I know the importance of choices: having them, making good ones, etc. Professionally I help people define their food choices, evaluate them intelligently, broaden them, and ultimately feel that they have truly chosen.
Sometimes food choices can be hard for people to see. Often overeating happens when choice doesn’t even seem to be a part of the thought process. Emotions take over and a thoughtful choice process is gone. Even when the choices seem clear, it can be hard to know what will best meet personal needs. “Should I try to eat a small portion or skip it altogether, since I really am not hungry? . . . It’s so hard to stop, but it looks so good . . . .”
Where am I going with this? Today I am taking my 13-year-old Laborador Retriever to the vet to be euthanized. I have been agonizing over this for a couple of weeks now, weighing her needs and ours, going back and forth but not able to decide. It is one of many life decisions that involves personal morality: how do we consider the needs of others and balance them with our own? It is not easy.
A few days ago, I felt that the right decision was to go ahead with it, and still I could not make the appointment. Every time I looked into her sleepy sad eyes, I felt her helplessness, but I also dreaded the loneliness and loss included in the final decision. I trusted that I would just know when I was ready, as ready as is possible, and this morning I did.
This IS a big decision. Your individual food choices are not. Collectively they do add up to contribute to your health and quality of life, but each little part of that overall lifestyle is not a life or death decision. Unlike my current decision, you will always be able to learn and adjust as you go along.
You can improve your overall health by making more healthy choices. You do not have to make ALL healthy choices. Like so many other personal improvements, you just need to be heading in the right direction.
For those of you who have pets, you know how difficult it is to make the decision I I am making today. Lizzy has been a great friend by every definition of the word: always glad to see me, forgiving of all my impatient moments, and right beside me in tough times. May she rest peacefully. She has been a very good girl.