“I really respect you for following that diet, but I don’t have time to do all of that cooking/research/shopping!” This is something I hear a lot from people in my day-to-day interactions. These are people who know that they need to adjust their diet and lifestyle, and they are interested in the topic, but part of them is still hesitant and looking for an excuse.
Transitioning to the autoimmune protocol or really any real food diet from the standard American diet is an adjustment in time management, because the standard American diet is built around the idea of speed and convenience. Fast food, microwavable food, pre-packaged food, processed food, its all designed to keep you out of the kitchen, what its not designed to do is keep you healthy. So, if you want to be healthy some level of cooking is going to be involved. With that in mind, let’s break down this excuse.
What you’re saying: “I don’t have time for all of that cooking/research/shopping.”
What you mean: “That’s a lot of work and I am looking for an easier answer.”
- Well good luck my friend! If you find an easier answer that actually works you will become extremely popular extremely fast, because all of the other chronically ill people out there who have tried every pill, fad diet, cleanse, and miracle cure with no luck will want to know your secret! The honest truth is that the only magic cure for getting healthy is giving up what is making you unhealthy and in this case that is the food you are putting in your mouth. Plus what’s easier: cooking or spending the rest of your life in and out of doctor’s offices and pharmacies?
What you mean: “I don’t value myself and my health enough to commit that much time and energy getting better.”
- If you’re in this camp, you are not alone. Many people grow up believing that it is somehow selfish or wrong to invest in your physical wellbeing, so they sabotage themselves and find themselves incapable of making change. This is an incredibly hard thought process to break, but you need to break it. The best thing you can do for the people around you is to get healthy. Your family, friends, children, even the people you work with, will benefit if you become the healthiest version of yourself. You may also feel that you aren’t worth the time or effort because you feel like your body has let you down, believe in your body. You are beautifully and wonderfully made, your body is not a mistake, it just needs some help. I highly encourage anyone who is struggling with these types of feelings to seek the help of a licensed counselor in order to break this vicious cycle and move forward in your healing journey.
What you mean: I am self-conscious and I don’t want to be different from everyone else/I’m worried about my social life.
- This is a common concern. Most of us have sailed through life with the understanding that things are just easier when you follow the crowd. No one wants to be marginalized. However, I encourage you to really step back and think about what elements of your social life are important. Is it the pizza that brings you to the girl’s night or is it your friends? Is it the drinks that takes you to the club or is it the dancing? Is it the coffee that draws you the hang out or is it the conversation? Many of our social customs revolve around food, but relationships and fun do not require food. Your true friends will support you in your commitment to your health and you will find other ways to socialize. Drink tea not coffee, dance don’t drink, go for a walk and a picnic instead of out to lunch, go to a movie instead of a restaurant.
What you mean: I don’t want to give up anything else in my life in order to work on my health.
- As with most things in life, commitment to something new usually does require some sacrifice. Staying up late to celebrate a friend’s birthday party means you are sacrificing your productivity at work tomorrow due to lack of sleep, those new boots you just bought sacrificed you your savings, and that pizza you ate for dinner last night sacrificed your health. If you are sick and/or suffering from an autoimmune disease how much are you currently sacrificing? Your quality of life? Your ability to work? The ability to play with your kids? Life without the side effects of medication? The only difference between these sacrifices and those you may have to make to get healthy is that you are used to these. Plus, your current sacrifices have no real reward, sacrificing junk food or late night TV in order to regain your health and well-being is a pretty big reward.
We all have excuses that stand in the way of us being our best selves, however if you are really serious about regaining control of your health you need to break down your excuses and move past them until there are no excuses left, because that is what you deserve.
I’ll have time in 1772 days when I retire. Right now it’s all I can do to get enough sleep between shifts.
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