Decide once

Decide Once

Last week I wrote about changing the way you eat by deciding upon just a few critical rules, and then followed it up with the idea of a cheat meal.   I want to expand on these concepts just a little bit more today.  Let’s call this the third part in an indefinite series.

First, a little background:  When I was fifteen years old, I decided to become a vegetarian, for just about all the reasons someone would:  animal rights, environment, and health (pretty much in that order).   It was a clear-cut, absolute decision.  I would stop eating meat.  Period.  I would not waver or need willpower; this was simply the way it was.  A line had been drawn, and I never crossed it.

Sure, there were times when I really craved a pastrami sandwich — especially early on, and most especially if I was particularly hungry — but I still wouldn’t touch one.  I’d eat something else, and find that the craving would quickly go away.

Sidenote: Considering my reasons for not eating meat, employing the “cheat meal” concept with my vegetarianism was pretty much unthinkable.  But in the context of overall healthy eating, a cheat meal has many desirable aspects — some argue that it actually helps boost your metabolism (by keeping your body from acclimating), and others point out the psychological benefits of reducing cravings, the social aspect of eating, sharing in celebratory foods (like birthday cake), and the simple pleasure of  an occasional indulgence.

Nowadays, I apply this “absolute” concept to all my healthy eating rules.  I was about to write that these rules guide my choices each day, but that’s not quite right.  More accurately:  I’ve already made the choice, and now I’m just following through on my decision.

It’s easiest to apply the rules in the grocery store — since almost every food comes with a label and an ingredient list.  When I pick up a food I’m considering buying, the first thing I do is look at the ingredients.  If it contains grains that aren’t whole, I immediately put it back on the shelf without a second thought.  If it has high fructose corn syrup, back it goes.

The thing here is that there’s no decision to be made.  If it breaks the rules, it’s simply not an option.  I won’t bring it into my house.  This becomes a reflex, and willpower is no longer necessary.

This is what you need to do to change your life and change your health.  Make a sincere, absolute, and unequivocal decision to do so.   Decide once, and then just follow through.

one way” © 2005 Chris Blakeley, used under creative commons license.


A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

You May Also Like:

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
October 8, 2012 4:36 am

I’ve been struggling lately. I found this site and this particular post and find it is what I’ve been looking for. I am also a vegetarian and never really struggled with no eating meat ever again. The 3 rules posted seem quite doable to me and make sense. Thanks for sharing this!

November 6, 2011 2:50 pm

Thank you very much for sharing your passion and determination! 🙂