The Seventh Almond: The Water

In the First Almond, I spoke of an essay from Joan Didion about the waterways in California. If you need a refresher, or are new to the blog, I encourage you to go back and read it here: The First Almond.

The essay discusses the flow of water from the Pacific Ocean through the various channels and into the homes and restaurants in Southern California. I believed when I began my journey that the article summarized my efforts and struggles in not only losing weight, but getting to the core of who I am and what is important to me. I reread that article in hopes to reaffirm my reasons for going through the Transformation program. The water has a purpose. The water has a journey. As it flows from ocean to stream, stream to the cleaning plants, and eventually to the pipes and runs that take it to the homes, the water transforms.

Over the past couple of months that I’ve changed my eating habits, living habits, and general outlook on life, I have gone through a number of transformations.

Before I began this journey, I chose to eat meat. Separate from the program, my girlfriend challenged me to go a month without eating meat. I accepted the challenge, honestly, to show her that I would not be able to do it. Reading that sounds so strange, but I did it to show her after a month that I was not cut out to be a vegetarian. Then a funny thing happened. I struggled through the first week, and thought about constantly eating chicken and Reuben sandwiches. Then, I began waking up and feeling lighter. I noticed my skin cleared up, and I never felt that heavy rock-in-the-stomach type of fullness that I did after I ate a big steak or burger. It has been over 3 months since I have last eaten meat, and I don’t have any plans of going back.

I am not the water that travels through the systems and transforms. I am the transformation.

In the past, I never considered myself a morning person. On Saturdays, I would routinely sleep in until 10:30 and still wake up groggy. (In college, 10:30 on Saturday was out of the question, but I am 27 and have put that time in the rear-view mirror…. most of the time at least). But, like the water, I have changed. I cannot remember the last time I’ve slept in until 9:00. I attribute it to the new found energy from eating right.

SIDE STORY: I’ll keep it brief. My senior year in high school, I lost 45 pounds doing the Adkins diet. I cut out all bread and starches and lost all that weight in 3 months, but I also lost all my energy. I played summer baseball and was almost falling asleep in the dugout. OK, back to the blog. 

This program drastically cut out the amount of bread intake day to day. When I began, I flashed back to then and had my doubts about the longevity this program would have in my life. After I finished the Adkins test, I put the weight back on in about the same amount of time as I took it off. But this feels different. I didn’t just cut bread out of my diet, but I learned what it does to my body. I feel educated, and because of that, I feel like I have what it takes to continue past this program and make this the way I live for the rest of my life.

I am going to leave you with this (and I have a terrible habit of this, which I am trying to change): when we are presented with a difficult and drastic change to our day to day, we kick, scream, fight and do everything we can to convince ourselves not to allow that change. We do it in our personal lives, in our jobs, and in ourselves. Allow yourself to do this. Allow yourself to fight it for a few minutes. Take an hour and blow off steam, but consider the advantages of where you’ll be if you follow through with that tough decision and you will come out better on the other side. Struggle. Complain. Cry if you have to, but do it. I promise you you’ll feel a sense of pride in yourself that only comes from overcoming a life hurdle. I did. And as I look down the track, I see more hurdles. But as I look behind me, I see hurdles too, and I am closer to the finish line than where I began.