"You can eat as much french fries as you like..." said my doctor six months ago after getting repeatedly frustrated with me and my laboratory results. He saw from my chart I had been eating the 'bad fats' again and the culprit was my weekly french fry habit. "You can eat as much fries as you like, but you must fry them yourself at home in extra virgin coconut butter!"
It was the promise of unlimited french fries that finally got me moving!
I had had health problems with my gut for a long time and had been seeing my doctor already for a year. I had always been eating really healthy (I thought) but stress and eating wrong fats hat badly damaged my gut (more about nutritional choices in another post) and I had to seek help. I'd already made significant changes cutting all grains and sugar, but changing the fats I was eating was proving more difficult.
He had been telling me to change my frying fats to coconut butter repeatedly for a year. I had ignored his advice, knowing this little change could dramatically improve my healing process. He'd told me that I wouldn't even notice the difference in the taste of food but I was suspicious and had refused to even give it a try.
What would have been my total investment?
Tiana Coconut Butter costs £8.80 at Ocado, a 250g jar that actually lasts much longer than most fats as you don't have to use so much. Trying it out on one dish takes perhaps 30 minutes off my life.
Not a big deal. Total investment for a trial and to check if my doctor was right about the taste would have been under £10 and less than one hour of my life!
But no. For the longest of time I refused to give it a go.
It took me repeated blood tests, complete frustration of my doctor and a promise of endless fries to finally try cooking with coconut butter. And guess what, my doctor was right. Coconut butter has no taste to the food!
It's incredible how we humans keep refusing to do the things we know would be good for us or might even dramatically change our outcome.
I don't even want to talk about emotionally difficult things here, like dealing with your mother relationship. Sure that is difficult and I understand why one wants to put it off for a lifetime. I'm talking about small little every day things that anyone can do with relative ease.
You know the book that's on the DrivenWoman reading list and you already ordered it from Amazon and it's now sitting at your bedside table.
Or the mediation app you wanted to upload.
Or the wardrobe that's still awaiting for a spring clean.
Or the fresh ginger and lemon tea you should drink first thing every morning.
Change is difficult but when it comes to these small everyday fixes I'm amazed why we keep putting them off. It's these small little things that can yield a great ROI in terms of health and happiness. Why are we held back by refusal?
So are we afraid the cleaner body and how fantastic we might feel if we switch to that better diet? Or are we afraid of a wardrobe where we'd find clothes we actually want to use with ease? Probably not. It's the big unknown the little changes might bring. The side effects are scary, not the act itself.
Better the devil you know!
Postponing and procrastinating on these small moves can feel ok for a while. So what if I don't feel like reading that book this week. Starting next week will be just as fine!
But how long is ok? How long can things be put off until they really start to hurt? How long is ok to not fix things that would improve your happiness?
I no longer want to postpone anything. I can't do everything at the same time, but I do know my priorities. So what's the remedy?
My goal is to remove my feelings from the situation and move directly into taking action.
When I hear my inner voice whispering "Ah, I don't feel like doing it right now, I'll do it tomorrow..." I most likely don't feel like going to the fridge, getting the ginger and peeling it, a tea bag would be much more convenient. I don't feel like opening the book, as scrolling through my Facebook feed sounds like much more fun (even though I've already done it about a million times today) and I most definitely don't feel like reaching for the coconut butter jar as the butter is already at the table and butter does taste wonderful doesn't it!
I'm by-passing my lazier self, rudely cutting her out.
I gently remind myself why I have to do the little action at hand and just get it done.
And as I get into it my motivation to keep this new habit going grows. Do it first and get inspired with what you are doing later.