The Powerful Freedom of Abstinence

Abstinence is staying within the picket fence around us called “boundaries.” The purpose of a boundary is to keep us safe. The nutritional wisdom and guidelines in Dr. Fuhrman’s books, newsletters, teleconferences, etc., if followed, keep us safe and healthy. There’s freedom, optimal health, and many pleasurable perks within the fence.

Seeds of abstinence sown in the soil of our lives will eventually produce a harvest of freedom from addiction that leads to optimal health. Guaranteed.

Yes, of course, we may have imperfect “slip ups”, especially in those first few weeks and months of getting rid of the toxins that have built up in our bodies over the years. The key to success is to recognize and acknowledge the slip up when it happens and quickly continue on eating for health.

If we’ve sown seeds of compromise for several days, weeks, or even months, now is the time to stop. Stop immediately. Continue on the journey to eat for health. Forget the past. The past is the past. Let it go. There’s nothing that can be done about it and dwelling on the misery is counterproductive to optimal health.

Get up. Dust the dirt off and roll up the sleeves. Fix the nicks and dents in the picket fence by going back to key chapters in Eat to Live and Eat for Health and re-read them. Listen to the teleconference on overeating again. Ask for help from like-minded friends on Dr. Fuhrman’s members’ center. Abstain from making ice cream desserts until the taste buds have readjusted to enjoy the subtle flavors of greens again. Turn off the news and go outside for a walk. It may take several weeks or months to get back to optimal health again, but it will be sooooo worth it!

Have the mindset to nurture and gently care for the body. In those seemingly, insignificant choices, let’s all be kind to ourselves. Kindness is the backbone of superior health.

There’s freedom in boundaries.

Abstinence, not perfection, is one of the keys to success.

Let’s all enjoy living within the picket fence!

Freedom to all!

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Comments (10) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Ginny - September 17, 2009 6:42 AM

It isn't easy at first. I needed alot of tools to get through the tough spots. I listen to the "Eat for Health" Cd's, the ones that talk about hunger and detox. It is helping me through the discomfort. When I feel uncomfortable I don't reach for SAD food, instead I rejoice that my body is detoxifying. I turned a negative feeling into a positive feeling. I am still in the first 6-8 weeks but feeling good! Thanks forum friends!

Jean - September 17, 2009 7:15 AM

Emily, congratulations. 4 weeks ago I delved into the program myself. You were my role model. Except that I am not losing weight at the same rate you were. 4 weeks into the program, you had lost 20 pounds. 4 weeks into the program I have lost 5 pounds. And I don't feel half as "elated" as you sound. I read the books, the blogs, listen to the teleconferences; I am within the boundaries. ---Overeating seems to have a lot to do with "instant gratification" and losing lots of weight quickly seems to be a kind of "instant gratification" in reverse. Would you mind sharing specifics? Did you "phase into" the program or did you go cold turkey? Did you allow yourself oatmeal? Tofu? Soy milk? Seeds and nuts? You sound kind of "strict" when it comes to food, so I thought I'd ask you to share on that (more profane) level. I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

Ruth - September 17, 2009 7:19 AM

I added this blog to my feed about a month ago and it has been wonderful to read positive and motivation entries like this before I go to work. I am a health professional at a hospital and see the effects of poor nutrition and chronic illness all day. Yet our break room is always full of unhealthy food and many staff member struggle with their own health issues. "Nurture and gently care for the body..." is my thought for the day.

Emily Boller - September 17, 2009 5:51 PM

Jean,

Everyone loses weight as different rates, and the more toxins/fat one has to shed, the quicker he/she will lose it when committed to the nutritarian way of eating.

Focus on eating for superior health by following Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional guidelines and the weight will most definitely come off!

Also make sure you thoroughly understand Dr. Fuhrman's teleconference on overeating as that teaching is important not only for losing weight, but for permanently maintaining ideal weight.

Check back in a week or two as I have already written a post that will answer some of your questions.

In the mean time, I didn't eat much oatmeal in the beginning (I'm not a huge oatmeal fan), but I did have a serving or two of nutrient dense starch vegetables such as yams and/or corn and such every day. I'm not a huge fan of tofu either, but I did and still do put soy milk in smoothies and ice creams. Yes, I ate an ounce of raw and unsalted nuts/seeds per day.

