Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nutritarian prison

I was at a meditation workshop this weekend and heard the following story:   say you are looking forward to going to your favorite park to have a picnic all day long with your family and/or friends.  You are taking the day off from work.   You are really looking forward to this.  The day comes, you go to the park, then the police show up and say, you have to stay here all day long.  You cannot leave.  Then what happens?  You probably want to leave!  You do not want to be locked up against your will.  That is how the brain reacts to commands.  That is why willpower is probably not so effective.  It may not be willpower that makes people succeed, but other types of motivation.   I certainly did not use willpower when I became a nutritarian.  I just thought this was a fun new way to eat and cook, and it was producing amazing results so I wanted to keep on going.

Well, after several years of being a nutritarian, I sometimes feel like I am in a prison too.  I am so used to eating healthy that I can't tolerate the unhealthy stuff.   I find it easier to go 100% healthy than 90%.  But that means I eat differently from everyone else, all the time.  This is easily twisted into feeling that I'm not allowed to eat what everyone else eats, and feeling sad about that.  They are all provided snacks and catered meals from one of the best restaurants in town, and I am not!   They are raving about the food and I can't have any!   Rationally, I know I likely wouldn't like the oily, salty food, and the snacks are mostly junk.

Rationally I get positive messages all the time that I am doing what I want to do.  At one point today we were supposed to meditate on pain and I was one of the few people in the room with no pain to meditate on.  I'm probably one of the few who doesn't take medications.  My lunch and snacks were yummy.

So why am I still after all these years experiencing jealousy?   Maybe it's just a last step of dredging up some old feelings so I can shed them like a snake sheds skin.  Would that ever be a relief.

The workshop was great by the way.  This is definitely a fun new adventure for me.   Hard to believe I'm saying that about sitting around doing nothing.  haha.

8 comments:

princess singular said...

great post....i feel the same way too, sometimes. Even though I know i feel incredible, love the food and can continue to lose the weight I struggle with the fact that I must be 100% compliant to have those benefits....and I too feel "jealous" of the other kids at the party who seem to have it easier than I do. I know in my heart I am doing the right thing for my body, but still, those feelings are there and as i believe you mentioned in a previous post about not really feeling like you had food "issues" until you went on this plan but feel you may have developed some now and I feel the same way. Just nice to know I am not alone in this. I am still very committed to ETL, but nice to "vent" once in a while :)

Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) said...

Gosh, I can see why you would feel this way but I haven't had that experience at all being a nutritarian. Perhaps you need to find some more people around you who eat the same way? I'm lucky in that my husband is also a nutritarian, so we are always supporting each other. I think you might need to be more open to letting yourself enjoy that 10% where you can have some treats, it sounds like you are being too restrictive with yourself. It's not a black and white issue, and searching for perfection is going to make you miserable.

Kate said...

My son and his friends opened a pizza box as I walked into the kitchen Saturday night. For a brief second, I WANTED that pizza. Then I imagined myself in a couple hours ill and vomiting, followed by days of even worse digestive symptoms. No Thanks! It no longer seemed delicious. I think my allergies to gluten and dairy along with my inability to digest animal fats has been a huge blessing. I can make my own great pizza from polenta or potatoes, great sauce and tons of pizza veggies; I eat to my heart's content. Micro-seconds of jealousy don't compare to days of terrible symptoms or years of living like my grandma.

Yes, it's hard around others but they are all going to have heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, when I'm still enjoying life.

kneecap said...

Hi, thanks for your comments. I realize this was a pretty negative post. Not characteristic for me but maybe I'm in a dark period. :) Carrie, I agree with you that 90% compliance is a more sensible approach. I'm not sure why I am resistant to that now. I think after all these years, my body really prefers 100%, but my mind is not sure what it wants.

kneecap said...

Kate, congratulations on resisting the pizza!

Helyn said...

Oh boy can I relate to this post. I don't really miss the foods I used to eat so much as the restaurants... I had some favorite food joints I frequented. Now I can't even eat "healthy" food out anymore. I still try. Last night we went to a japanese place. I had the stir-fry, no salt please, with extra mushrooms and passed on the rice. That was it! Nothing extreme. Well, I tossed and turned all night and was up with extreme thirst (I did say no salt but the sauce was made with soy sauce which is very salty). And of course there was oil. All for a little meal out for a change. I swear someday I will open a Nutritarian cafe! Thanks for listening. xo

helynshealthykitchen.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I empathize. Not only have I gone Nutritarian, but I also don't drink. And can't -- because I'm in AA. When I first got sober nearly a decade ago, it seemed impossible to have any kind of social life that didn't involve drinking. But I gradually retooled my thinking about what there was to do in life. So I don't hang out in bars anymore and instead went back to singing at open mics.

I started to feel less deprived and more empowered by making it my conscious choice not to drink at any given moment. I apply the same thinking to my diet now. While I do not have to be quite as black and white about not eating certain things as I do about any alcohol consumption (which always means asking how sauces are prepared in restaurants,etc), there will be times I miss eating bread, cheese and sushi. Does that mean I will never have any of those things? No. It just means I choose not to have them today. When you start giving yourself back the power of choice instead of telling yourself you can never have another...(fill in the blanks), you likely will experience less of these negative feelings.

kneecap said...

that sounds very reasonable. thanks for the great insights.