Plateaus, purging (the good kind) & motivation

One thing you will probably notice, if you get to know me (or at least my blog), is that you can tell how well things are going with the old diet by how frequently I post. I’ve not been posting much lately and when I do, it’s been about other things, so…Well, you get the idea.

I suppose everyone goes through plateaus, periods of inertia where “I should” yells louder than “I am”. Nature is filled with cycles. This is just another of them. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s a horrible feeling to feel like you want to do something but find yourself unable to cross that bridge from wanting to doing.

Tonight I’ve been thinking about ways to inspire myself, so I spent the early evening watching Hungry for Change. If you haven’t seen it, it is definitely worth the 89 minutes of your time. It is easy to follow and full of good sense things you probably already know deep down inside. I found it to be incredibly motivating. One of the things I love about the film is that it emphasizes adding new healthy foods with the idea that they will soon crowd out the old, unhealthy ones, rather than having the focus of “going on a diet”.

One of the things I had promised myself when I started my lifestyle change was that I would focus on eating fewer processed foods and on making smarter choices about what I eat. While I’ve certainly done better at this, I definitely have a long way to go.

Before watching the film, I was already developing the idea of doing a spring cleaning of my cupboards (yeah, I’m about 6 months late, sue me!). Now that my attitude has been reinvigorated, I want to make sure it’s not just getting rid of old stuff, but doing a real purge of items that represent an old way of eating.

One of the things I traditionally have a hard time with is throwing things away. This is as true for food as it is for objects. With things, I am often ruled by sentimentality. With food, it comes from this ingrained notion that throwing it away is wasteful. I paid good money for it and there are starving children living on far away contents who might be able to eat it if it weren’t buried under refuse and cat litter in my trash can.

But in the end, what is more wasteful? Throwing away a carton of cookies laced with high fructose corn syrup and a couple cans of MSG laden soup or damaging my health by ingesting them? And don’t even get me started on the diet soda. Oy, the chemicals! Let’s just say I am an addict.

So, tomorrow I am cleaning the cupboards (some more – I got excited and did a little pre-cleaning). I already did some organic fruit and vegetable shopping over the weekend, so I am set for healthy things to eat. I don’t expect perfection, but between the healthy fresh foods in the crisper and the major offenders on their way out the door, I think I am in good shape for my next step.

I’m so happy that I decided to approach my diet malaise from another, more holistic direction. Sometimes ours strides are just as much a product of how we fill our minds as they area about the rules we set for ourselves.

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2 thoughts on “Plateaus, purging (the good kind) & motivation

  1. Thanks for posting Martina. I have found that by putting a focus on adding good things you can avoid the feelings of deprivation that taking the “bad” things away can leave….that and avoiding the all or nothing trap. I agree with you, progress is progress in all it’s shapes and forms. I’d rather me moving in my direction at 2 mph than sliding backwords.

  2. Thank you for reading, Nealon. You are right about “all or nothing”. It’s a tough mindset to over come. I don’t know where we pick up the idea that if have one setback we’ve somehow ruined everything, but it’s not a very healthy or self-loving attitude.

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