Due to various health issues (I’ll spare you the details), someone recommended a book to me that she purported would change my life entirely.
Boy, she wasn’t kidding. In order to be cured of all my ills, I must do the following, immediately, and all at once:
Do some form of sweat producing exercise for an hour a day, and completely avoid the following foods for the rest of my life:
All processed foods, including anything in a box, bag, or can.
Processed and smoked meats, including bacon, ham, salami, hot dogs, corned beef, and sausage.
Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Cashews and Pistachios.
Upon reading this, I got tears in my eyes and immediately ate a pint of ice cream and fell into a deep, dark depression, as is my wont in moments of despair. Because I know me. There is no way I can pull this off. You may as well ask me to chop off my head and replace it with that of someone else. It’s too radical a change, it’s too overwhelming.
It’s a set up for failure.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure it’s all good advice. I’m sure it would be life altering. But it’s too extreme. It’s too all-at-once. And my medical condition isn’t life threatening. It’s just annoying. So the incentive isn’t the kind I’d need to completely do away with every single thing I normally eat, with the exception of salad (without dressing) and other veggies from my garden, and then be expected to get my starving butt off the couch to jog for an hour a day.
I know I’m sounding like a whiney little kid, but am I alone in this? Could you do this? Right this minute?
Apparently this must be done all at once or it won’t work. So… it’s not going to work.
Baby steps I can do. I already don’t drink alcohol or soda. I already hate corned beef. And I eat much healthier than I did 10 years ago. But this… it’s insane.
So, in essence, I bought a book that makes me feel worse about myself than I did before, and I still have the health issue. This does not make for a successful health plan. There has to be a better way.
I’m not asking for things to be made completely easy. I’m willing to make certain sacrifices. I don’t think all life solutions should be to take a pill and continue with your bad habits.
But baby steps, you know? I can’t run a marathon when I’ve barely learned to walk. You can’t expect me to quit my job, move to the country, and eat pine trees, while building my own log cabin. Tomorrow. Or even next week. And anyone who expects that much of me is part of the problem.
The first step in designing a healthy lifestyle system is that it should be at least remotely achievable. Otherwise you’re just selling low self-esteem. Thanks, but we’re already full up on that, here.