Disease Proof

Abstinence is Key

Will a minuscule bump in the road here and there along the journey to excellent health prevent one from living in health and freedom? No way!

When a slip-up occurs, can one still be 100% committed to health for the rest of his/her life? Absolutely!

The key is to not allow the slip-up to become the excuse to “throw-in-the-towel” for the rest of the day.

One must always be mindful of the principle of sowing and reaping. Seeds of compromise sown into the soil of our lives will grow into seedlings of bigger compromises, which will eventually grow into full grown plants of addiction, and become the catalyst for poor health. Guaranteed.

It is so very important to understand that even minuscule slip ups do have their consequences if one desires to get completely free from toxic food addiction. One must abstain from toxic cravings if he/she wants to see results. Period. No shortcuts.

Seeds of abstinence sown into the soil of our lives will grow into seedlings of bigger abstinence, which will eventually produce a harvest of freedom from toxic food addiction, and become the catalyst for excellent health. Guaranteed.

Remember, 100% perfection is totally different from 100% commitment.

A perfectionist mindset needs to be psyched up at all times to live in 100% perfection. If a slip up occurs, even the tiniest one, because perfection can no longer be attained for the day, it’s an automatic excuse--and many times a most welcome excuse--to throw-in-the-towel for a full-blown binge that may take a day, or days, months, or even years to recover; therefore wreaking havoc in one's psychological and physiological equilibrium. Some call this disordered eating. Some call it an eating disorder. Some call it a mental illness. Some call it yo-yo dieting. Whatever label one so chooses, it can be totally overcome by correct information. A transformed mind will produce transformed actions which will produce a transformed body. Guaranteed.

Stay the course. Keep the balance.

Abstinence is key to freedom.

Are you a perfectionist? Is striving to be perfect preventing you from living in freedom from food addiction?

Image credit: CaptPiper

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Comments (17) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Nancy O. - July 27, 2009 11:43 AM

I really don't want to be rude, but does Ms. Boller realize this is a blog? The regular postings are fun to read. I have long enjoyed this blog and usually like many of the guest posters who have been displayed here as well.

But I'm not sure if Emily really understands how a blog works? Does she even read any? This isn't an online magazine or something. Her editorializing is a turn off for me and it's a shame. I am going to skip her writing.

Goddess - July 27, 2009 3:59 PM

Emily,

Great motivational ideas. I can't tell you how many times I've "thrown in the towel" because of one small slip. As a consequence, I've been 50 lbs. overweight for ten years now, and the health issues were beginning to show up (not to mention, hamper my quality of life).

Last week, however, I began Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live 6 Week Plan and let me say that it has been a terrific week. I find myself thinking of what I can eat instead of what I can't eat. The plethora of fresh fruits and veggies available right now is gorgeous and planning meals around them a pleasure.

I especially like the statement that 100% perfection is different than 100% commitment. Cheers to commitment. It is easy to see that my perfectionist attitude was NOT helping me reach my health goals.

Thanks again!

Emily Boller - July 27, 2009 4:42 PM

Thanks, Ann for the comment. Seriously. I invite interactive dialogue from the blog readers anytime ~ that's what brings vibrant life to this sometimes ugly and chaotic world!

Concerning what I wrote in today's post, I've been completely set free, (and I mean completely!) from a nasty eating disorder / food addiction that I had struggled with for most of my entire life.

I was put on my first, nutrient restrictive diet at the age of six, battled anorexia to near death during my senior year of high school, then suffered miserably in the dark world of obesity for twenty, lonnnnng years, and experienced every yo-yo dieting scheme in-between. I even fasted 33, 28, 21, 14, and seven days on water, almost back to back one time out of utter desperation. The despair and hopelessness consumed my every waking thought. Of course, I could cover my torment with a warm and friendly smile, so my secret was well hidden; at least to those who didn't live with me.

Anyway, it wasn't until I understood and followed the nutritional wisdom in Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live and Eat for Health books and members' center tutorials; combined with some personal insight into the differences between abstinence and perfectionism, did I get completely set free.

I share from my heart. I share from experience. It is what it is.

Blessings of health and well being,

Emily Boller


Goddess, you are going to get well! It's clicked ~ you got it! Keep up posted on your progress . . . you go, girl!

Barbara Whitney - July 27, 2009 4:46 PM

HI Emily,

You hit the nail on the head with that post. That is exactly my problem. I'm afraid to slip up, because if I do, it will turn into an unhealthy binge. Lately I've been allowing myself to "slip up" on fruit, but even that can be excessive. But I don't know how to change. If my problem is that I have a perfectionist attitude, how do I turn that off?

