Friday, July 25, 2008

Health and Discipline

It often comes as a shock when I am talking to people and tell them that I almost never eat wheat. “How do you do it?” they ask. And I typically give details about my meal choices. I eat eggs for breakfast, fruits and veggies throughout the day always balanced with protein, I may detail some of the wheat alternatives I use on occasion. That is the end of it. Question answered.

But as I have been thinking more and more about the question, I am starting to believe that my answers have been quite superficial and potentially misleading. The foods that I choose to eat as a substitute for wheat, are not actually “how” I do it, instead it is the mindset that I possess, the “why” I do it, that constitutes a better answer. I feel like I say this over and over about Naturopathic medicine, “It’s not what we do, but why we do it that matters”.

So I am able to recognize my own sensitivity to wheat. It is an issue for me. When I consume wheat, my digestion becomes stagnant, I retain water, my energy crashes shortly there after, and I generally don’t feel as good as when I am not eating wheat. So there is 1/3 of the “why”. The remaining 2/3’s, the true answer for “how” we can do it, is built here in our desire and discipline.

The desire is to feel my best, to pursue health day in and day out while mindfully living my ideal of life. It is easy to be afraid of the thought of discipline. “How can I be so tough on myself, refrain, restrict, control my impulses and urges?” I don’t think we can, nor should we. Discipline, as it pertains to our pursuit of health, is not about the negative implications it will have for us as an individual. Instead, the healthy disciplined life is about honesty and accountability. It is about recognizing the significance of our choices and attentively, in each moment, deciding what is best and right for us at that moment. There is liberation in discipline, a freedom from the restrictions and an empowering outlook for the future. It is a chance to be honest with our experience as we strive for health in our lives. It is not about perfection, but only about practice. The beauty of this continuous practice is that we can find a support team and have them help us along our way.

No comments: