Loose adherence?! PISH! POSH! No probs. Got that, grl.
Strict adherence? I just keep telling myself I’m living a little when I stuff corn tortilla chips into my face and/or huge amounts of alcohol at least once a week. I’m 80/20! My mind says. No you’re not–actually, you’re bloated and you feel terrible. And you obviously haven’t changed that much and “evolved” as you hoped with loose adherence.
I listen to Robb Wolf’s podcast and he says over and over his approach with his clients is to get them to stop eating ALL the junk strictly for a month, and then see how they feel. At first glance I pushed this approach aside for the sake of the “slow and steady” state of mind; but that hasn’t gotten me really anywhere because of one huge, glaring fact–
My social lifestyle is based around the crap that makes me feel sick and depressed. Namely, grains and alcohol. My diet has been based around grains my entire life, and my social life has been based around alcohol for the past four years. Unless that lifestyle changes, that basis, I am on a road to nowhere healthy–spiritually or physically.
I have aspired to give up alcohol for years. Alcohol really hasn’t brought me anything lasting or positive, other than solidifying some friendships during college that don’t seem to have even lasted through. I thought, at the time, alcohol’s greatest merit in my life was these friendships. In my heaviest and darkest drinking days it was how I justified going back to the bottle and playing with friends at night. Now I see these friends taking things to the next level: starting up on LSD, getting and staying high…and it’s hard for me to see them in the same way. We were productive activists once, I moved on to “doing,” and they got stuck in “being”. It’s hard for me to think of them as open minded when they don’t even let their minds be sober to open it. I have also come to another strict and glaring realization–
Alcohol–at least in my personal semi-frequent consumption– is a waste of life and the state it creates obscures (far more often than not) my connection and communication stream with what I call God (the Divine, the Living Water, the Source of Life, my Lord, the Way). Ever since I found a new source of life and inner peace when I began to follow the Way almost two years ago, I have resisted alcohol, put even more of an emphasis on health than before, but never found the inner strength to nix it altogether. When something negative is reinforced by your lifestyle, it cannot be nixed no matter how hard you work. You must take your motivations and your trust and your energy and put it into building yourself solid foundations, and the rest will come.
In this, given the way that my body reacts to them, grains are perhaps just as much of a waste. I no longer exercise as much as I used to, and when I do, there isn’t really any type of long cardio. There just isn’t a reason that I should be eating those carbs other than the fact that they taste good and/or I crave them. If they were a treat, that would be one thing, but they are still woven into my life.
What was my wake-up call? Two days full of getting sick (even in my yard–embarrassment city) as a result of drinking too much and perhaps being food poisoned by drunk munchies. I always eat the worst when I am drunk, and when I am drunk I almost certainly lose much of the value in the next day.
This too-long event made me realize that I do have a serious lack of control when it comes to damaging things I am putting in my body; it is inhibiting my spirituality, clarity of mind, and the value of my body as a house for my soul. Deep stuff, isn’t it?
I cannot grow as a person, a character, a house for my soul until I kick alcohol and grains and take control of my damaging over-consumption thereof. In order to do this this will take kicking my fear of social pressures and my reliance on alcohol as a recreational basis in my social life. It’s a lot, but it’s got to happen.
Straightedge–I hope to get there. Except less punk, more prayer, and more paleo.