As an Ideal Dieter, I think this is one of those things that people can interpret in very personal, very different ways. We’re Never Done. I’m sure Dr. Tracey has a wonderful point of view on what that means as it relates to the Ideal Protein protocol, and personally as well. For me, it’s more about what I’ve learned about myself since connecting with Dr. Tracey and becoming both a dieter and an advocate. I’ve grown tremendously since starting the Ideal Protein protocol. I can’t attribute all of that growth to IP – that would be unrealistic! – but here are some things that I’ve definitely learned about myself during this interesting journey:
What I weigh and how I look are two separate “things.” When you’re not at what you’d consider an attractive or ideal weight, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you don’t look your best. Says who? The voice in your head? Turn it off. The first thing you can do for yourself when you start the Ideal Protein protocol is to embrace yourself and how you look today fully. That’s important for several reasons. First, self-love and self-care are critical elements in being a fulfilled person. And, self-care is essential in succeeding in the Ideal Protein journey. You’ll need to care about yourself enough to have discipline, to say no to friends who offer cake, to spend hours on Sunday preparing your meals for the week. Trust me, you’ll need this. Second, you will struggle. You just will. That has nothing to do with Ideal Protein. It’s the nature of change. When we undertake significant change, we struggle. We start, stop, restart. Embracing yourself the way you are now, today, makes it easier to push through the struggles and get to the next hour, afternoon, day, and thus create the building blocks that ultimately yield success.
There are no shortcuts. Yep. I learned that too. That’s old news, right? Everyone knows that adage. Well then, I guess I learned it all over again when I embarked on this particular journey. I wanted to do it the IP way and a little bit of my way. Nope. You can’t do that. You have to do it this way and only this way. Boy is that hard! Eat 2 cups of this and 1 cup of that. Giving up control to a diet of all things! But here is what happens when you DO give up control and stop wanting to apply your own shortcuts…. you realize that you weren’t in control in the first place. You weren’t in control of your eating habits. Of how you used food to relieve stress or boredom. Of how your body was spiking up and down from sugar intake and let downs. You weren’t in control. The diet was. So was the lifestyle. You know, the unhealthy one that landed you here in the first place. Give it up. Give in. Realize you can’t have control for this particular time period. I guarantee that if you give up control and the desire to create your own short cuts, you will learn a better way with more control for yourself in the future. And ultimately, you’ll experience a healthier lifestyle for a sustained period of time.
Finally….and more directly…. I learned that I’m never done learning. I learned, just recently about the connection between obesity and cancer (pancreatic cancer in particular). Without getting into the science here, I’ll simply say that I’d rather control my diet and improve my chances of staying healthy than leaving that particular part of my life to chance. I also learned that I can concretely change my eating habits and thoughts about food. I’m learning how to replace eating with other activities. How to create healthy snacks (ever thought about buying a dehydrator? It changed my life!). How to FOCUS on building one choice into another choice into another and turning small victories into full-blown successes.
Feels pretty darn good. So yes, we are never done. Ask yourself where you are in your journey of being a work in progress. What are you working on today and who can be there to partner with you?