You take a nutrition supplement, you drink some fruit juice after a night out, you do a soup detox for a couple of days – you might feel better or at least less guilty. And then? The chance is you go back to your regular habits. I have not seen yet anyone who succeeds with “quick-fixing”…We live in a world where the quick or instantaneous solution is not just fashionable but rather the rule of the game – so to speak the zeitgeist. Things must be solved quickly, efficiently, once and for all – with a single stroke. We see this also with regards to health, wellbeing and nutrition – particularly the conviction that we even can take care of things with an quick-fix strategy.
Let’s take for example the supplement industry, which exploits this idea rather successfully. You take a bit of vitamin C, a bit of magnesium and you enhance our nutritional balance. “You’ll be good to go”, “that’s all you need”. To a point, where we believe that poor nutrition can be made up with just enough supplementation. Nobody ever asks how synthetic (the majority of today’s nutrition supplements) nutrients are produced and absorbed – or rather, not absorbed – by our body. Adding more synthetics to our system – is it really the way to go? And can this compensate for poor food choices? Asked the other way round, is there even a viable alternative to whole-food from natural sources, and the complex nutritional pattern of real food?
There is good chance we have been following a traditional eating lifestyle for many year, for decades even. It would not come as a surprise then that a transmutation of our physical vibrancy, health, fitness and strength would also need some time, effort and implication, wouldn’t it? I am not saying that one should have “to pay” for previous harmful lifestyle choices – if we could erase consequences of poor choices from the past instantaneously, I would be all for it.
However, my experience shows that this is not how our body, our mind and our emotions work. Even though, in fact, it is fascinating that our body actually has the capacity to (fairly) quickly react to nutritious food, healthy choices and the omission of unhealthy food items (processed food, processed sugar, dairy products, meat…). Such as better sleep, improved digestion, less mucus, cleared skin, weight reduction, higher level of vitality can be observed – maybe not instantaneously – but within a week, two to three weeks of being consistent. Amazing!
And still, a couple of weeks (which is a typical length of a regular diet) of eating better is not yet a transformation. Such is a short-term strategy, but not an installed and sustainable new pattern. My working hypothesis is always to strive towards lasting behavioural changes, hence a real transmutation. Better a smaller durable change, instead of drastic modifications which are not viable… Personally, I consider it a transmutation only, if new behaviour and choices can be maintained in the long run, nothing short a six to twelve months – in a way “forever” (or “without a deadline” to be less fatal…).
So, you guess, I am not an advocate of diets. They may work in the short-term, but hardly ever in the long run (if one uses a diet as a starting point to move into a new and healthier lifestyle, then this is a different story).
Here is wonderful metaphor by the very inspiring Swâmi Prajnânpad (I already mentioned him in previous posts): At the movies, we buy into a men getting out of his car and seeing him in the next second taking a shower in is apartment on the fifth floor. In reality, however, nothing can spare us even one centimetre of the distance between the car and the shower. Still, we can accelerate, such as walking up the stairs at a faster pace, running up the stairs or even taking the elevator. But, we can only go step by step – more or less cleverly and quickly of course. So, we can accelerate a process, enormously so, such as getting informed, understanding one’s resistances, looking out for motivation and objectives and being realistic.
Hence, when it comes to nutrition, health and wellbeing, I do not believe in overnight transmutation. Sudden awakening and mind shifts, though, are possible. They may even be the most motivating and inspiring basis for lasting change. I often observe such as anger about heavy overweight, chronic health issues (digestive problems, skin break outs, cholesterol and high blood pressure…) or spiritual development that entail an abrupt decision to seriously taking health and nutrition in one owns hands.
At such a moment the path of evolution starts, leading eventually to a personal revolution. Swâmi Prajnânpad so appropriately said with regards to personal transmutations (and it seems perfectly appropriate for health and nutrition transformations too): “Revolution is the culmination of evolution. An irrevocable change needs a certain amount of preparation. When a degree of saturation is reached, very little is needed – a catalyzer – in order for the metamorphosis to happen”.
©The Vibrant Factory
About Stefan Lehner: Nutrition Coach & Educator based in Paris, available worldwide. He previously worked in management in an international corporation. Advocates the tremendous impact of food and lifestyle choices on our health and wellbeing. He puts his focus on durable transformations and challenges quick-fixing.
http://www.thevibrantfactory.com, on Facebook and Instagram