It's so much easier in the long run to commit to follow Dr. Fuhrman's nutritional guidelines and get rid of toxic food addictions than to continually fuel them into flame. Radical results require radical changes . . . but its sooooooo worth it! I wouldn't trade the freedom from food addiction and the privelege to experience optimal health for all the money in the world! Seriously!

You WILL get there as you continue to put correct information into your mind.

All the best of health to everyone!

Emily Boller - September 18, 2009 6:25 AM

PS

My elation was from being set free from food addiction that had controlled my every waking moment for most of my life. Even when I was anorexic, my thoughts and behaviors were controlled by food addiction. Weight loss just happened to be a by-product (and a most welcome one!) of that freedom.

It was also so freeing to not have to weigh and measure foods, count points or carbs, do numerous calculations, purchase special diet foods, etc. Instead of so many suffocating restrictions, all of a sudden my world was opened up to unlimited amounts and a wide variety of soooo many foods to eat.

That freedom produced joy in the journey.

Emily Boller - September 18, 2009 6:25 AM

PS

My elation was from being set free from food addiction that had controlled my every waking moment for most of my life. Even when I was anorexic, my thoughts and behaviors were controlled by food addiction. Weight loss just happened to be a by-product (and a most welcome one!) of that freedom.

It was also so freeing to not have to weigh and measure foods, count points or carbs, do numerous calculations, purchase special diet foods, etc. Instead of so many suffocating restrictions, all of a sudden my world was opened up to unlimited amounts and a wide variety of soooo many foods to eat.

That freedom produced joy in the journey.

Claudia - September 18, 2009 1:06 PM

Hi Emily,

I think part of your elation also had to do with watching the changes in your body, and discovering the abilities you were getting back that you hadn't had in years. For example, the caption here reads 'first 2 mile jog in 22 years'. How cool is that?

In following this program there are changes along the way for so many of us that make us feel younger, vibrant, healthy, and happy. For me, coming into the awareness about the control I can have over my own health destiny has been a really joyful experience. It feels good just knowing that I possess all the knowledge and tools necessary to really make a difference in my own future. Much better to feel empowered that doomed! I think that those of us who have been following this program for awhile gain a level of self-assurance which is really quite rare.

Claudia

Emily Boller - September 19, 2009 7:22 AM

Yes Claudia, those milestones along the way like baggy clothes, easier breathing, fatigue lifting, brain fog clearing, joints not aching, and knowing that I had discovered the path to be free from developing diabetes was highly elating.

For me, the first milestone that was so exciting to witness was the departure of brain fog that had plagued my mind for years.

Again, for me, weight loss became secondary to the many newfound freedoms that I experienced in the journey to getting my health back.

Sally - September 19, 2009 7:29 AM

I read so often about people struggling with healthy eating.I used to be one of those that would be "on again, off again" with this style of eating until reading Eat for Health and some of Dr. Fuhrman's online posts that recommend adding a pound of raw and cooked vegetables and fruits and not even concerning yourself yet with "giving up" unhealthy foods. Just adding such nutrient rich foods and seeing the changes in your body and well being are enough for you to stop craving and eating SAD food. Sure I've had some "slip ups"
but as Emily says they are just bumps along the road!

Lisa Johnston - May 20, 2011 2:18 PM

Dear Emily,On Christmas night 2010 I stumbled upon this blog page. I had been trying to eat high-protein/low-carb and thought there was something wrong with me that I was never satisfied. I had just eaten too much steak and I sat at the computer, searched abstinence, found this page,read it and it just clicked. I looked up Dr Fuhrman's book, ETL, and ordered it. I got enough information from his website and this blog to begin on 12/26. Since then I have read this book and joined the member center. After being very confused for a long time about what truly a healthy way to eat, I find that his report is convincing and makes so much sense. More than that, though, while ETL is so well supported by sound research, it is, as I continue to learn, helping me understand what was causing me so much difficulty in terms of nourishing my body and eating, as well as the symptoms I was experiencing. I am not "fat" and I am not suffering any diseases (though 3 years ago I had melanoma!) but my experience is soundly bearing out all that Dr. Fuhrman explains (for example, why my red and white blood cell counts are "low" on a high nutrient diet). I wanted to thank you for this post and to tell you one story of how it is impacting others. I would like to tell Dr. F about another success story (though not a weight loss or heart disease or diabetes story). i hope you get this. THANK YOU.
Lisa J

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