It’s amazing to me how much being healthy in my mind changes the way I take in information.
When my world feels like it’s falling down around my ears, everyone but me is the expert, and there’s no way I can go wrong doing *anything* different that I’m doing now.
In such a state, the vastly contradictory messages that daily fly at us create a fierce cognitive dissonance that my broken self wears itself out trying to reconcile.
By contrast, the reading I did over the month of July (Scale Down, Living the Low-Carb Life, Protein Power, The UltraMetabolism Diet, The Fat Flush Diet, Never Say Diet — Yes these titles make me squirm, but yes, they all had good content that make them worth mentioning by name.) created a sort of scatter-pattern that left me with a comfortable grouping of behaviors that I have been working at consistently (my food-diary says) since June 27th.
My clustered behaviors:
- No gluten (already integrated, and the foundation of everything else)
- Shoot for ~24g protein/meal (an ounce of meat contains 7 g. of protein), 72g/day
- Minimize grains
- Using my WW points as a single number to watch how much I’m consuming.
- With the higher protein demands, this limit brings up the consumption of (zero-points) veggies to edge out the grains naturally
- Fist-full of vitamins every day. Divided them up into a.m. and p.m. clusters, and I forget the evening ones half the time, but my consistency is improving.
- Minimize caffeine (which for me means choosing herbal teas– which I choose based on other reading/research I’ve been doing– heavy on the ginger and peppermint.)
- 45-minute walk (brisk, but not a run) 4-6 days/week (usually on the treadmill with a book or a TV show).
- reaching 10,000+ steps on a pedometer from a busy day meets the same goal: I don’t do both or I’m dead within 48 hours)
- Loads of water. To the point where my body *craves* it and I know if I’m behind.
- One day last week I drank two quart jars before 9 a.m., a pot of peppermint tea before I left the house, another pot of (real) tea while visiting with a friend (we finished two pots between us), a tall glass with dinner and another quart jar with my evening walk. Realized later that I’d been so scattered in the previous two days I hadn’t kept a water bottle nearby and was seriously behind.
- Minimal dairy– cheese in one-pot meals, and sometimes raw goat milk from our milk share
- Sugar self-limits without the grains and dairy– I use fruit or smoothies if my sweet tooth is nagging me
Anyway, yes this is a lot of specific behaviors, but other than the protein and the walking, these don’t actually come into a list that I keep in the forefront of my mind.
It only turned into a list when I sat down to record what I’m actually doing for myself.
If I’d collected all this and tried to do it all from the opposite behaviors I lived four years ago, I’d think I was nuts.
This is the beauty of “growing into” a plan. It’s also the challenge of hearing someone ask you what to do.
I smile and try to think what to say to make the first step seem in-reach.
It’s the sympathetic smile you get from an experienced mom when your infant’s not sleeping through the night.
There are things that are just hard, and if you can do anything at all they are you only get into a rhythm over time.
I have clothes I put on every morning. Some pattern that involves covering my top half, my bottom half, and eventually adding socks and shoes. I don’t have a cute little color-coded to-do list like my friend’s elementary-age daughter.
This is what a living plan is supposed to be. I have food in my house, and it is for eating. I eat a meal, and I pay attention to how it affects me. I tell myself the Truth.
Even when it’s about ice cream. *sob*
I will admit a two-year journey of watching the effects of gluten (and now dairy) has a lot to do with my degree of noticing, but when you’re ready you can start looking for those details.
My 8-year-old is a strongly N-dominant person. On Wednesday, She complained that the bolded, out-set terms in the dictionary weren’t different-enough to notice. An hour later she complained that the socks were too hard to pair, because the 2-inch and the 1-inch cuffs on her daddy’s black socks were too tricky to tell apart. Even with one set on the other to physically compare.
I’m that way, too. I don’t naturally see. But I’ve been forced to practice so much in the detail stuff over the last year, I see it as a muscle now. Clearly it can be strengthened.
If we really believe we’re taking on a new life (and I don’t think conversion is too strong an analogy), we should expect things to be different.
We are different people when we believe it enough to start acting like it.
An earlier UT post Callings and Being includes the quote:
No person can consistently live in a manner that is inconsistent with how he perceives himself.
So here is one thing I put on everyone’s list, no matter where they’re at in skill-building: choose your thoughts. Make the next good-decision. That takes you back to WT #1: you prove you’re the boss of you.
The rest of it we grow into.
Over and Over again.