When starting a new way of life, including a diet, it can be difficult to stick to it. Food brings us such pleasure that is far more than just what is in the bite of food on your fork. The pleasure food brings is deep. Certain smells will bring back happy childhood memories when we were warm and safe and loved unconditionally. That’s why in the beginning of switching to a different diet it can be helpful to completely abstain from “trigger” foods, smells, and situations.
In most other things in our lives we’ve learned that principles are more important than pleasure. After all, we don’t just turn off the alarm and go back to bed instead of going to work, or go out in public naked, just because it’s more comfortable, right? But, with food, it’s so much harder to do what is right because we feel as if it only affects us, and the results aren’t even sudden and immediate like missing work is, or going outside naked would be. The results of making poor food choices build up overtime without us even knowing it. In fact, eating food is the one acceptable form of self-abuse that we are allowed in this world.
When you choose a specific diet to follow, and you make a promise to yourself to stick to it for a certain amount of time, it’s important for you to follow through with your promise to yourself. When you make those promises to yourself and don’t stick to them you’ll tend to beat up yourself and feel bad. So that moment of fun really isn’t worth it over all. The other fact is that no one is perfect, there are going to be times you eat something that isn’t specifically on the list, but that doesn’t mean you have given yourself permission to completely fall off the wagon. Get up, dust yourself off and get right back on.
Sometimes looking outside of yourself to see how your diet affects others it can help you stick to it. For example, eating a plant based diet will act on your carbon footprint as if you stopped driving or switched to an all electric car due to the decreased us of water, fossil fuels and more needed to raise cattle, chicken, and pork. Perhaps it might also help you to think of the animal. Animals that will become food, no matter how well they are treated will ultimately die.
Factory farms and even some certified organic and “cruelty” free farms are far from nice places for the animal to be. To produce products that consumers like today it requires forced feeding, and even salt water pumpers after death to ensure that the product looks and tastes presentable. Did you know that Hens do not normally produce as the volume of eggs that they do in Hen houses for egg farming. We all know that factory farms are horrible, but educate yourself on the farming practices of the so called kinder farms out there and you may be able to choose principles over pleasure every time just due to that education.
Finally, even though at first you may need to consciously choose principles over pleasure the world is abundant with plant life that is delicious and when prepared correctly will give you just as much pleasure as your mom’s fatty banana pudding recipe. After all, who hasn’t gotten pleasure from a deliciously, juicy ripe peach?