If you have not read this, (I will tell you…but we have to talk about this first) please do that first. Seriously. Thanks
Yeah, that will be at the beginning of all these posts. I am kinda serious about it. I realize I can be kinda snarky, this topic is kinda sensitive, and we all beat ourselves up enough. It is important to me that you know that is NOT happening here.
Definition of DIET
- food and drink regularly provided or consumed
- habitual nourishment
- the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
- a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight
- something provided or experienced repeatedly
Middle English diete, from Anglo-French, from Latin diaeta, from Greek diaita, literally, manner of living, from diaitasthai to lead one’s life
The above edits and empasis to the definition are mine. And while I do not purport to have the authority to just change the English language, I do think that taking into consideration the origin of the word justifies a reclaiming of the idea.
The word diet is not bad or good. It is amoral. It is just a word. Unless it pisses you off. Then it has to be dealt with.
In January. Nearly 4 MONTHS after this original post.
Lesson – you gotta be ready for you. There is no outside force that will do this for you. There is no knowledge, no article, no lesson learned, nothing cerebral that will make this happen. If you have a habit you want to change, you have to want to change it.
Lesson – Just saying you “really need to do” something. Doesn’t mean you really need to. It means you really want to need to. I wanted to need. When I actually needed, I did. It is all about choices.
The truth is, I wanted things to work the way I wanted them to work. I wanted to do what I wanted to do AND get the results I wanted to get. I wanted to feel strong, look strong and be strong while eating all the things I used to eat. Essentially, I wanted to be a ferrari that ran at an optimal level off of whipped cream…is that really to much to ask?
Notice the word “diet” needed the descriptive “bad.” And there is no time qualifier. “Diet” is not a program – it is a lifestyle. Diet is not a rigid set of unbreakable pass or fails. It is an evolving, daily practice of choices. These choices are not independent of each other. They are big picture choices, “if/then” choices. And they are widely personal. What works for one may not work for another. Food may not be an issue for you. This may be easier or harder. For me, it was, and continues to be, an amazing battle of the wills.
I LOVE FOOD. It was one of the biggest jokes when the Husband and I were dating. He couldn’t figure out where it all went! I am an amazing cook. I appreciate great meals. I eat for pleasure and not purpose. If I am hungry and the food is not great, I won’t eat. If it is wonderful, I will eat…and eat…and eat.
Simply put, I quit smoking before I changed my diet because it was easier.
I needed a full reset. Not a permanent change (I had tried Atkins years ago, and while it worked, it was not sustainable), but a serious “control-alt-delete” reset. I looked into a few things. I knew what I didn’t want
- fad diets that require long term usage to maintain
- shakes, powders, pills
I opted for The Daniel Fast. It is 21 days of over achieving veganism with some spiritual help. Why it appealed to me
- I can do nearly anything for 21 days
- it did not require me to buy anything but food
- it was completely natural
- it is super easy to follow
In a nutshell
- consume anything with or from a face (meat, cheese, seafood, dairy, butter – nada)
- consume anything processed
- no sweetners (no sugar, no honey, nada)
- drink anything but water (no coffee, no tea, no booze, nada – water!)
- drink LOTS of water
- eat anything from the ground (beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits, veggies)
- start on a slow day – you may feel a bit tired/cranky the first day or so. Lots of water helps
Side note – I tried to limit grains, beans, etc. to breakfast and lunch. Almost full veggie dinners. Some folks have done this and go heavier on the the starches and grains. Their weight loss isn’t as great. I was really heavy produce (high bulk/low calorie). And I exercised throughout – the energy level bounces back quick.
- Be super careful what you reintroduce and how. I had a steak on day 22. I was sick for four days after.
- Be mindful what what you reintroduce and why. I had successfully cut out processed, artificial foods with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Could not think of one good reason to go back to that. Except for Jalapeno Cheetos…I miss those things…
- Figure out what works and keep it simple. I basically figure if it comes out of the dirt or the ocean, it is fair game. Everything else has to be considered on the “if/then” scale.
- Pay attention to your body during and after. I have found that my skin is one of the first things to gauge the quality of my choices.
- Be kind to yourself. You are doing this to be a healthier you. Guilt, stress, self-beratement does not equal good health
- I almost never eat red meat. It makes me feel physically bad. Occasionally I will. So far in the last 7 months I think I have had red meat 3 times.
- I LOVE pork. Bacon is the main reason I reject vegetarianism. I limit my pork to very rarely. Maybe once a month. It is a treat – not a staple.
- I have eliminated most dairy for the same reason as red meat. I can tell a difference when I eat too much of it. I use an almond creamer for my coffee as that is the only major adjustment that I needed to make for daily use. I still love cheese on my sandwich – but it too is a treat.
- I eat some fowl. Not often. Once or twice a week.
- I love whole grains, beans, legumes, etc. This has replaced the meat products and provides the calorie count I need for long run days. I tend to stay away from them late in the evening, but they make a great breakfast!
- I love my juicer. I use it for those veggies I probably would normally eat. I hardly ever put fruit in it as I would just assume eat that. I have found that I can throw nearly anything into it. As long as I top it off with apples, it tastes good.
- I won’t eat out just anywhere. And I won’t eat just anything. And I am not tacky about either. Staying focused AND positive are important.
In all this, please remember, I am not stuck up about any of it. I treat myself to frozen yogurt. I have had a burger with cheese off the grill. But I did opt to NOT have cake on my birthday. I have indulged and I enjoy it. But it has its limits and consequences. I don’t do it like everyone else and I don’t expect folks to do it like me. But I am apprecaitive of what I have learned, and continue to learn from others. And I hope I have been helpful here.
Enjoy your lunch!