Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 23 - Reflection

Nothing significant to report today.  Fish, rice, fish, rice, some greens here and there, some wild garlic and onions.  Bad breath.  And an occasional sweet treat of frozen pineapple.  I do have some observations that I have been meaning to write about.  It's just been so busy lately with the past few reports and photos that I haven't shared some other insightful things that I have discovered during this experience.  I think you may find it interesting. . .

I was trying to compare my Survivor Diet Challenge to the challenges facing the actual contestants on Survivor and also to people in general who go on diets.  In addition I want to share some thoughts on how my overall health has been altered by not eating 'convenience foods' and how people can make similar changes to their health (without having to get as extreme as a Survivor Diet).
Sometimes I envy the people on the show because there are tropical fruits (coconuts, mangoes and banana trees), many varieties of fish, clams, crabs, and other sea life.  Sometimes there are wild chickens.  My point is that in the tropics, there 'seems' to be more variety available.  Yet, in some ways the people on the television show have it more difficult than I have it.  They don't have access to refrigeration, grills, various cooking utensils, the internet for information, etc.  These are conveniences that the "suburban survivor" has.  However, I believe that there is one very significant factor that I have to deal with - that they do not.  That is WILL POWER.

Throughout this whole experience I have been very good - mostly honest and true to my rules.  Every so often there is some little thing that I slip with but really not much at all.  My biggest challenge is having the will power to resist ALL of the other food and sources of food that are everywhere around me.  The television Survivors don't have to deal with this because they don't have desserts and food and restaurants shoved in their face the whole time.  That is incredibly difficult and is more of a mental game than anything else.  Will power.

It is especially difficult on nights when I have to cook for my family and doubly difficult when my kids sit there and don't eat all of their vegetables or !  Nobody in my family likes leftovers except for me and I am usually the one to eat the leftovers the next day.  Now our refrigerator is piling up with leftovers and all of this food is never going to be eaten.  So every time I open the fridge it is packed with things to eat and I have to push it aside to find my pot of brown rice or beans.

This is the dilemma that so many people on diets face.  Diets are utterly ridiculous!  I am convinced of that.  People can't possibly have the will power to stick to a diet plan when all of industrial America is against them.  Fast food, advertisements, soda pop - not to mention the whole pharmaceutical industry.  Don't even get me started on that one.  Debbie got us to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution over the past few weeks and admittedly I was hesitant at first.  However, it is an eye opener to what 'Big Business' has done to the health, drug and food industries in America and this one guy is truly fighting a revolution.  I highly recommend it for anyone who has not seen it.  This guy has so much passion for a cause that is so RIGHT and he is met with resistance every step of the way.  And I have to say, after watching several episodes, it all comes down to two things: money and ignorance.  You can combine both of those things in a category of 'convenience' but money and ignorance are the culprits.

Money can be divided into 1) The money made by Industrial America's Big Business that keeps the machine perpetually going and growing.  and 2) The money that people are not willing to spend on the better quality/less processes food items.

Ignorance is the general population accepting what has been done for years and years and not fighting to make a change - even at the great expense of their health and the health of their kids (and their kids, kids).  Ignorance is not learning how to properly shop for and prepare your own meals but instead relying on the fast foods and convenience foods of today for the majority of your nutrition.

Sorry to go off on a tangent here.  (See - this is what happens when I tell Debbie to write my blog for a day - Ah, just kidding)  Going through a Survivor Diet Challenge can open your eyes to these types of things and this is an opportunity for me to play my little part in the revolution.  It may be a little extreme at times but my hope is that when I am finished with my 40 day challenge, I take some of what I have learned and apply it towards my future eating habits.  Today I took my blood pressure and it was 118/88.  That's a significant improvement from the start of this challenge.  And that's only one of the measurable changes that I can quantify which shows that eating healthy, whole foods is making a difference.  You don't need to take medicine - let the food you eat be the medicine and your body will cure itself.  That's all it does - fixes itself.  Headaches - gone.  Weight - under control.  BP - almost back to normal.  It would be interesting to get a cholesterol check too - I know it was very high in the past but I don't have an exact point of reference to compare it to.

Let my experience be an eye opener for you (Mom).  It doesn't mean you have to do the Survivor Diet (although it would be nice if some others did it with me!).  What it means is that you need to take a step back, look at the big picture and join the revolution.  If you have health problems of any kind, it's never too late to make a significant change and let your personal machine (your body) do what it does best.  You just have to provide the right fuel.  Don't be IGNORANT.  Spend your MONEY on the right things.  It may not always be the most convenient thing or the easiest - but it will be worth it in the end.

"Not by age, but by capacity is wisdom acquired."

1 comment:

  1. Proof that I didn't write it--I do eat leftovers, despite Doug's perception that I don't. I am the only one who eats the veggie leftovers, in fact.