Friday, 1 August 2014

Finding my way

These are the times you find out the small stuff about yourself. Not the big philosophies, just the everyday things to which we can become blind due to sheer repetition.

For instance, I've discovered that (like a lot of people) I do way better with firm boundaries in place. Left to my own devices I will simply drift off into erratic free-form, be that physical or mental. Sometimes that's a good thing but often it is not. I could give you hundreds of examples of it not being good but that would be dull for you and not exactly morale-boosting for me, so I won't.

Except for this one: on the four days a week that I'm in the office until after lunch I take food with me. I start the morning with a smoothie, pack a lunch (see picture above) and off I go. In this way I'm able to stick with my new eating plans mostly because I love it and it makes me feel fantastic. I don't mean in a smug 'Look at my healthy lunch' way I mean in a 'This is your body speaking, I just want to say thanks and hey do you need me to do anything because I'm raring to go here?' way.

However, on the three days a week when I'm not in the office and I have access to the cupboards and fridge and bread bin that are full of stuff that the rest of my family still like to eat...holy crap it's hard. Rather than grazing on fresh raw food - which seems to be my preferred way to take in fuel - I go all kinds of haywire.

My grazing inclinations manifest as picking at whatever's within arm's reach. Followed by 'just a bowl of this' or a 'handful of that' and, while I'm not eating anything other than what I want to be eating, I'm replacing the sugar doping with 'my stomach's so full' doping. And the annoying thing is it's pure habit. I don't like it anymore, I just do it because it's what I always did. So, it's boundaries for me while I break that habit. Structure. Lunch prepared in advance on all seven days until I feel I can take off my training wheels.

This might sound a bit regimented and unsustainable, maybe unhealthily so, to some of you and for you perhaps it would be. But for me it is immensely freeing. My mild OCD tendencies adore the simplicity and clean lines, the smooth flow and order. It makes me feel happy. That kind of happy overflows into all sorts of other areas and so does the simplicity and clean lines, the smooth flow and order.

The effect this is having on other areas of my life is only just beginning to become apparent and that's a whole other post. Some of it is on temporary hold as I navigate this week, which traditionally sees me inhaling cake and chocolate while plotting the murder of anyone who looks at me funny. I know better than to try to soldier on regardless; that would simply be setting myself up for failure. So instead of vegetable smoothies in the morning I'm having fruit and nut versions (literally, not the chocolate bar) with added rice milk. I'm eating more healthy carbs with my evening meal and I am allowing some of that doping to go on because frankly, no one needs me Hulking out right now.

I felt myself slip into a moment of negativity about it yesterday. I thought of all the times I've tried to go vegan and failed because failure this time was feeling like a possibility. But then I reminded myself that I failed to give up smoking a bzillion times but guess what? I kept on trying, over and over. And fifteen and a half years ago I smoked my last cigarette. Go me.

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