By Leslie D. Rose
Eating clean and healthy can be a challenge, especially when obstacles are placed in front of you. In part one of this article, I told you all about how I removed sugar from my diet and lost three pounds within one week of doing so. By the time you read this I will have completed “Get Fresh with Alvin,” the five-week nutrition program that I followed. I’m down two pant sizes, off of prescription medications, boasting a fancy new flatter stomach and I’m still sugar free.
But then there were cupcakes… And I’m not talking about some regular, old, random cupcake – I’m talking about a moist and delicious, beautifully decorated wedding cupcake. I’m salivating just thinking about them. But I’m strong – plus I had already annihilated three boxes of Kashi oatmeal dark chocolate chip cookies – they’re naturally flavored by the way. Anyway, I didn’t have a cupcake and I’m still patting myself on the back for walking away from my former addiction.
I have worked really hard to learn and perfect my new eating habits over these past few weeks. I didn’t want to let one delicious mistake ruin everything, and by one delicious mistake, I mean I would have eaten several cupcakes. I seriously lack self-control, which is kind of how I gained 80 pounds in the first place.
But you don’t want to read about the bad things, you want to know how things are going perfect. Well I’m sorry to have to tell you – there’s no perfection without faux pas. You will never begin a new journey in which you are unfamiliar and be able to disregard a map. The same goes for diet changes, you’re going to blunder – and damn it, that is okay!
I was lucky to venture into this process with nine other people. Weekly, even daily, we were there to come to each other’s rescue, but that doesn’t mean that we never erred. For instance, cookies – naturally sweetened or not – were not a part of the program and for sure, not three boxes of them. My wellness coach even ate some French fries at a restaurant because he was sent the wrong food and didn’t have the heart to send it back. I cooked a full spaghetti dinner with a jar of sugary pasta sauce before I realized what I had done. One of my fellow journeyers went on a job interview in which the employers preordered her meal of fried foods and decadent desserts. I ate a bowl of cereal sweetened with sugar because I didn’t read the label first. A few other people in the class also made slip-ups due to their surroundings, peer pressure or not paying attention to labels. But we were all there to help each other get back on track.
However since you didn’t have the luxury of talking this journey with us, I’m going to share a few tips from our wellness coach. First is Dr. Oz’s rule of five – if high fructose corn syrup, sugar, enriched, hydrogenated/trans fat or saturated fat – are in the first five ingredients, don’t eat it. When you’re out grocery shopping, read every label. Make sure you understand and can pronounce all of the ingredients and that the item is made from things you are comfortable putting into your body. Opt for fresher meats and locally grown vegetables that are immune to the same areas you live. Incorporate more whole wheat and grains. Shop at places that can accommodate these things (cough – Trader Joe’s – ahem). And most importantly, learn to love and forgive yourself and move on.
Temptation is everywhere! It almost feels like it’s lurking around the corner waiting to trip you. But if you fall because someone has tripped you, get back up, kick his ass and keep it moving. Mistakes will happen, people will pressure you and your old favorite foods will make cameo appearances in your life. It’s up to you to say, “I’m worth more and I deserve better.”
From one former victim of bad eating habits to you, dietary change is possible, and the only after effects are a smoking body and great health.