Recently I announced to my daughters and wife that I would be attending a pharmacy conference in Destin, FL. I asked them if they would like to tag along and spend some time on the beach. As you would imagine, I didn’t have to twist any arms or ask twice before they were already excitedly talking about lounging in the sunshine for several days. Not long after though, the conversation shifted from lounging in the sun to how much weight they had gained over the past six months and how they wished they could look a little better before going to the beach. As I listened to them complain about how they looked and how they wished they were thinner and in better shape, I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach them the benefits of eating healthy and exercising regularly. So I presented them with a plan, a 21 day challenge to a better body. “Yes, yes, we want to do it!”, all four of them agreed. Since it was a little over 21 days before we left for the conference and the beach I thought it was perfect timing! I assured them they wouldn’t have to do it alone, and that I planned on doing it with them and coaching them through the 21 days. We determined that we would exercise 6 days a week, and everyday we would follow a strict nutrition plan. The plan would include eliminating all white foods, such as dairy, flour, and sugar; all sugary drinks; and sugar containing foods, including fruit. They were not happy about the “NO fruit” rule, “It’s summer time, we can’t NOT eat fruit, are you crazy? what about watermelon and strawberries?!?” they said. I told them if you want to get faster results then you have to drop fruit because it contains sugar! Now if you’re thinking to yourself, “Fruit isn’t bad for you, what’s the deal, Dr. Phil?” A book I once read laid it out like this, “Sure fruit is good for you some of the time, but do you think our ancestors were eating oranges and strawberries in the middle of winter? Our bodies aren’t designed to eat fruit year round, and depending on where your ancestors are from, they may have never even seen a citrus fruit.” Back to my story though, I assured my family that the no fruit rule was only for 21 days, and they reluctantly agreed.
So on Saturday May 31st, we started our 21 day challenge. On Saturday night, as we were in the city of Tupelo, MS and trying to decide where we would eat for dinner. I reminded them that we would have to choose somewhere where we could eat healthy. They said they were ready, but when it came time to walk the talk they began to say what we all are guilty of sometimes in life. “Well it’s Saturday night Dad, can’t we just start tomorrow?!?” said one daughter. “Let’s wait one more day,” another chimed in. “Yeah Dad, we’re out in Tupelo, we wanna eat something good,” the third chirped. All three were ready to quit the challenge before it ever really got started! I reassured them that we would eat something good, something good and healthy, but that we were starting today! We would not put it off another day. The Carson ship began to rock. I seemed to have a mutiny on my hands, but I was resolute! I would not be defeated. I did not let the long faces, snarls, or growls from my sailors deter me. “We will stick to the plan,” I told them! “I know I’m being tough, but you are going to thank me for it in the end.” So we went to a nice restaurant, and I helped each daughter make the correct choices from the menu. I’m sure the waitress that night thought that was the sourest bunch of girls she’d ever seen in my life.
Over the past few days everyone has done extremely well in sticking to the plan. I can tell it is getting a little bit easier for them. This story reinforces what I often preach to my patients, that food is addictive, and certain foods are highly addictive. So addictive that one of my daughters spent the last couple days nauseated and sick from the detoxifying effect of eliminating sugar and drinking only water. When we get into the habit of eating certain foods and doing things a certain way, it is extremely difficult to change. However I promise that if you stick with it, push through the struggles and the temptation to quit, it will be worth it in the end. I am eager for them to get on the scales on Saturday so I can celebrate the difference that only a week has made!
Be looking for my follow up this weekend detailing the results of the first week of the Carson 21 Day Challenge. If reading this blog inspires you to begin your own 21 day challenge, then you may be interested in a product I recently discovered. This product can provide a genetic nutrition and fitness assessment based upon your unique DNA and lifestyle. Click here for a short video detailing the assessment. If you’re interested in achieving a new level of wellness, then please contact me by filling out the contact form on CarsonNatural.com or by leaving a voice message by clicking the “Ask Dr. Phil” Microphone!
Healthy Blessings and Happy Summer,