At any given point, you could stop by my house, wander up to my bedroom (which frankly is a strange thing for you to do) and take a peek at all of the books gathered by my bed. Most of the time I have at least 2 to 3 books that I’m “actively” reading stacked on my bedside table. Here’s my problem: I love to learn, I enjoy reading, but I get bored quickly, and reading usually makes me fall asleep after 3 to 5 pages. So, as a result I will start and stop reading the same books for months, rarely finishing one.
Currently I’m reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I may also have a stray book or 2 on food addiction and overeating kicking around as well. Granted some of these books have been read by the masses years ago, but I’m still having a tough time catching up. Also, to be quite honest, most of what I’m reading is not new news to me. After reading Diet for a New America by John Robbins many years ago, I’ve had a pretty decent understanding of factory farming, which is a common theme in a few of these books. However, I’ve still benefited greatly from the review of this information and I have learned some new things as well!
Hence the point of this long-winded blog post: educating one’s self elicits a change in behavior in many cases. Over the years, I’ve allowed myself to forget (or ignore) all that I know about factory farming and genetically modified foods. With a renewed interest in the subject, I’ve been motivated to make some dietary changes that jive with my beliefs and concern for my health. This is probably a good example of the normal progression of making a lifestyle change, it’s not always 1 straight path that we follow. Toggling back and forth between old and new habits should be expected.
However, we might overlook the benefit of educating ourselves. It may seem easier to go with the advice of others (or ignore the advice of others) if we are not educated on a subject, but taking the time to learn may be a more powerful motivator than simply listening to someone else. For example, my husband has compromised kidney function. He’s aware that eating tons of canned foods and drinking a gallon of milk in 2 days may not be the best for his kidneys, but often he does it anyway. Recently he took the time to research what is going on with his kidneys, what his lab results mean, and why certain nutrients require added attention. That motivated him to make changes in his eating. Funny how that worked as opposed to having his dietitian wife nag him.
I’m curious about any changes that you’ve made recently as a result of learning. Personally I’m going to make getting adequate amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D a top priority. With my new knowledge regarding fishing practices, I’m also going to look for the best source of that omega 3 versus picking any old bottle off a shelf in a drug store.
What changes will you be striving for as a result of newly acquired knowledge?