Oh, friend… I feel ya. It’s like: at some point, you’ve GOT to get to a point where all of this stuff just comes to you second-hand, right? Like maintenance mode? How long does THAT take?
There is good news and bad news. I’m fresh off of a trip to Kripalu and therefore in “optimist” mode–so I’ll give you the good news first. Yes, there comes a time where some of the aspects of maintaining health definitely do not require a great deal of thought. You will get a rhythm down for how to use the fresh produce you receive. You’ll figure out the timing of when things need to be bought and used. You’ll eventually have a set of go-to, last minute recipes that you can turn to in a pinch with very little time that you don’t have to really analyze for their healthfulness. You’ll know what products are off-limits for your family and you’ll know what to look for in new products. You’ll feel overfull when you eat unreasonable portions after eating regular portions (this actually happens pretty quick), you’ll feel sick after eating really unhealthy foods (this takes a while–until your gut flora repopulates, which varies by person but months to years), your cravings for bad things will stop and your craving for a daily walk will start. You’ll be able to tell when you’ve had too many “exceptions” to healthy eating by how heavy your lower abdomen feels. It sounds weird, right? I know… but it’s kind of nice when your body reaches that point.
Okay, now for the bad news. It is always going to be too easy to cave. There is ALWAYS going to be the temptation or the “too tired” or the “just this one”. That really just NEVER goes away. This past weekend I was at Kripalu to attend some training for Dr. Mark Hyman’s “The Blood Sugar Solution” book. During one of the weekend’s sessions, he shared that even with all that he knew and as far as he had come with his health–despite how many years he had finally been healthy–even he got off of a plane one day, hungry in an airport and without his own snacks when he found himself in front of a Cinnabon and caved to the largest one he could get (and adding nuts to it as a way of trying to make himself feel better about the sugar). He felt horrible (physically) later, but it didn’t change the fact that it happened.
And it happens.
The trick is that we don’t beat ourselves up over it and move forward in a positive direction. Don’t just throw in the towel and say “Aw, to hell with it–I already screwed up, what’s a few more mouthfuls?” Don’t do that. It’s a fast road back to cravings for the bad stuff that will kick in quickly and push you back to your starting point. Keep the errors small and managable. It’s hard to do. And it will probably be hard for a long time.
But man… it’s so worth it when you see how healthy you are as opposed to where you were (or where you were headed).
If you need help making changes to support new lifestyles for yourself, let me know. We can talk about how we might work together to get you moving in the right direction.