Giving up things should not always be depicted as deprivation. I gave up meat and my table is not hurting. And neither is my stomach. And yet, my stomach does not seem to be getting bigger, and man oh man can Savanah and I put away some food. And it dawned on me this last Thanksgiving that even though I made a Turkey for my husband, son and in-laws, our table was filled with mostly vegan food and it was dee-lish-us.
I used to be a very snobby vegetarian, the first time around that is...back in 92-95. But then I matured, and listened to my daughter. who knew you could learn wisdom from a 14 year old. Well I did. I would ask, (to no one in particular) why couldn't so-and-so, get with the program? And it was not in reference to becoming a vegetarian. I don't expect thee entire world to give up meat just because I did. OK, I do but I am not going to get all preachy about it.
What I do is throw it back into their laps and make them think about it and it's funny. By them just being in my presence, they kind of get this guilty look on their face when they even mention meat. As if it is a bad thing. You think? And most of the time they immediately rebound by saying, we do what we can. And I will give them that. But what is it that you are doing that makes you say that? Have you changed your eating habits in any way? Even a small one, such as letting go of some processed foods, go meatless one night, or even one meal a day, how about losing fast food. Pick a type of fast food, any fast food, and you will see what I am talking about.
But every time I talk to people who keep telling me they can't do something...anything, I gently remind them that it's not that they can't, it's that they won't and there is a difference. My all time favorite is, of course, with me begin a vegetarian, is that, 'Oh, I can't give up meat.' Yes you can, you just choose not too, big difference. I don't say it in a condescending manner, just a statement of fact. They don't say much and usually agree with me.
But what I do tell them when we get on any subject of health is that all they have to do is make small changes. Get use to those small changes, let those changes become part of their every day life, let them become instinctual, then move on to the next thing. For instance, when I roll my grocery cart down the cereal aisle, I no longer even look to see what I should buy, for I no longer think in that manner. To me cereal is a foreign object now.
But I tell my friends who try and make excuses for not getting something done in their lives is, 'Yes you can.', if you want it bad enough. You find a game plan and make it work. Save financial situations and some, not all health issues. People will excuse their lives away if you let them. I try to give them hope that they can do whatever they want. You've got to want something bad enough first. I knew I wanted to have my back heal after going through surgery in July of 2008. The doctors had done what they were supposed to do, now it was my turn to take the baton and run with it (not literally). I could find a hundred and one excuses why I could not get out and do a daily walk, but bottom line, the responsibility falls on to my shoulders...no one elses'.
Now, I walk at least 4-5 times a week, and anywhere from 30-45 minutes per walk. There are days I have to make myself, but most of the time I am good to go. And the one benefit I never saw coming was that I dropped 10 pounds, without even trying. I, as Nike says, 'Just Did It'.
So my words of wisdom to those who feel it is hopeless in any aspect of your life is, 'Yes, You Can.' If I can recover as well as I have from major spinal surgery, then you my friends can tackle whatever you want.
I love these words from a father to his daughter in the movie Contact. The young character wants to move ahead by leaps and bounds in the science world, but her father keeps reminding her, 'Small moves Ellie, small moves.'
And how did the ant eat the elephant...one bite at a time.