Prompt: What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?
(Author: Kaileen Elise)
This is going to sound like one more bad New Year's resolution. You know the kind I mean. Good intentions that make it to about January 3rd. Work harder, exercise more, eat less, get fit, enjoy life, etc. I think we set ourselves up for failure when we decide solely based on the date on the calendar, we can suddenly wake up and be "perfect".
It goes back to that "all or nothing" attitude we like to take. If we can't do it perfectly, then why bother at all? I have worked on this concept recently, and, in fact, wrote a bit about it in yesterday's prompt. And surprisingly (well to me at least), letting go of that way of thinking has been good.
I have struggled with bad eating habits my whole life. Trying to make a permanent change for the good is tough and filled with pitfalls. A few months ago, I decided, after a lot of research and reading, to try a new way of eating. Not a diet or even a way to lose weight but a way to approach eating in a more healthful way that would improve my energy and reduce my addiction to sugar. I took a radical step and included trying to cut down on not just sugar and white flour, but to eliminate artificial sweetener as well. The theory behind that is that you'll never truly lose your craving for sweet things, if you eat artificially sweetened foods. I didn't expect a miracle but I wanted to see if I could do it and if it would change my energy level.
It was hard but it worked. The first couple of days were okay because it was new and exciting but the next few days were really hard as I was craving, of all things, Diet Pepsi. I persevered, however, and in a little over a week, I wasn't craving sugar at all. I was feeling better and had more energy. Great! Until a small stumble or two or three....
I never expected to be perfect and I didn't say I would never have sugar or white flour again. The trick is to pick yourself up after the stumble and get right back to work. What I find most surprising about the experience is that I HAVE picked myself up each slip AND after each planned deviation. Currently I'm off "plan" more than I'm on but I haven't totally failed or given up. I know that I feel better when I'm following it and I recognize the effects as soon as I change my eating habits.
As I think about moving forward into 2011, I feel pretty good about continuing this way of eating and I will try to do it better and more consistently because I know how it makes me feel and I like that most of all.