Compromise – Wisdom or Weakness?

You think this is about Congress, but it’s not.  I don’t have much time to waste on them.  Although, all that hot air is pretty useful on a cold December morning.  Hmm…I think I may have just stumbled on the primary cause of global warming….

No, I’m talking about my juice fast.  I’ve had to make some compromises to phase this thing in and it’s quite frustrating to me.

I was warned. Doctors, dieticians, nutritionists and even Joe from “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” all said not to go cold turkey into this, but ease your way. They warned that cutting off all caffeine, carbs and proteins at the same time could be too big a shock to the system. The recommendation was to take a week, ten days or even two weeks to ease into it and minimize the damage.

Bah! Humbug! says I. I am a man. I jump into the deep end. I lead, I don’t follow.  I’m a seller, not a buyer.  Well, sometimes I’m also, what’s that word again? Ah, I remember…stupid.

Two days into my juice fast, I’m either proud or ashamed to say, I’ve had to backtrack and follow that earlier advice. I don’t know if it’s wisdom or weakness, but it’s real. Let me tell you what happened.

Day one was gosh awful, mostly because of caffeine detox. The headaches were pretty special. Nevertheless, I forged ahead. Day two started out pretty well, but by 9 a.m. the headache was so bad I couldn’t function. To make matters worse, I was in a mission critical meeting at work and I couldn’t focus because of the pain.

I made an executive decision to have a cup of coffee. I went to the Keurig in the executive break room and fixed a single cup of Colombian coffee.  Within a matter of minutes the headache was gone. I mean no trace. I was relieved and repulsed. I was happy and heartbroken. I was fine and I was furious. I am addicted to caffeine and I am not happy about it.

Those who know me well, know I am the poster child for control freaks.  I need to own my own destiny. I’m independent as heck. It’s what drives the entrepreneur in me and it’s what drives other people crazy. 

For example, I rarely drink alcohol and never in public. Alcohol makes people lose inhibitions and causes them to say and do things they would not do if in control of their faculties. I get in enough trouble sober, I can’t imagine what mischief I’d create for myself and those I care about if I had a blood alcohol count.

I don’t take drugs. I’ve never sampled an illegal substance. I’ve never even had a tobacco product in my mouth. Partly, that’s all because my Faith and my core values tell me that those things a stupid. Partly, though, it’s because I’m a control freak.

It was the desire for control that drove me to the juice fast to begin with. I’m stinking tired of being fat.  My obesity is a public display of my own hypocricy. I talk about control. I write about money management and self discipline. I preach about Faith and moderation. And yet I can’t lay down my fork. Poppycock I say. I will not be mastered by my appetites. I will master THEM.

Then within a few hours of beginning my juice diet I discover an addiction. I am embarrassed and angry, but I refuse to be defeated. In a perfect world, I would go somewhere remote for a week or so and just cold turkey it. Unfortunately, my day job and my farm don’t permit me to do that. So I must create a plan B.

First, going back to eating like I was before is not an option. 100% juice fast is not an immediate option, either. So, what to do?  Brittan and I talked it over and in the end decided that I will have coffee in the morning for the rest of this calendar year. All other drinks will be caffeine free.  Beginning in the new year I will drink half caffeine and half decaf  coffee. We grind our own beans so that will be easy.  By the end of January I will be all decaf or just forget coffee altogether. 

I will juice breakfast and lunch and add some whole veggies and a little protein at supper and reduce that over the same period as the coffee.  This way, I’m going cold turkey with the simple carbs and processed foods while cutting back on the caffeine and protein rather than cutting them all out at once and throwing my body into shock.

It feels like it’s a wise course of action. It’s a plan that exercises control and moves in a forward direction.  It looks, on paper, like wisdom. It may, however, be cowardice and weakness. It is what it is, but I remain an open book.


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