This would all be so much easier if everyone followed Dr. Fuhrman's plan. The problem for me is not preparing and eating the healthy food with is delicious and satisfying, but being so different from everyone else and getting into old habits of thinking I'm missing something even though I'm not!

Thanks!
-barb

kathy j - July 27, 2009 5:09 PM

Oh I so agree! I'm a perfectionist from way back, so this totally strikes a chord for me. I very often throw in the towel for the day, if not the week or month! It is nice to know that I'm not alone. I too appreciated the comment that 100% perfection is different from 100% commitment. I might post that on my bulletin board!

I don't know what Nancy O is talking about. I really enjoy Emily's blog posts and find them very much in keeping with what a blog is. Frankly, blogs are about whatever is on your mind, so I don't think there are any rules. Keep it up, Emily!

Horsecrazy - July 27, 2009 7:13 PM

I for one find Emily's writing to be very educational. I know from reading her posts on her own website that she truly speaks from experience. Emily always puts a great deal of thought into her writing.

When one decides to make a permenant, healthy change in lifestyle and eating it is so important to know that "perfection" is impossible but commitment is different. My husband and I, over time have been greatly improving our diets. We have been mostly vegetarian for over 10 years, we do eat a little fish. However we have recently learned that processed foods of any kind, vegetarian/vegan or not - are really bad for you. SO...no veggie burgers for us other than home made.

We have made the commitment to make this next upgrade in our way of eating. However, if I felt I had to be 100% perfect - that would put too much pressure and set us up for failure. We are, however, committed!

As always Emily - thanks for your information!

R Moore - July 27, 2009 9:53 PM

I don't know much of anything about blogs but I am very encouraged and inspired by Emily's insights. Keep up the great work! I'm on week 2 :) Transformation here I come!!

Emily Boller - July 27, 2009 11:35 PM

Barb,

To turn off the perfection mentality, you must accept an "I just blew it" moment for what it is, an "I blew it moment." No big deal. Let it go. Brush it off. Move on quickly. Accept the fact that you are an imperfect human being, and therefore slip ups will happen now and then.

The key is to not dwell on a slip up, and eat healthfully again asap. Don't wait until a more "perfect time," to "start over." That mentality will trap you.

You must overcome the "I blew it, therefore I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the day" mentality.

Replace that thought with, "Okay, I blew it. I made an unwise choice just now. I will continue to nurture and care for my body, and feed it healthfully, starting now."

Be free. Be healthy.

Thanks everyone for the stimulating dialogue!

Emily

Danielle - July 27, 2009 11:40 PM

Emily,
I think your concept of "abstinence" does lead to the mindset of perfection and eating disorders. You cannot eat 100% Eat to Live. If you think that you can, you set yourself up for failure, obsessive thinking, and psychological havoc. No one should strive for abstinence with food. It is not like other addictions.

carfree - July 28, 2009 1:36 AM

Great post Emily!
Pay no attention to the blog police. I'm sure there aren't any very strict rules about how you should write your blog! Haha!
I found the subject matter very interesting. It reminds me somewhat of something I read in an AA book, of all places, about willpower. It explained that when you think of something as requiring willpower, you set yourself up to be in conflict with what you desire. The better word, is willingness. The willingness to do the best for yourself. It seems much less like a battleground with yourself, and forces you to look at the conclusion...What do I really deserve? To be good to myself, or to engage in toxic behavior?

CJ - July 28, 2009 9:14 AM


Perfection is so limiting and I often find myself falling into that trap. Thanks for the reminder that we are not perfect, the need to keep moving forward and not dwell on perhaps an unwise decision. Thank you too for posting your insight on this subject and hope to read more from you.

CJ

Michael - July 28, 2009 10:15 AM

Danielle,

I have to disagree with you. Abstinence has worked for me where moderation has failed. Many of the foods available today are addictive and do lead to bingeing. Removal of these foods from my diet has allowed these cravings to die off. Part of the process of abstinance should focus on why we are eating the foods we eat. I typically eat junk food out of boredom, loneliness, or some other emotional reason. Instead of turning to food, I call a friend, go watch a movie, go to church, pray, exercise, etc. I think I am not alone in that most people use food for comfort or some other emotional need that needs to be addressed in a healthy manner rather than eating unhealthy food, alcohol or some other unhealthy habit.

Michael

Emily Boller - July 28, 2009 9:25 PM

I made the 100% commitment to eat nutrient dense foods for the rest of my life at 8:40am on July 10, 2008, the day and time I began my transformation journey. On that day, I made the choice to get my health back, which meant abstaining from foods that were toxic to my health, and eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.

