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Falling Off the Wagon
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Photo: David Davis
When someone who is trying to quit smoking gives in to a cigarette and another and another, we might call that falling off the wagon, right? Just as we would for someone who has an alcoholic beverage after having given it up for a time. But what about falling off the nutrition wagon? It's the same thing, really. You make a pledge to yourself to start eating better by including more nutritious foods and using less low-nutritient foods. 

If you stick with it long enough, you begin to notice that you actually like nutritious foods! You find yourself even becoming hungry for nutritious foods! Who knew? And if you stick with it even longer, you discover that you have more energy, clearer mental focus, and maybe even looser blue jeans!

Despite all the advantages of riding high on the nutrition wagon, we can still fall. I took a tumble just recently. I'd been doing great for several months, actually. I was cooking with more whole foods, using less sugar, and swapping recipes with my daughter who had recently taken up organic, vegetarian cooking. We were thrilled to enjoy more energy, clearer thinking, and we even began craving such foods as lettuce, tomatos, oranges, and avocados! Yes, we were riding high.

Vacation

So what happened? Well, it happened as I took a shopping trip to the city. Kind of a vacation day. I got there at lunch time and when I walked through the food court, I soon found myself "vacationing" from one food place to another. I started at Taco John's, which wouldn't have been so bad in itself. I mean, you have to eat somewhere. But I extended my vacation to the Cookie Company, Godiva Chocolates, followed later by McDonald's French fries. On my trip home, I stopped for gas at Casey's and came out with more in my hand than change.

As I consumed my second donut, I had to ask myself what in the world I was pulling off. I had been on vacation. Right. But what exactly was I vacationing from? Was I needing a vacation from the higher energy level I had been enjoying? Or was I needing a vacation from the clearer mental focus? Maybe I was vacationing from the whole foods that I actually liked better than donuts.

Even with a fuzzy brain, I realized how silly it was to spoil myself by, well.spoiling myself. I soon got back on the wagon. Here are some tips for staying there:
  • Pray for a change of cravings. Actually ask God to give an appetite for healthy, whole foods.
     
  • Google some web sites for healthy recipes and keep trying them.
     
  • Be realistic. Having a treat now and then isn't falling off the wagon. It is our consistent habits that make or break our health.
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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.



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