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    Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    So Here I Go Again On My Own...

    No, it's not an 80's metal tune (ok, yes it is, but that's not the point...), in this case, it's me. Back on the Beach. On my own. No partner (other than my mom, who has embraced this way of life and is happier/healthier than ever), no counting on someone else to keep me accountable - just me. Starting again, as of last Monday. I know, I know, I'm sick of hearing about it from me, too. But bear with me.

    South Beach is not a diet. It offers a plan, a real plan, that can give you these things:

    >healthy years added to your life;
    >a distinct absence of illness, heart disease, high BP, diabetes;
    >a way to eat that you really can manage forever, if you choose to.

    If you're in the school of thought that says "it's just a diet", then you are uninformed. Can you take the food guide, and use it as "just" a diet? Sure, I've done it several times. Lost (and gained) 20 pounds in the last six months doing it that way. But that's because I didn't get it.

    I'm starting to get it.

    We persist in a love-hate relationship with food, but mostly we love it - but only the stuff that's killing us as a society. We eat because we're happy. We eat because we're sad. We eat as part of the ritual of family, of friendship, of love and of hate. We give ourselves excuses to overindulge, to make horrible food choices, and to eat things we know are killing us, whether we'll admit it or not. We give ourselves time frames in which to "straighten up", "eat up the bad stuff", and "get prepared to change". And then when our deadline comes and goes, we sometimes make a short-lived effort, but almost always find a way to let ourselves out of the deal that we made.

    It's not even a weight issue. Some of the thinnest people I know are also some of the most unhealthy in terms of what they put in their bodies.

    I've lived smack dab in the middle of this food pit of despair, and am as guilty as they come. I've always said "I just love food. I love eating for the texture, the taste, blah, blah, blah..." And all the while, I have been in denial about what those food choices are doing to me. And while I've read the SB book, and understood it on an intellectual level, tried it for a while, read it again as I went "off of it", and did the standard nod whilst saying "Yes, that certainly makes where's that pie?" - I still didn't get it.

    I'm starting to get it.

    I'm starting to see the role food has played in my life, and why and how I can choose RIGHT NOW, to STOP it. To make a different choice. To have/make/allow NO excuses to eat garbage, to kill my body from the inside, to make my life harder than it needs to be. I can choose that. It's not a process I have to go through, it's not a long, painful journey I must travel before I can reach enlightenment. Maybe that's why it seems so different to me this time, being back on the beach. I have no delusions that I'll be perfect every day. But it's like I have had this change of heart that has rewritten everything I believe about food.

    Food is just food. It's fuel. It's energy. It's medicine. But it's not pleasure or pain, it's not happiness or sadness, it fills no void but the one in my stomach. It's just food. I've come to a new understanding about the role food should play in my life.

    It's like this. Perfume smells nice. It has some positive, pleasing qualities to it, no? Certainly better than, say, gasoline. But imagine what would happen to your vehicle if you put perfume in it instead of gasoline. Even though it smells better, even though it seems more pleasing going in, even though you might think "Oh, GOSH, this perfume SMELLS SO MUCH BETTER than gas" would destroy your engine. That's why you would never even CONSIDER putting perfume in your gas tank, would you? You want your vehicle to run well for as long as possible, so you only give it what it needs.

    No matter what.

    No matter how much gasoline grosses you out, no matter how much you hate the smell, you would never fill up with Chanel instead of Conoco, would you?

    So why don't we see that we should treat our bodies the same way - we should only give it what it NEEDS, whether we "like it" or not, because doing anything else is a recipe for disaster. How sad, that we care more about our vehicles than we do our bodies! A new car is certainly NOT cheaper than a quadruple bypass, a heart attack, or 30/40/50 years of BP meds, or insulin. And yet, we do it every day - put perfume in our gas tanks and then wonder why we're stranded on the side of the road...tired, sick and fat, and knowing that we should have used the gas in the first place.

    It's an interesting process I'm going through, but I am hopeful it is one that will bring me to the place where I can, and do, choose to be healthy (and hopefully thinner) every day for the rest of my life. My husband, my kids, and my grandkids deserve my best efforts, don't they?

    Thanks for reading.


    Anonymous said...

    Beautifully said, Cathy.

    McBung said...

    Conoco is ALMOST as expensive as Chanel these days LOL.

    Missives said...

    Love the perfume analogy and the Conoco/Chanel price comparison.

    cindybakedababy said...

    Thanks for linking me to this Cathy, it really makes sense. I hope to go through the same transformation soon.