Monday, April 30, 2012

Food For Thought: The Big Dilemma

Let's get real, shall we?

Quite often, one thing holds me back mentally as I enjoy this lifestyle (and great health) for my third year. That is, being a prior "foodie" who thought life was dull without the bounty of samplings from different cultures, cuisines, culinary artistry, etc being "experienced" throughout one's life, I always wonder if someday I will regret my decision. Not that I think I will now, but I am not so naive that I think I know what I will think about someday, as my life is coming to an end, and I reflect upon it and realize that special feeling that so many of their death beds do about what made life memorable, rich. In the past, I have had thoughts (more like nightmares) about awakening in Heaven, and finding myself asked by an angel engaged in conversation, what food I enjoyed the most, reminiscing about all the delicacies and experiences of life. I imagined myself stuttering, unable to spit it out, that I had shunned all the culinary pleasures life had to offer for fear of "getting fat" or (gasp) dying of cancer or otherwise, just dying. Clinging to life, forsaking life itself for the sake of being alive. You might say "But Jemoiselle, I don't equate life to food, life is about living, running, jumping, laughing!" To that I would say you haven't lived in the head of a foodie, my friend. Correct, in that yes, there are great joys to be had other than eating, but some of us really do have a passion for food, look at the greatest chefs and sugar artists in the world with a passion for what they do that makes them famous for all time? Julia Childs? People who dedicate their lives to enjoying fine wines, and trying to taste all of them! LOL Try telling them to give up their passion and learn to love the outdoors instead! It is in their blood! Much, much, MUCH easier said than done. So what do I do, but attempt to do exactly that. Not that I am any Julia, but I made beautiful cakes. I made chocolates, all kinds of breads, and I aspired to master them before my time was up. When I gave all that up, basically, my entire world of passion, I had to seriously analyze what I was doing and figure out what made my decision the right one for me, one I could live with should I get run over by a car tomorrow and die young anyways, having just skipped that donut that beckoned to me a few minutes earlier, because I was afraid of dying fat or diseased LOL. 

I really don't take anything lightly, do I? Nope. This morning, something came to me. It came out of nowhere, but stopped me dead in my tracks this morning and just made sense. It finally answered my question, once and for all. Of course, if you aren't a person of faith, this might mean very little to you. But for me, it was my much needed answer to that pesky knat of regret that every now and then buzzes around my psyche refusing to just go away already! Are you ready? Here it is:

Would God want me to enjoy a food or beverage that brings me temporary pleasure but slowly kills me? Would the temporary pleasure in experiencing it be enough for God to say "Do it! Gamble! Life is too short NOT to enjoy the finest life has to offer!" Does God condone gambling on anything, especially our own health and life? Would He say life is too short to NOT gamble on our health for the sake of drug induced pleasures, or would He encourage us to rather seek meaningful pleasure in life or yourself if you feel the need for more richness? Is our pursuit of gustatory pleasure for a gourmet life somehow subconsciously an attempt to make up for a lack of real substance in our daily interactions with each other? A symptom of something missing? Does the food, much like booze to an alcoholic, merely patch up our pain until our next fix? 

Now, I realize I cannot speak for God. I also realize not everyone feels they answer to Him, and thus, will not understand the significance of this and it will go right over their heads. That is fine! This was meant specifically for me, all I am doing is sharing it. If it doesn't pertain to you, no biggie. Each of us is different, what causes one to stumble might be perceived as healthy to another. I am not trying to convince anyone to change their belief systems nor sway those not interested in a whole food plant based lifestyle to change. I am hoping that someone else out there, someone like me, will find this, find it makes sense for them and finally have their answer to the pesky "quality of life" dilemma once and for all, too. In the beginning of the Nutritarian journey, most people are focused on weight loss. The thing is, this lifestyle is so effective for that, that soon your motivation for weight loss will vanish, as you will be at your ideal weight and will have the body you always dreamed of having. What then? Once you are that elusive size 2, healthy and just maintaining, your motivations WILL shift and have to evolve with you. Unless you can surround yourself in others like you, you will have to find a way to cement yourself into your position, and remind yourself of it constantly. That is me. I live in a foreign country, nobody eats like I do, not even my Husband, temptation and people who think I am insane and extreme are everywhere I look. I am not fooled though. I use these times to strengthen my resolve, a nutritarian metamorphosis of sorts, where I reaffirm and evolve. 

I am going to adapt a phrase commonly used by financial guru Dave Ramsey to suit the Nutritarian lifestyle:
"If you want to live like no one else later, you have to live like no one else today!" Where "nobody else" is the general overweight and addicted/diseased population, and where living like nobody else means not eating what they eat, making the sacrifices necessary to become free of addictive foods, substances and drugs! You have to experience the whole package to know what it means to be addiction free. If you don't think S.A.D food is addictive, you clearly have not given it up yet.

That's all for now,