This is part two of our five-part series to get you started on the path to vibrant, plant-based wellness. Part one is here. Please ask your questions in the comments or feel free to contact me.
Step 2: Accept that the answer is usually "no."
This was a tough one to wrap my mind around. If you haven't already, read Gretchen Rubin's thoughts on being an abstainer v. a moderator. I'm an abstainer - that means I find it easier to eat consistently well when I have concrete rules about what is ok and what isn't. If you have some weight to lose, odds are good that you're an abstainer too---those of us who struggle with weight gain aren't usually all that good at moderating our intake. Moderators do better with "everything in moderation." I firmly believe, however, that anyone who really embraces this path to health has to go through an "abstainer" phase.
The abstainer phase is the phase when your answer to "Can't you just try a bite?" or "Would you like some cake for this very special occasion?" has to be "no." Eventually, a bite (or even a slice) probably won't hurt every once in a while, but when you're forming new tastes and fighting embedded food cravings and behaviors, accept that you need to go through a phase where you say "no" to anything that isn't all of the following:
- A whole food and
- A plant-based food and
- Free of added sweeteners and oils
It's tough, and the length of the abstainer phase is personal and dependent on your own self-awareness, but it's necessary and so rewarding. You also don't have to start in this phase---you can dabble all you want before you decide to jump in with both feet---but there's no avoiding it forever if you want to reap the rewards.
How to navigate this phase and how to safely emerge from it are two major components of my private coaching process.