Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4

Learning from mistakes
Like everybody, I hate making mistakes, and I have made plenty.  I did have good guidance as a child however, and was taught to learn from my mistakes and to not repeat them.  This lesson applies to food as well as life in general.

Last night I made a mistake.  It was late, I was hungry, and I had eaten only 2 meals.  I decided to have some leftovers at about 10 p.m.  When I was eating 3 meals per day, I tried never to eat after dinner.  Last night, I learned that even when hungry, it is a bad idea to eat late.  I did not sleep well and was uncomfortable for most of the night.  My new eating plan does not change my need to fast after dinner.  I plan not to repeat that mistake.

What I see in the real world is many people repeating the same mistakes.  It is most obvious in those with marked health problems like obesity and chronic disease.  It is always least obvious to ourselves.  It is easy to beat ourselves up over mistakes and fail to learn from them.

It is important to stop now and then and look where we are.  If we are not where we would like to be, it is certainly because some mistake is being repeated.  A determined search will usually show the mistake, and a determined effort can avoid the mistake.  This seems so obvious, and yet is so often missed.  I wish to myself, and to everybody, the courage to face up to mistakes and find ways to eliminate them.  That is the goal for me - not perfection, but continuous improvement.  That is the opposite of excuses.

Excuses are much easier than improvement.  Last night I chatted with a friend who now knows about healthy eating, but has been unable to do it.  She lamented that she had three upcoming celebrations to attend, and would not be able to eat well.  I mentioned that she did not have to eat the food served at these occasions, and could eat before hand.  Her look showed that she had already logged her excuse for these occasions.  My friend is a wonderful and intelligent person who is obese with serious medical issues as a result.  Despite her many great personal qualities, she has chosen excuses over improvement.  I hope that will change.

It is sad to see so many people who do not know that the solution is so simple. If you eat whole plant food, like logged here, you are going to get great results.  Period.  It is even more sad to see people who know about healthy eating struggling for years without progress because they are repeating mistakes.  Usually, the mistake involves a food addiction to something like chocolate or junk food that they think they can control and include in an otherwise healthy diet.  At some point, they need to learn from that mistake.

Everybody who knows about people like Drs. Furhrman, McDougall, Novick, Esselstyn, Barnard, etc. should be healthy and trim, or well on their way towards that.  I hope everybody will learn better from their mistakes.  Today, I have still not eaten because I am learning from one of my own.

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