For the first time in my life, I was no longer depriving myself with the mindset of "I can't eat this. I can't eat that." Instead it was, "I get to have this. I get to have that. Wow, I can eat as much as I want of this, etc." My body responded beautifully to eating for the first time in my life. I could EAT. I mean actually eat real food, and enjoy it. It was so freeing, and to this day it is so freeing!

I was so malnourished that my body came alive immediately, even before the weight dropped, and I dropped 20 lbs that first month.

When one is 100% committed to getting his/her health back, there is always a way to make eating healthfully work.

Four days after beginning the journey to get my health back, I had a family emergency that turned into a 10 week crisis, and I remained abstinent from going back to my old way of eating high fat, low nutrient, processed foods during the greatest time of stress in my life. I may have had an imperfect slip-up here or there with a candy bar or something, but because I felt so well eating high nutrient foods, I didn't crave junk anymore. The overpowering cravings subsided significantly,and eventually passed altogether.

After the intensity of the crisis was over, almost three months later, I was 40 lbs lighter. If I hadn't made the 100% commitment to be a nutritarian on July 10, I would have gained another 20-40 lbs during that stressful time.

I'm still 100% committed. Abstinent, but still not perfect. For life.

Claudia - July 28, 2009 9:26 PM

Great post Emily!

I think it is really the nature of the mind to want whatever it is told it can't have. Slip-ups are bound to happen here and there when we hanker for things we used to enjoy in the past, which we imagine that we are now deprived of and 'missing'. The really amazing thing though is that we can develop new tastes and new habits over time. It never ceases to amaze me how much my preferences have changed over time, and how much I have come to love my fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. Its like I'm not even the same person I used to be at all. I totally get what it means to be transformed, and I love it! I don't crave the junk that I used to eat before at all.

I've been eating this way a long time, and for sure there were slip-ups along the way, but after awhile I got really attached to feeling good all the time, and I felt deprived if I couldn't get the really healthy food that I was used to eating. I am so much happier eating ETL food than eating any other way. My weight is perfect, and I don't have to struggle with it anymore, my energy level is better than ever, and I get to eat great food that I really enjoy. Why would I want to settle for anything less?

Anyway... I think it is really hard to break away from the habits you've been used to, and develop a whole different set of habits, and that is why slip-ups tend to happen. But... the key thing is to move forward and keep coming back to the new habits, until they become more powerful than the old ones.

I hope that people reading this blog will be open to the idea that transformational change is possible in their lives, because it is such a wonderful thing, and such a blessing to experience. We really don't have to be the same person that we were yesterday if we will just sow those seeds of change. I am reminded of a quote from our friend Becca, whose success story can be found in the public area on Dr. Fuhrman's website. I hope she won't mind if I quote her here. Anyway, Becca lost over 300 pounds, and she made the comment that 'The person you were yesterday does not control the person that you have potential to become tomorrow'. Pretty powerful isn't it?

Claudia

Emily Boller - July 28, 2009 9:26 PM

I made the 100% commitment to eat nutrient dense foods for the rest of my life at 8:40am on July 10, 2008, the day and time I began my transformation journey. On that day, I made the choice to get my health back, which meant abstaining from foods that were toxic to my health, and eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.

For the first time in my life, I was no longer depriving myself with the mindset of "I can't eat this. I can't eat that." Instead it was, "I get to have this. I get to have that. Wow, I can eat as much as I want of this, etc." My body responded beautifully to eating for the first time in my life. I could EAT. I mean actually eat real food, and enjoy it. It was so freeing, and to this day it is so freeing!

I was so malnourished that my body came alive immediately, even before the weight dropped, and I dropped 20 lbs that first month.

When one is 100% committed to getting his/her health back, there is always a way to make eating healthfully work.

Four days after beginning the journey to get my health back, I had a family emergency that turned into a 10 week crisis, and I remained abstinent from going back to my old way of eating high fat, low nutrient, processed foods during the greatest time of stress in my life. I may have had an imperfect slip-up here or there with a candy bar or something, but because I felt so well eating high nutrient foods, I didn't crave junk anymore. The overpowering cravings subsided significantly,and eventually passed altogether.

After the intensity of the crisis was over, almost three months later, I was 40 lbs lighter. If I hadn't made the 100% commitment to be a nutritarian on July 10, I would have gained another 20-40 lbs during that stressful time.

I'm still 100% committed. Abstinent, but still not perfect. For life.

