There is Knowing. And then there is Doing. Why do those two things have to be so far apart?! I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that you can have all the knowledge in the world but the person with limited knowledge who actually DOES stuff will beat you every single time. She will accomplish more. She will fail more. She will prosper. She will have more fun. She will earn more money! The Doer punches fear in the throat and wins by using what she knows. Knowing is good, but doing is always better.
There have been so many changes going on lately, I haven’t updated this blog in a while. One of those changes is all about life management, health and nutrition. What fancy pants thing am I talking about? Whole30. If you have spent any time on my Instagram feed then you already know this because I have become that girl. The super-excited chick who posts pics of her meals, talks excitedly about spices and cast iron grill pans, freaks out when the local store runs out of the only Kombucha flavor worth drinking, and goes all-in and lives, speaks, and breathes her new obsession.
If you’re in my inner circle you have even been ‘blessed’ with daily texts (with photos) from me with different shots of my meals and my excited utterances about new cooking discoveries during my Whole60. Yes, I was so in love I sailed right past 30 and stayed on the plan for 60 days.
How funny is that? I hope it’s a little funny and I think it might be. The evidence is that my family and friends actually seem excited for me and several of them are even planning to try a Whole30 of their own. And they still take my calls and return my texts. And I have seen them switching to no-sugar bacon and trying to figure out how many vegetables they can hide in smoothies, so…. #winning. Knowing all the cooties in bacon is better than not knowing. And doing something by buying the ‘good’ bacon even thought it’s more expensive makes it taste better. Or maybe the better taste is the result of all that delightful righteous spice that doing the right thing provides.
A Not-Funny Thing Happened When My Whole30 ended
But then my Whole30 ended and a not-so-funny thing happened. I started to reintroduce the foods that I had been avoiding and almost immediately I felt the difference. No, I wasn’t sick as a dog, with blinding headaches and stomach distress from that first Reintroduction day. But slowly and surely, with an insidious creepiness that was masked as regular life and coincidence, I started to feel different. I wasn’t sleeping as well. I actually thought about my stomach during the day. My appetite disappeared. And my allergies are back. Dang it!
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Now, I know what you’re thinking. I raced back into the arms of Whole30 and stopped my reintroduction immediately. Yaaaaas! That would have been a good thing to do. But I didn’t do that. Nope, I spent an entire month telling myself that all the signals my body was sending me were the result of something else. Everything else. ANYthing else. Why? Because I didn’t know that dairy and sugar were the problem. Perhaps that was true in the beginning. I’ll even give myself that excuse for the first 7 days. But I can’t extend that to the next 14. And I certainly can’t give myself any coupons for the last 7 days.
Do I Really Know Better if I Don’t Act On It?
If I know better, I should do better. And 60 days of delightful digestion, blissful sleep and increased energy certainly let me know that changing my diet was magical. So, why didn’t my knowledge lead me to continue doing something different? I think there are several reasons that I don’t always do even when I know:
Sometimes I know better but don’t do better, because I think the pain of the wrong decision won’t be that bad.
What harm can a little dairy do? A lot it turns out. It is a known irritant for digestion for many women and has been linked to allergies forever. Dairy is also known to cause inflammation that slows my body down, affects my breathing and sleeping. I know all of that so the smart thing to do would be to avoid it. Like I did for 60 days. But I convinced myself that the result of that decision wasn’t a big deal.
Sometimes I know but don’t do because doing the wrong thing is easier than doing the right thing.
Doing the right thing with food often makes me stand apart from the people that I’m around. Instead of insisting on a Whole30-compliant restaurant or reading all the ingredients, it’s easier to just do what everybody else is doing. I want to fit it, sometimes to my own detriment. Truthfully it’s not difficult to apply my knowledge and experience and do something different. But it doesn’t always feel easy and too often I make decisions about behavior based on how I feel.
Sometimes I don’t apply what I know because my inner child has Xena-like strength and she’s always ready to agitate.
Children are rebellious. As we mature, that rebellious nature doesn’t go away, it’s simply brought under the control of our mature, reasonable, adult selves. Usually. But sometimes my inner brat rears her head and tells me that ‘nobody is going to tell me what to do’. Even if the somebody I’m referring to is me!
All these situations demonstrate why I know better but don’t always do better. But the same silly excuses apply when I know I should do something but I don’t. I am naturally curious and a knowledge junkie, I just LOVE knowing stuff and I’m interested in a lot of topics. I could write entire books about podcasting, lead generation, building an email list, writing fiction and working out. But I will get lapped every time by somebody who knows 1 of those things and does everything she knows until she learns more. Knowing stuff doesn’t change lives, doing stuff does.
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So, I’m starting another Whole30 and I’m super excited about it. I am grown and I get to do what I want. (I’m talking to my inner brat right now.) I know all about the Whole30 program and how to easily make it work for me, and more importantly, I know how different foods impact my health. I also know that applying my knowledge in one area of my life increases my confidence in applying knowledge in other areas. It’s contagious! Knowing is good but doing is better.
What do you think? Can you think of a recent time when you know you should have done something but you didn’t’ do it? Why didn’t you? Let me know in the comments below, I can’t be the only one.