In the spirit of Thanksgiving…this post is vaguely relevant regarding turkey…hence the classic image to the left. I recently read a blurb from someone I follow on Twitter (one of the godfathers of the paleo/primal eating lifestyle) regarding how one changes habits…specifically when moving to a healthier lifestyle. The takeaway was something along the lines of “when making a change…do you take baby steps or go cold turkey?”
This time around (and hopefully for good) I’ve selected the “cold turkey” route…and when I say “cold turkey”…I literally haven’t touched a morsel of poultry since starting the reconstruction. This isn’t because I believe poultry is bad for you…it’s just one of those foods I must avoid for a few months based on the food sensitivity test. Don’t worry though…I still cook it for the other four members of my family…so that everyone doesn’t have to suffer from Dad’s food sensitivities.
It’s been said that it takes about three weeks to either break a bad habit or develop a good habit. Finally…I’m a firm believer in this old adage. I have on numerous occasions now successfully walked past the break room at the office…come face to face with a table full of donuts…pies…cakes…pizza…anything from Rick’s Bakery…and been able to resist the temptation. Sometimes I get really close to these former food options and smell them…remember them…and move on…before I would have completely indulged…and felt like crap the remainder of the day. Being able to do avoid these temptations has hardened my resolve somewhat…it’s difficult…but getting easier every day. With it being the holiday season and all…our office will be innundated with holiday treats sent over from contractors, consultants, and vendors…needless to say…I’m up for the challenge!
In my past efforts to “get healthy” I had taken the baby steps approach…sometimes having success…and perhaps if I would have stuck to it I could have made remarkable changes in my health. The thing is…I was always a sucker for unhealthy foods and would easily gave into temptation. I’d go a few days eating “moderately healthy”…I use that term loosely because it is laughable thinking about what I used to consider healthy…but I would feel like I deserved some sort of reward for eating well. So I would undo any progress with a little 4-piece Popeye’s here…a little up-sized Arby’s there…and hey…did you know hey have Greek froyo at TCBY now? While mildly nutritious…when you mix Greek froyo with Reese’s cups it sorta defeats the purpose. The point is…I would always find myself back where I began…unmotivated and feeling like a failure.
What’s been the game changer this time?
I would have to say knowledge. Making this abrupt change is partly due to the revelation that for a vast majority of my life I’ve participated in stuffing my maw with a pro-inflammatory diet. Like I’ve said before…I was a little oblivious…not knowing or caring that certain foods were either chronically keeping me sick or contributing to the many issues I was trying to live with day-to-day. This time…I’m learning a ton more about the foods I should be eating (reading labels and ingredients) and actually enjoying them (in correct portions)…which in turn has made everything…well…extremely doable. Knowing is half the battle!
How have you been able to change any bad habits or develop new good habits in your life? Baby steps? Cold turkey? I’d like to know!