Looking back, I used to eat a lot differently than I do now. It started with giving up meat. And I remember the sacrifice and struggle I felt making the choice. Initially, you process feelings of drudgery and despair as you think of all of the things you will not eat anymore for the sake of health. It makes you feel hopeless.
Recently, I have examined my diet again for the sake of treating allergies; giving up gluten and dairy. And those similar feelings of despair have crept into my mind. Whether you are giving up something for health, allergies, or weight loss, we all struggle to deny our diets we have grown to love so much.
And part of what makes it so difficult is that food is not only physiological it is also emotional. We eat certain foods to bring us comfort and deal with the stresses of life. Therefore managing life on a diet can be depressing. On the other hand, giving up certain foods that are not good for our health is cleansing. It makes us feel lighter, gives us more energy, and helps us to function and concentrate.
Please hear me, all you dieters out there: A diet is a lifestyle change, not a fad. Make good, reasonable choices and hang in there. You will find that it gets easier and you will grow to appreciate and love new things. Having a limited diet forces you to think creatively and appreciate the colors and flavors of new things.
What kinds of things have you tried giving up? What were your reasons?