July 8, 2023 by Molly Patrick
Why do we keep doing things we know aren’t great for us?
Eating a whole food plant based diet can prevent, and in some cases, reverse some of the most common lifestyle-related illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancers. It can increase quality of life, improve mental health, decrease inflammation, and help us maintain a healthy weight. It helps us age with grace, increases energy, and makes the digestive system work like a charm.
Not only that, eating plants is more affordable than eating out or cooking with animal-based ingredients. It is ridiculously delicious and satisfying. It’s better for our planet, and it saves innocent animals from being tortured, killed, and eaten.
There isn’t another single thing a person can do that gives more positive, ongoing, and far-reaching benefits.
Yet most people will never eat plant based.
For some, it’s a lack of knowledge or understanding. You can’t know what you don’t know. Fair enough.
Others know full well the abundance of benefits, and they still don’t do it.
Why is this?
I have some insight. I knew drinking and smoking were bad for my health, bad for the planet, and bad for my bank account. I wasn’t in the dark about this. But that knowledge and understanding didn’t matter.
I didn’t quit sooner for many reasons, but when I really think about it, here’s what it came down to:
My identity hinged on my habits.
Yes, I knew it would be hard to quit because I was physically addicted, and the thought of cravings and withdrawal scared the shit out of me. But what really scared me was that I had no idea who I was without these habits. Smoking and drinking supported, enabled, and reinforced who (I thought) I was.
I was the life of the party.
The person who could outdrink anyone.
The fun, outgoing introvert.
It’s how I handled stress, sadness, discomfort, and boredom.
It’s how I celebrated, socialized, loosened up, daydreamed, and got to know people.
These habits were so baked into my everyday life that even though I knew how bad they were for me, it didn’t matter. My identity was too enmeshed to consider anything else.
The thought of quitting made me feel lost, exposed, vulnerable, and terrified. I felt like I would be a stranger to myself and everyone I knew. I remember picturing a toddler learning how to walk, except I was the grown-ass toddler.
For a long, long time, the thought of re-learning who I was and how to live a sober life without a cigarette in my mouth felt more threatening than any future health problems, money spent, or the environmental impact of my choices.
So I get it. Whether it’s smoking, drinking, eating unhealthy food, drinking sugary drinks, doing drugs, overspending, people-pleasing, and everything else we do that doesn’t help us, yet we continue to do them, you’re not alone.
Even when people who love you voice concern.
Even when you know you will be better off.
Even when you’ve read the studies.
Even when you’ve seen people who have made changes and are now thriving.
Even when you have the best reasons to change.
Even when that little voice in your head keeps saying psssst…time to do something different.
Even when your life depends on it.
None of this matters until you are finally ready to let go of the person you are right now in order to find out who you might become.
Having gone through this process myself, I can tell you with certainty that it’s 1000000% worth facing your fears and finding out.
If you’re ready to see who you are when you eat a whole food plant based diet, I welcome you with open arms. Start a free trial today and get curious.
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Written by ex-boozer and ex-smoker, Molly Patrick that will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.
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