I am going to have a heart attack. Impossible to predict? Sure, but I am not above a bold statement from time to time. You see, my family history is against me (3/4 grandparents had heart attacks) and my diet is against me (cheeseburgers, pizza, hold the veggies). So that’s why I am able to confidently proclaim “I am going to have a heart attack.” Well, I was able to proclaim that but now I’m not so sure. Week 4 is where Five Day Discipline really stepped in and started interfering with my life. This is also when I became a zealot for the Five Day Discipline system so don’t blame me blame Week 4.
Five Day Discipline:
Prevent heart attack. Eat a salad every day for lunch.
My whole life I Hated salad. Capital H hated. I didn’t dislike it in the general way that all non-adults dislike it, I actually hated it. My most vivid memory of being at my maternal grandparent’s house growing up was when my Grandpa forced me to eat lettuce one night*. On this particular evening I wasn’t allowed to leave the dinner table until I had eaten all of my salad so I tried to disguise it by tucking it under the cheese of a frozen pizza on my plate. I still remember sitting there, tears rolling down my cheeks as I slowly and painfully tried to eat all of the salad. It was traumatic.
Fast forward 20+ years and, though the idea of eating salad made me cringe, I decided to eat salad every day for lunch for Week 4 of my Five Day Discipline. The whole point (of Five Day Discipline) is to do things you don’t normally do and man oh man was salad something I didn’t normally do. But after working out for Week 3 my body felt good and I was ready for the challenge: it was now or never. By the way, one week of salad would double the amount of lettuce that I had eaten in my entire life. Yes, it’s ridiculous to go 31 years without even eating what amounted to five salads but then again I’ve never shied away from ridiculous.
What I ate: I stuck with two salads that came highly recommended: the Spicy Southwest salad from Chick-fil-a and the Southwest salad from Jack In The Box.
- Day 1: “Eh. It’s not the worst thing I’ve eaten.” I ate about half of it. I was engrossed in a book (Rothfuss’s The Name Of The Wind for those curious) so I was eating very slowly. It may or may not have contributed to me not eating the whole salad.
- Day 2: “Okay, I’m not saying I am going to eat this after my Five Day Discipline is over but if I had to eat salad again I could handle that.”
- Day 3: “Wait, I think I might actually be enjoying this.”
- Day 4: “Oh, wow, I think I like salad.”
- Day 5: “I don’t just like this I really, really like this.” Who am I? Existential crisis ensues.
Five Day Discipline didn’t change my tastebuds, what it did was open my mind to try something different and it gave me the repetition of five days that my tastebuds needed to say, “Hey, Daniel, we really dig this.”
If I had told myself I was going to “eat healthier” I would have eaten one salad, been miserable the whole time and never touched the stuff again. With Five Day Discipline though, I only had to do it for five days. You can do anything for five days. I wasn’t even trying to like salad and I certainly wasn’t expecting for it to happen. Its now one of my favorite things and I eat it 3 or 4 times a week. And here’s the real rub, I am not trying to make a healthy choice when I choose salad I am simply picking my favorite thing off the menu.
I don’t want to overstate the impact here but it’s entirely plausible that this singular week of Five Day Discipline will push my impending heart attack back 5 or 10 years because every single time I eat a salad it means that I am not eating a cheeseburger and fries or something equally artery clogging. Maybe now I won’t have a heart attack at all. Maybe I’m ridiculous and maybe I make bold statements but maybe, just maybe, Five Day Discipline saved my life. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
*while that moment from my childhood was very traumatic I don’t want to paint my grandpa as a villain. He is a brilliant, kind man whom I love dearly. That said, I will be passing my therapist’s bill on to him.*