start “dieting”, that is like saying to people I’m going to be grouchy, irritable and unsatisfiably hungry.
If I say I am going to honor my body by eating nutritious foods, chances are they will cock their heads to the side and give you a very long, confused stare. Then out pops the words, “Oh, you’re going to diet!“. Well, you say, “No, not entirely“, and you continue to struggle to try to explain it to them.
So, what does the word diet mean to me? Absolutely nothing, this time anyways. Am I going to diet? No. I’m going to eat foods that my body wants and my body needs to stay and be healthy. That’s pretty vague, isn’t it? Doesn’t my body want potato chips and Reese’s peanut butter cups? Absolutely not. Well, maybe the potato chips. After all, who can eat just one, right Lay’s?
Seriously though, I’ve been listening more and more to my body. When I eat that greasy hamburger or have the ice cream blizzard for dessert, my body says to me that it doesn’t want those foods anymore. I look at all the choices of items I have to eat and as I’m contemplating what to have for lunch, my mind is saying what about ________ (fill in the blank), and my body says, “Nah, I’m tired of eating that“.
How do I get the habitual side of me in sync with my body as a whole? Change the habits. Easier said than done, isn’t it. Well, I’ve started some of those changes. On March 1, I gave up caffeine. My main source of caffeine was soda. Late last year I gave up soda for a while. When I started drinking it again, I discovered that I could no longer tolerate Pepsi. What??? “But that’s your all time favorite drink!“, you say. Yes, it was. For some reason though, I could not get myself to drink Pepsi anymore. It had such a strong chemical taste that was so unpleasant. You would think that would turn me off to sodas entirely, right? Well, not quite. Dr. Pepper still had a pleasant taste to me, so instead of going without, I switched to a different brand of soda.
As February approached I thought about what I would possibly give up for Lent. This year I decided to give up nothing. I didn’t want to give up something for 40 days only to turn around on Easter Sunday and start consuming it again. I knew that I needed to make this change for me and not because it was something that I just “did” every year. When March came along, I thought to myself that I’m going to do this for me and no other reason. So, I stopped drinking sodas. I experienced the withdrawal headaches for a day or two, but after that I was good to go and was caffeine free.
So, now that I have eliminated sodas from my life, what’s next? For that, you must stay tuned. I’ll be posting fairly regularly about my progress and changes that I’m making, starting with this coming Sunday.
I will give you a little hint though. I most certainly will be out of my comfort-zone for this and it will be quite challenging, but I feel this time I am definitely up for making some serious changes.