Monday, May 14, 2012

Longing or Gratitude

The other night I watched TV for the first time in a long time.  No anti-boob-tube righteousness in that hiatus . . . I've been busy.  But I did get a break the other night, and I tuned in MythBusters, and . . .

I was amazed at all commercials for food!  It seemed as though food were being shoved in my face over and over again with a break only to tell me about how there was more food in another room somewhere.  I was reminded of an experience I'd had at a wedding reception -- after half an hour or so of eating at the most splendiferous buffet you could ever imagine, it was announced that the appetizers were finished and it was time for us to go in to dinner!

For anyone who's not been following this blog, yesterday was Day 30 of a fresh vegetable and fruit juice fast.  (See the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead to get an idea of what and why.)  And today is 36 days since processed foods, fast foods, sugar, or the like have passed my lips.  So maybe you can imagine the reaction I was having to this visual smorgasbord.

Or maybe you can't.  Maybe you'd imagine that after a month of eating (drinking?) really healthfully all of this excess would have been unpleasant.  If so, you'd be wrong.  A Double Quarter Pounder from McDs?  Heaven.  A pepperoni pizza which cheese sticks for a crust?  Seventh Heaven!  I watched each and every image of food-like product that was being flashed before my eyes and I coveted it!

And what made this longing even worse was the fact that I know the changes I am making in the way I eat are permanent.  I am not juice fasting so that I can return to eating poisonous food facsimiles.  I am trying to heal my body and save my life.  So I intend to finish this fast and switch to a nutrient-dense, whole-food, plant-based diet.  As of this moment I think I'll be following the kind of diet advocated by Dr. Joel Furhman (among others), author of such books as Eat to Live and which he describes in great detail at his website.

But this means no more ribs.  Ever.  No more KFC.  Ever.  I will never taste the fabled deliciousness of Pizza Hut's Royal Crown Pizza.  Even if it ever gets to the United States.

I love popcorn shrimp.  (Heck, I like any kind of shrimp!)  I love the aroma of barbecuing meat.  And I could look at the changes I'm trying to make from a perspective of deprivation:  I could focus on all of the things that I love to eat that I will never eat again.

Or, I could look at this from a perspective of opportunity:  there is a world  of amazing tastes out there just waiting to be discovered!  Vegan food; raw food; unbelievably tasty things that I've never eaten because instead I've been filling up on fast food.

How do you look at your life?  Do you focus on the things you don't have, on your longings?  Or do you celebrate the things you do have, your gratitude?  This choice makes all the difference.

In Gassho,

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Anonymous said...

I am awed, thrilled, glad...hope it might encourage you to know that after some time, cravings actually CHANGE to cravings for the life-giving food you're now choosing. (Hard to believe now, but those killer-foods will eventually not enchant you. It'll be...blecchh. Or even a smaller, naaah. Just a quiet clam voice from within your new body that is grateful you're allowing it to live. That's what it wants to do.) I think our bodies sometimes are NOT "ourselves" and it can help to talk to your body, as though it's a beloved friend, but not yourself. Ask its help to manage your mind. The life force is bigger than thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a U.U. in Livermore CA. I have spent some time thinking about my food choices. I've been vegan and vegetarian and I've read tons of books about our food choices. One of my favorites is Mark Bittman's "Food Matters." Have you read it? I love how he fuses environmentalism, compassion, and health concerns, clearly lays out his arguments... and then provides recipes. =) (He's very into meals that are composed of primarily plants.)

I try to foster a habit of gratitude for what I have, but I'm still really susceptible to impulse-buys. Especialy on

Tor Hershman said...

Here's some REAL Myth Bursting.....

Cathy Finn-Derecki said...

I have not yet solved my food issues, but with regard to other addictions, I have found that the "one day at a time" approach is easier to live with than the "never again" mindset. I think you are doing an amazing job. Keep it in the day -- go easy on yourself.