A Serious Question, Another Week of Veggies, And No Green Slime

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Argh! Salad!

“I do not understand my own actions, for I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I can will what it right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.”

OK, read it again if you must.  I realize it sounds like something from the 3 stooges but it’s actually from the Bible.  The apostle Paul wrote it in his letter to the Romans.  I know exactly what he means.  Don’t we all?  We want to exercise, but we watch TV instead.  We want to eat well but we buy that bag of chips anyway.  We mean to stop procrastinating, but we wait until tomorrow to start.  Why do we do that?

I felt SO GOOD after my week of veganism.  I had more energy than I had had in just about forever.  I felt stronger and thinner. My skin looked better. I was proud of myself.  But I slipped back into all my old habits of processed food and Big Macs anyway.

I was telling my Handsome Hippie Hubby this and he said, “I feel the same way! I want to eat well, but I just don’t.  And then I hate the way I look and feel.”

Why do we do that?!

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Well!  There is an easy enough solution to this problem, we agreed.  We will go on another “veggie fast.”  Except this time I’m keeping cheese.  I will keep it to a minimum, but I just missed cheese too much to go without it again.  We are not putting a time limit on it this time, except to say, “at least one week.”

So this morning is off to a great start.  Arrowhead Mills makes a puffed rice cereal that is just that: puffed rice.  Nothing else.  It is like mildly crunchy air.  But if you add a big handful of fresh mixed berries and some soy milk it’s not so bad at all.

I also gnoshed on a piece of spelt toast. Yesterday I discovered that Meijer now sells their own line of organic whole grain breads (score another point on the “you rock!” board for Meijer).  Here’s what I have to say about that….   These breads cost about $.75 a loaf more than the Meijer brand wheat or white sandwich bread.  That puts them at about the same cost as any other brand of “regular” bread.  But that single piece of spelt bread probably weighed as much as half a loaf of the white stuff.  It was very filling, and it was so flavorful!  I frequently eat 2 sandwiches at a time because I don’t feel full.  I’m not sure I could finish a single one if I used this stuff! If you do the math that way, I’d eat half as much so it would actually cost less.  I love things that cost less!

I’ll be heading to all my favorite foodie sites this week, and if any of you have suggestions PLEASE feel free to share!  I feel a little better equipped going in this time than I did last, but still… one can only eat so many bowls of tofu scramble and lentil soup.

Oh… and, about the green slime.  I confess.  I’m probably going to skip it.  It’s healthy and filling and easy to make but… well… yeah.  Perhaps I’ll enjoy a lovely fruit smoothie.  Without spinach.

What I’m really getting at, with this whole post is this:

I know that some of you run every day.  Or you nearly always eat healthy.  Or you clean off your kitchen counters every night no matter how tired you are.  Or you always fold the laundry the minute it is dry.

Tell me, how do you keep that kind of motivation?  I can do it for a little while.  But eventually I take a day off.  And then one day turns to two.  And then a week and a month and so on.  How do you look into an eternity of no bacon and not just throw in the towel?  I mean, we all have the little voice in our head that says, “You know, you shouldn’t eat that.”  But what actually spurs you to listen to it?  Day after day after day…..

How do you get yourself to do the things you want to do and not do the things you don’t want to do which is what most of us do even though we want to do the right thing?

Ha!  Paul’s got nothin’ on me when it comes to tongue twisters!

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19 responses »

  1. I did actually recognize that verse. It’s always so reassuring to me to be reminded that Paul, a pretty key figure in Christian history, acknowledged this as something he struggled with. I have no answers to your question though, but I will be checking back to see what suggestions pop up because the eating well and exercising consistently are both on my list of do-do-don’t-do struggles.

    • I always thought it was interesting that there is a perception that, in order to be saved, we need to be some kind of perfect people… but pretty much every person that is discussed in the Bible is deeply flawed. They are murderers and adulterers, liars, doubters and cowards… and yet God used them to powerful ends. Hmmmm…. oddly enough I was just wondering what my “Theological Thursday” post would be about. I think I’ve been inspired! Thanks! 🙂

      • Definitely a good topic to pursue – I look forward to reading it! So simple and so true.

