The hard way or the easy way.

field-summer-sun-meadow

Ah, fall is in the beginning stages that promise some good rains to wash away a long, hot, dusty summer and bring with it all the fun holidays and family gatherings.  I’m sitting at my famous and beloved kitchen table sipping coffee, of course, and watching the winds whip up the trees.  We had a teaser rain this morning and the skies are grey.  This is the hard part, the waiting for a real rain and getting just enough sprinkles to decorate the top of dusty cars.

But that isn’t why I’m writing today, that’s just me being distracted easily.  I am beginning a new journey today.

I first want to talk about something I say to my children when they start a project or get into trouble or…anything really.  When they resist I say, “We can do this the hard way or the easy way.  You choose.”  I get great results.  I should say this to myself.  I can’t tell you how often I take the long, slow, hard way.  I think I’m taking a  shortcut, but I’m really making things harder.  I will set out to make a positive change, I will do the reading, the research, I’ll watch the documentaries, talk to others doing the same thing…successfully, I will take notes, ponder, write, study….and then try some rigged up way I’ve decided is going to be easier and faster.  What happens is that I try every which way but the correct and proven way and it takes me 20 years instead of a few months.  The good news is that I have now tried everything, so I can strongly say, “Yes, these ways DO NOT work being that I’ve been out in the field trying them all”.  You can thank me.

I did this when getting sober.  It took me over 20 years.  I did the classic, “trying the easier, softer way.”  It doesn’t exist.  But I’m also not extreme.  I have an addictive personality, but it’s far under extreme.  I do my bad habits at a level that gives me just enough room to question it, “Do I really have a problem?”  Of course, time and trial are always happy to answer that question.  There is a popular question that will solve this, “Do you keep thinking about quitting _______(you fill in the blank) and can’t or does it bother you, but you still can’t stop?”

I’m doing that with how I eat.  We are very healthy overall with the organics and pro vegetables and fruit.  We do not go out to eat, do fast food, or junk food.  We don’t do convenience food or premade  (occasionally). Most, not all, but most of our food is homemade.  We are an active family.  Those of you that read my blogs know that I talk about my Tread Climber as much as I do my kids.  Thomas the tread climber is part of our living room decor and very loved.  However, lately, Bali and I have been working out daily and eating our salads and drinking our quarts of ice waters…and getting bigger and bigger!  Bali should at least be getting thin with what I pack him and how I feed him (men lose weight easily with the muscle and testosterone).  He thinks I don’t know, he lies with a straight face, but I know that he’s eating the candy that’s expired, the old pastries, and dipping into the soda machine at work.  If I worked his job I would too.  My excuse is that I bring home sweets anytime I can find a reason…and I always find a reason.  I also bake a lot of bread and we eat it with lots of butter.

And even the foods we think are so healthy are not.  Our dressing is not homemade and has crap in it, the chips and salsa, the cereal, then there are all the canned and bottled sauces I love from Trader Joes or the tomato sauce from Hunts with sugar.  Everything out there has sugar and chemicals.

I am against diets.  I gain weight just thinking about them.  I tried Weight Watchers and all that point counting about made me crazy and I wasn’t eating all that healthy because I was choosing nonfat items to get more points.  I felt like a gambler and I lost every time (and not weight).  I would use too many points and was still hungry.  I lost some and then started gaining after a few weeks of false success.  The survival rate and success rate of dieters are less than 5%!  Did you know this?  I learned it from my midnight research last night.

So, what is the easy way?  I think that Paleo sounds pretty good about now.  I had an acupuncturist put me on this diet once before, but I had no idea this was what I was on.  It was so hard back then because I really ate some crap back then.  It took a month of white knuckling it and then it was so easy.  I never looked or felt so good and I lost weight without trying or exercising and I ate tons of apples and peanut butter in the beginning to get through my sugar desires.  My skin took on an olive like glow instead of pale and pasty, my body was slimming down, I had incredible energy and my mind was so clear.  Good times.  So, what happened you say?  Well, I did it for a few months and then my mother passed and I threw a Wake and someone said I could relax and eat whatever, being that it was my mothers Wake…so I did, I ate all kinds of stuff and I never looked back.  Actually, I did try to get back on it several times for years and years and never could.

It is a great way to eat, but if one has issues with sugar, you just can’t get crazy at a party.  It’s like a drunk getting sober, but thinking that once a month he can have a binge at the pub.  More than likely he won’t go back to sober living again until he hits bottom again.  It is the same with sugar.  It seems so silly, we are talking about an ingredient that most of us have in our cupboards.  However, as innocent as it seems, it has been proven through studies that sugar is as addictive, if not more, than cocaine!  And it is so damaging.  Cancer grows great in sugar and all kinds of diseases come from sugar, such as acne, skin issues, heart disease, diabetes…

Anyhow, I begin today.  I have hit bottom with sugar.  Recently I went on a huge bender with cookies and a pound of chocolate.  I’ll spare you the details.  But there were physical and mental consequences.  I will now be attempting to eat as that acupuncturist had suggested so many years ago.  I’m excited about it.  I know I will feel fabulous!  The Paleo is so clean and good.  I’m sure there are Vegetarian Paleo’s.

The Paleo in a nut shell:

  • Meat, fish, eggs
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables (mostly the above ground kind)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Good Oils (olive, coconut, avocado)

If you don’t need to lose weight you can add:

  • Tubers (sweet potatoes and such)
  • Brown rice or other nongluten grains

Dairy seems to be out on the Paleo, but our family does dairy.  Also, the boys will get extras such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice, good grainy breads.

Another thing that is so important for family health and being supportive of sustainable farming, environmental issues, and loving the animals and planet are to choose meats, eggs, and diary that is grass fed, free range, hormone and antibiotic free, and local, cruelty certified farms.  Of course, vegetarian or vegan would be the best way to ensure that you aren’t contributing to animal cruelty.  If choosing meat and dairy, you can keep it very limited, your plate being 80% filled with veggies and/or fruits.

I have also tweaked my coffee.  I know it sounds like I drink pots of Joe all day.  I have only 2 cups in the morning and sometimes an afternoon cup.  However, I nurse still and so I’m mixing half decaf and a half-caf and cutting down to two cups.

And as for exercise…I am no longer on the 2 hours a day challenge.  It was fun and completely unpractical.  I will do my 1 hour a day because it feels so good.  Bali is going to try and keep his paws out of the candy at work and we have challenged each other to a few months to see how we feel and look.

I hope I’ve inspired someone today!

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