There is some disagreement as to whether an individual can change. There are some who believe that there is a core set of behavioral “settings” practically hard-coded in an individual, and that to go up against those factors is a monumental task, often doomed to failure. And that the closest those behaviors are to the human fundamental systems – let’s say “eating” for one – the harder it is to make significant changes. I would agree with the concept that it is more challenging to change those types of behaviors, but I would disagree that it’s practically impossible.
If we take eating, which is a good example on a lot of levels, and we look at the number of systems that have been developed to help people overcome unhealthy eating habits, we have to conclude that this is one tough subject. No question. And yet, strangely simple things sometimes happen – perhaps anecdotal, but actual nonetheless. I offer my own humble experience. A story.
After the age of 40, maintaining an optimal ratio of body fat, overall fitness, and good nutrition became more challenging. This definitely had to do with the fact that at around that time I quit a very physical lifestyle (working in Alaska on fishing boats) and went full-time into IT, but it also had to do with aging, I’m sure. Getting married, having kids, slowing down. Less hormones, etc. etc. I’m sure this is no surprise.
Because my wife is in the fitness industry, I had access to both methods and information to mitigate this, but it was still pretty tough – somewhat of a struggle. Never more than 15-20 pounds overweight, but like millions of other non-starving people, I felt the need to try out some “systems” to keep myself in check. While most of these worked in the short term, none of them worked in any kind of permanent fashion with respect to behavioral food-choice changes. After even a month or so I would slide back into habits that were simply not that great for me, and I would creep back up to a place where I felt uncomfortable.
This last cycle was the worst. No desire to exercise, about 22 pounds overweight, eating poorly, sleeping worse, and beset with strange symptoms of digestive distress, etc. etc. I was sick. I decided to break down and see a doctor.
I’ve had some trouble over the years consuming medical care. I never really found a consistent medical professional who took a holistic approach and who was as reluctant to prescribe medication as I was reluctant to consume it. This time I vowed to find a holistic doctor, but when I visited the website / database of my insurance provider zero results for holistic/alternative/naturopathic were returned. In Southern California? How was this possible. A quick call revealed, simply, that my insurance plan didn’t cover that kind of medical care. I toyed with the idea of paying retail – which I did a few years ago .. and instead decided to try something slightly different. I made use of the database to search on things like strange languages – I reasoned that if a doctor spoke something like Urdu, he or she might have a slightly different approach. Was worth a try, anyway.
So, I picked from a set of about four doctors within 10 miles of my house who spoke interesting languages – chose the first one. “Dr. Jay Amin.” When I showed up at his office – I asked for nothing more than a complete physical examination – I was ushered into a waiting room. I looked up, and saw a shelf of proprietary nutrient supplements with the brand “Ziolife.” I pulled a large red bottle of liquid from the shelf and read – echoes of Dr. Bronner and Bragg from way back when were sparked. I liked what I read. It was possible that maybe I had found my doctor.
Turns out that, like the Matrix, there is a “Blue” and a “Red” bottled product. I took them both home. Drank an ounce in the AM, and and ounce at night. Did this for a about a week, and in that time began to see a fairly profound difference. Slept better. Had more energy in the AM.
About 10 days later, I got the results from the blood work. The PA casually explained that I was “pre-diabetic” and that I should “pretty much cut the carbs.” I knew this , and over the years had done various iterations and permutations of the Atkins/Lindora concept. This time, though, no “system.” I just stopped eating carbs. Within reason. I ate some – enough to keep my energy up, and I believe that perhaps the ingestion of the Ziolife supplement may have had an effect that mitigated the desire for carbs – I’m not really sure if that was it, or if it was the better sleeping patterns… in any case, this was the easiest change I’d experienced. The pounds started to slip off me. Within 3 months I lost 19.5 pounds. Had tons of energy, actually felt the desire and ENJOYED (first time ever) working out. For some reason I don’t have a desire for bread, for pasta, for milk (not that there are carbs there, but I have always loved lots and lots of milk … which is probably not so great at my age) , and no desire for anything with sugar in it. And I grew up eating every night a “goodie” – even when were our most poor, like in 1969 when were were on welfare, we always had room for a Twinkie or whatever at night. Nothing now, and no desire for it.
It’s a bit odd. I don’t really have an explanation for it. The only thing I can say is that the only difference between this experience and all of the other times I have tried various systems is that this time I’m using, with great consistency, “Ziolife’ – morning and night. And I don’t miss.
So … there you have it. A story about a guy who just kind of changed the way he approached food and thus life. So yeah, it’s possible, even when the factor is as fundamental as how we obtain the substance that keeps us alive.