  2. i can’t say i have a silver bullet for you, but i think you hit on a common reason most people can’t stick to a strict diet/exercise routine when you said: “How do you look into an eternity of no bacon and not just throw in the towel?” You don’t. this is why AA and other such programs focus only on getting through the day. worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Also, everything in moderation. eating healthily doesn’t mean you can never eat bacon again–just don’t eat it every day. how about bacon once a month for a special breakfast? or what about turkey bacon? and finally, if you focus on how you feel rather than on how you look, then it’s easier to think of each day as a new day (rather than thinking the “diet” is blown because yesterday i ate doughnuts–instead, the day after doughnuts is another opportunity to feel good, regardless of what you ate the day (or the meal) before).

    oh – and one last thing. maybe you should have a plan for how you’ll eat once you finish the detox – come up with a realistic plan that is in between old eating habits and strict diet–include occasional bacon! 🙂 so that you don’t just fall back into the old routines.

    geez–i sound like a diet counselor or something!

    • I love all the tips… and you’re right. It’s not hard at all to say, “I’m going to eat healthy today.” So I’ll go with that for today and tomorrow, when I wake up, I’ll talk myself into it again. 🙂 Thanks for reading and for such a thoughtful answer!

  3. I love Deb’s answer. She’s right, the harder things I’ve given up or tried to do are very intimidating if I look at the long picture, so I take it one day at a time. In fact, sometimes I take it one meal at a time (this is true when I have some killer cravings). It also really helps to have a lot of options for yourself, because part of the problem is when you are hungry and you need something NOW the fast stuff is often not very healthy. However, if you have prepared for that event then you can have a healthy alternative ready.
    Also, they say that it takes 30 days of consistent behavior to break a habit (not an addiction, but a habit) so keep at it, one day at a time and after a month you should notice that it isn’t quite as hard to make healthy choices.

    • You are right about the habit part… a lot of the problem is that I’m used to reaching for chips instead of fruit, even when the fruit sounds better. It helps when there is fruit, and no chips, in the house! 🙂 I will work on today tomorrow I will do the same and maybe, by next month, I will be able to say that you were right. Thanks!

  4. I agree with Deb too…

    I think part of it is to not think about it like it has to be perfect. And to be reasonable in your expectations for yourself over time.

    I’m a person that loves the big grand gesture to kick start something off right…but usually the baby steps towards a goal have the more lasting effect. I did the raw food thing for about 6 weeks the year before last, and felt great…for the first 2 1/2 weeks, and after that felt even more wiped out than my pocket book was. For me to make something work, it means finding a balance between the two. So we do Meatless Monday, and mostly eat chicken and fish when we eat meat (maybe twice a month pork or red meat) and try to keep meat almost as a condiment. We try to eat as many fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies as possible, and I try to cook as much from scratch as my sanity will allow. But we still go out to eat or order pizza from time to time (even fast food occasionally) too…

    Maybe your balance means adding in some meat here and there, maybe that means keeping a 10% discretionary food rule (a nutritionist friend of mine recommends this one–you can eat whatever the heck you want to, as long as it only accounts for 10% of your intake), maybe that means you reserve one meal a week to eat out at a favorite place, no matter how “bad” it is for you (this is what we do).

    I think part of it is to stop thinking about food as “bad” or as “the enemy”, even if its processed foods. Instead, I think maybe we need to start thinking about our relationship with food, and where our food comes from, and finding the happy medium that we can live with AND feel good with.

  5. Bad food is comfort food. So, if I feel sick or tired or grumpy or sad or lazy – whabam, comfort food.
    I know so many people who do their dishes or clean their counters immediately after meals and it BAFFLES ME! I can only do that at camp. Because camp never last more than two weeks. Ever. So…to have that be a habit forever…I just don’t think I can do it. Sheesh!

    • I have a friend that, no matter when you drop by her house, it is ALWAYS flawlessly clean. “Baffles” is a good word. I can’t even comprehend how she does that. I’m proud of myself when we don’t have dirty dishes on the living room floor.

  6. Hi, motivation I’ve found can be trained to be a reflex! Like a light switch you convince yourself is always on! When it comes to writing you really need to be committed to working hard! As much as procrastination often comes with a smile, accomplishment creates a never ending smile! I love this blog! Thank you for the follow! Keep writing!

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