Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Environment

I often become downtrodden when trying to make big changes in my life. I am far from a defeatist, I am not a quitter, and I am an optimist; but changing one's eating habits is so hard.

I recall the year I did the PCP. About five months prior I had gone pescatarian. This combined with the Patrick's direction and exercises for the PCP had me feeling better than I ever had, and it was also easier to accept dietary change as I had just made a radical one. I also recall the day I gave up pescatarianism. I gave it up because I felt that it had become a bit of a game to me, to see how long I could go. What I failed to realize at the time was that I shouldn't have seen it as temporary to begin with. I should have seen it as a permanent change in my lifestyle.

I am still struggling to accept exercise, a healthy diet, wellness as a permanent lifestyle change. It's so ingrained in us to see seasons such as winter-weight season and "bikini season". I'm also used to tackling life in seasons, especially professionally. I love change.

Change. Environment is crucial to change.

When I was on the PCP, I stood out amongst my peers like a pimple on an otherwise blemish-free face: "Why are you doing this?" "So you're not going to eat tasty food any more?" "I just don't get it." I was never ridiculed, but I was certainly "different". At the time it felt really good to be that disestablishmentarian odd-man-out, that salmon swimming upstream. Now I just want to physically, emotionally, spiritually feel the way I did. The KFB is certainly helping me get there all over again, but my environment is still disheartening.

I do have more local support this time than last. Two of my best friends, whom I actually lived with at the time of the PCP, have completely turned around their eating habits for the better. We talk shop about health, diet, nutrition, and recipes from time to time. It certainly helps to have that mutual understanding and appreciation of nutrition with others, and I look forward to moving to a bigger city where healthy eating is more "cultural" and healthy food is more easily accessible.

Thanks also to you, my teammates and readers, for the encouragement, feedback, and support. It's time for me to stop bitching and to start problem solving.

7 comments:

  1. You're right—it is sooo hard to make these changes! Once you establish new habits, you'll probably notice that the people you gravitate toward have similar values. And you've clearly already been a good influence on your best friends!

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  2. Awesome post! Just what I needed to hear.

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  3. Nice post. Looking at it as permanent can be difficult but if you don't take permanence seriously, you're likely domed to the cycles of up and down we all know so well.

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  4. Its very hard to be the one who does things differently but great stories are made of this kind of people. Keep on fighting!

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  5. I agree with Lili -- it's hard to be different. No matter where I've been in my life, I've always been different -- the only gay person in my whole extended family; the only person questioning religion in a Christian college; the only vegetarian in a pack of meat-eaters; the only person in my social group willing to become a healthier individual. But it's always those different people who blaze the trail ahead for others to follow.

    As Mama Cass says in a song from the "H.R. Pufnstuf Movie":

    "Different is hard, different is lonely,
    Different is trouble for you only.
    Different is heartache, different is pain,
    But I'd rather be different than be the same!"

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  6. Heather, Emily, Shivani, Lili -- Thanks!

    Michael, you're right. I often make excuses such as, "I need to take it easy or I'll burn out." I need to take change more seriously.

    E, I am proud of your for taking a stand, being yourself. I appreciate the quote. It's a fun way to remember that swimming upstream is not just okay, it's worth it.

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