I have only myself to blame.
I wish I could cast the my finger in the direction of others and put the responsibility in their hands.
I wish I could play the victim and say I had no choice. It was all because of the circumstances.
I wish I could make excuses and be the martyr where everyone would shake their heads in agreement that this was the way it had to be and wasn't I amazing for handling it with grace?
But I have to be completely honest with you, forget all the wishing, and come clean.
My eating habits have been horrid lately. I can't even begin to tell you how bad they've been, but when my husband even cocks his head at me and looks at me in bewilderment, then I know things are bad.
He's been giving me that look quite a bit lately.
I could go down the road and write about all the poor food choices I've been making, but what good does that do? Beating myself up or getting down on myself isn't my style.
Picking myself up, dusting myself off, and hitting the reset button. Now that sounds more like me.
We all have different ways of taking care of ourselves and I'm not a nutritionist or dietician, so take what I'm doing with a grain of salt. The key to being successful with anything we do is to not overwhelm ourselves, pick 3-5 changes, and go one day at a time. I'm also not a fan of the quick fix, detox, cleanse, etc. No judging on those who are successful with it. It's just not for me.
With those disclaimers out of the way, here is how I'm going to attack April with my eating habits:
1. Cut back on coffee. YIKES! I'm an elementary school counselor, so this one scares me a bit for the sake of the children. However, I've noticed how much I drink and it's way too much. I've also noticed I haven't really enjoyed it as much lately.
2. Replace coffee with tea. I enjoy tea anyway, and so it's a great alternative.
3. Take a B12 supplement. My doctor has been after me for awhile to get on a B12 regimen and I've been flat out refusing. I suppose I should give it a shot. She does seem to know what she's doing. :)
4. Get back to eating at least 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily.
5. Plan ahead. That's probably been the biggest downfall to my eating habits. I haven't been planning my meals ahead and so I've been grabbing the nearest thing available when I've been hungry or I've gone out to eat which isn't helping with my spending fast (but that's another story).
So, there it is. I already feel so much better, and now it's time to see what happens in April.
Why...(thinking and sighing)?
Why...(still thinking and still sighing)?
I've been a vegetarian for over two years, and for the longest time I had pondered going vegan. In fact, I tried it a couple of times, but I always came back to the same conclusions. I enjoyed eggs, and I justified eating them because I bought cage-free ones. I rarely ate dairy products except for cheese. I really didn't think I could do go to a vegan diet.
I finally realized what I have always known. Any habit change requires a compelling enough reason in order for follow through to happen.
When I became a vegetarian, I saw a former neighbor and his son drag a dead wild boar across their backyard to prepare it for roasting. I couldn't believe my eyes, and it just sickened me. I gave up eating meat that day and never looked back.
The compelling reason for me to go vegan came in a blog post, A Loving Guide to Going Vegan, by Leo Babauta.
Leo's post got me to see that there is still suffering involved in the production of milk and eggs. (See his post at zenhabits.net if you're interested in reading the specifics.) However, what really hit home with me is when he wrote about how we don't tolerate "their (referring to dogs and cats) abuse and horrible killings," but we will tolerate it when it comes to animals that are eaten.
Once I read that, it's all I needed.
Even though I'm only into day number three, I know it will stick this time. It's different, because I have a strong enough reason. Before, I caved early because I thought I craved eggs and cheese. It wasn't a craving at all.
It had more to do with really thinking through and comparing my dog, cat, and guinea pig to other animals that aren't domesticated. Being a pet is not a justification. An animal is an animal, and they feel pain. I can't imagine hurting my pets, so why would I think it was okay to do cause pain to any other animal?
At that point it was a simple life decision for me.
I use this example to illustrate what I wrote earlier. In order for any habit change to stick, we need a compelling reason. Sometimes a quote will work. Other times we need a step-by-step process. And then there are the times when a visual does the trick.
Whatever the habit change is, there is also another component once the reason has become clear, and that's commitment. It's not something to try out for awhile and then go back to the old ways of doing things. It's for the long haul.
It's why I haven't had a pop (soda, carbonated beverage, whatever you want to call it) in over seven years.
It's why I gave up eating meat two and a half years ago.
It's why I'm now vegan.
Yep, I did it.
I ate half of a maple glazed donut. I know it won't sit well with me, and I will regret it very soon with a stomach ache, but I ate it anyway.
Because sometimes I just want something that is not good for me.
It's not a matter of lacking discipline or having decision fatigue. Although sometimes that happens, it isn't the case on this particular occasion. I ate it, because I didn't feel good. And when I don't feel good, I want two things: soup and something that isn't good for me. Tonight I had both.
I'm rather irrational when I'm under the weather. And whiny. And just downright cranky.
Eating the donut is not the cure all, and my rational self knows this all too well. Sometimes, though, I think it's okay to drop my guard, because I know I won't suddenly start eating every sweet in sight.
We all need to know what we can and can't do. I know that I can eat things like this, my stomach rebels, and then I'm good. I don't like the way it makes me feel overall, but sometimes I just need a reminder.
This half donut was my reminder that sometimes it's simply okay. No regrets. No excuses. Just enjoy the deliciousness and move on.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.