What do you want?

What do you want?
I’m writing this on the eve of October: Unprocessed, and the number of people who have taken the pledge just passed 200.  I’m amazed, impressed, excited, and — above all — humbled at the outpouring of enthusiasm and support this little idea has already garnered.

As we start this month of unprocessed eating together, I hope you will take a moment to consider where you stand now and what you’re trying to accomplish.  Many people already briefly shared their goals when they signed the pledge, but I want to go a little deeper, with two simple questions.

Of course, it’s not fair for me only to ask questions of you — I have to answer, too.  So here goes.

Why did you take the pledge?

If you’ve read my story, you’ll know that I had my “ah-ha!” moment relatively recently, at the beginning of last year.  I started exercising regularly and eating healthfully.  I lost thirty pounds that I hadn’t even realized I needed to lose.

Last October I had this notion of eating no processed foods for an entire month, and invited some friends to join me.  Most wished me luck and said there was no way they could do it.  But two wonderful friends, Dana and Lindsey, joined me in the challenge (and they’re doing it again this year, too!).

We supported each other, and met at each others’ homes for dinner at least a couple of nights a week. It was fun to talk about different foods, try new recipes together, and to dine together in a most communal way. It strengthened our friendship significantly.

After that month ended, it became harder and harder to maintain that enthusiasm and focus. Keeping up momentum takes an awful lot of effort.

Over time, I started fudging a little bit, here and there. Working on several projects, including Eating Rules, has meant that I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to cook, eat, or exercise.

Diligence gave way to a lack of time.

So my reason for wanting to do another “month unprocessed” is simple:  It’s a way of re-focusing my efforts with a set of absolute rules that I’m once again intensely motivated to follow.  Rebooting, if you will.

Last year at my dinners with Dana and Lindsey, I learned that the community and support surrounding this common goal is what is going to help all of us succeed.  The support network is critical — without it, it’s almost impossible not to lose the motivation and diligence that’s required.

So that’s why I took the pledge here, publicly, alongside as many people as possible.

What do you want to accomplish or learn by October 31st?

I want to feel better physically and mentally by eating only unprocessed foods. I want to have increased energy which will revitalize my exercise routines and help me get back to the gym with a renewed vigor.  And I want to replace that last little bit of pudge with muscle.

I also want to positively impact as many people as possible. I hope that we’ll all learn, grow, and share throughout this month, probably in ways that we can’t yet understand or know.

I want us all to be changed for the better by this experience.

Okay, now it’s your turn: I invite you to share your answers to these two questions in the comments.

Don’t worry, this month isn’t going to be all touchy-feeley all the time.  Every day this month, starting tomorrow, I’ll be sharing terrific guest posts from some wonderful writers, bloggers, and leaders in this field. You may want to subscribe via email or RSS, to be sure you don’t miss a post!  I also encourage you to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

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