If you got thrown in prison for a year there’s no doubt it would suck. It would be a horrible thing to confront and could quite easily turn out to be the worst year of your life, the worst year imaginable. You could wallow in self pity and pass the time by wishing you weren’t locked up, allowing depression to swallow you up and consume you over the course of the year. On the other hand there are plenty of examples of people who have used their time in prison to completely reinvent themselves, people who've embraced the experience and made the best of the situation. People who've beaten drug addictions, earned degrees, gotten fitter, stronger and healthier, achieved enlightenment.
A year of eating nothing but potatoes seems a very daunting proposition - it was for me too! When I started I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to do it but at least I was ready to give it a try and see what happened. I thought it would all be too hard to stick with this plan since I’d failed so many times at so many other plans, but I figured that the only true failure is in not trying. I decided to just start the challenge and figure out the details along the way.
I had a realisation that effectively what I’d done was to put myself in a food prison. I’d locked myself away from food for a year and I needed to find a way to get through it. I’ve heard former inmates say ‘do the time or the time will do you’. I didn't want to spend the year fighting against the pull of delicious junk foods and wishing I could eat them. After a couple of weeks I learned that if I was going to make it through, I had to surrender to the challenge. I had to stop fighting and just accept the situation, I was stuck in food prison for a year. No point struggling against it, just get on with making the most of the situation.
I had no idea what would happen or why, I just had a deep understanding that getting through this year would be really fucking important. Somehow I knew, I was absolutely certain that things would be different if I could just stick to my plan. I placed such high importance on making it through this challenge that it became more important than any food I could possibly imagine. When I fully understood the importance of this year, I was able to let go of the idea of eating anything else. I settled in and stopped fighting it, I just had to ride it out.
Once I made this change in mindset, things became much easier. I was able to shift my focus away from the ‘prison’ mentality of being stuck with potatoes and start focusing on all of the great things in my life. I was able to stop obsessing over what my next meal would be and start enjoying the little things in life. Suddenly a year of total boredom and mental strain against the pull of delicious foods became a year of freedom and infinite possibility.
If you'd like to join me and the other Spuddies who have committed to a guided month of eating spuds only throughout September, click here.