Paul S - July 28, 2009 11:31 PM

I started the 6-week ETL plan a little more than three years ago and haven't gone off it since. I don't regard "abstinence" as a factor in my adherence to strict-ETL. It's become a matter of preference for ETL foods and a lack of interest in non-ETL foods.

I've been 100% and that includes social events like eating in restaurants with friends and other social gatherings. I order steamed vegetables, a salad or raw vegetables. I eat what's available. If there's not enough for a complete meal, I fill up on an ETL meal when I get home.

This mindset did not occur immediately, but took hold after about six months or so. There are several things that I would site as key factors in my ability to get through this transition period:

(1) I had a big motivator -- heart disease. I had a blocked artery so and my adherence to ETL was a matter of life and death. I treated every meal as a medicinal experience to remove plaque from my arteries -- even if it was only one molecule at a time.

(I should point out that after two years the plaque was gone. You can see Dr. Furhman discussing this with me on one of his recent videos)

(2) The toughest challenges were adapting to no salt, no sugar and only one serving of a grain or starchy vegetable per day (I now eat no grain or starchy vegetables except for cooked carrots for the most part).

(3) No salt. A couple of things helped. I used two stalks of celery in my daily 2-quart green smoothies (blended salads with berries and bananas). I also used lots of celery in my daily soups and canned tomatoes in some of the soups (red lentil and cabbage soups primarily).

(4) No Sugar. This was fairly easy. I just ate lots and lots of fruit (unlimited amounts allowed on ETL). However, over time, as I increased my intake of nuts and seeds (at Dr. Fuhrman's suggestion) by necessity I had to cut back on bananas (I was eating 3-4 a day in the beginning). The sugar issue leveled off after a year and now I have about 10 ounces of berries (frozen organic blackberries, blueberries, strawberries) in my smoothy each day with one banana. In addition I have 2-3 apples and 1-2 oranges and maybe some more fresh fruit depending on what's available.

(5) One serving of grains or starchy vegetables. When I started the program maybe my biggest concern was -- how am I going to get full? I was used to eating starch at every meal -- an Ezekiel muffin for breakfast and lunch and dinner that were either pasta- rice- or potato-based.

The answer was and is simple -- beans. Lots and lots of beans. I eat about a pound for lunch and a pound for dinner. I make very thick bean soups -- lentil, red lentil, yellow pea, green pea, kidney beans (vegetarian chile) and a Northern beans or cannellini beans with my cabbage soup. I make my soups with lots of celery, onions, carrots, mushrooms (usually shitakke) with a big portion of shredded kale or spinach which I cook for about 5 minutes after the rest of the soup has started to simmer. I make a huge pot of soup that lasts about 3 days (lunch and dinner) and then I rotate to the next variety. And each meal consists of a giant bowl of soup which leaves me very full.

I season the soups with powdered garlic, dill, black pepper and sometimes garam marsala or chile powder, depending on the dish. Some of the soups also require crushed tomatoes or tomato paste. I find that adding a little vinegar enhances most of the soups and for some reason addresses the sodium issue.

(6) Hunger in general. I stopped feeling hungry in the conventional sense after about six months. I know it's time for a meal, but there's no sense of urgency. If I have to skip the meal, it's no big deal. If I have to skip two meals, no problem. This was one of the results of ETL described by Dr. Fuhrman that very definitely occurred with me. And I'm sure that it's based on the high density of nutrients in the body's tissues, as he says.

It's very empowering to not have to be concerned about being hunger or feeling cravings.

Ironically, I'm going to end this post by saying that I've intentionally been off strict-ETL for about a week. I'm eating about 8 ounces of non-fat yogurt a day, because I had minor foot surgery and I'm on antibiotics. I'm taking Dr. Fuhrman's probiotics (Friendly Flora) but instinctively, I decided to get some extra acidopholus by eating yogurt as well. This is literally the first dairy I've had in three years. As soon as I stop the antibiotics (tomorrow) I'm going to quit the yogurt. Thus far, the antibiotics have had no impact on my digestion and elimination. Everything's clean and green!

I hope some of this is helpful. If anyone wants more information, my email address is paul4sure@aol.com.


carol - July 31, 2009 6:42 PM

Emily is so encouraging to me....I've known her for years and years and can vouch for her sincerity and honesty and love for others' well-being...
I just finished my 1st official ETL week...lost 2 inches from my waist and am not sure of the weight loss...But I love eating this way...never thought I'd eat salad in a fruit smoothie!!! Yumm! I was quite the salt addict...it had gotten so bad that I couldn't even taste it unless I used A LOT!!! It's fun discovering other ways to season my food! God Bless all of you w/continued success!!!

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