Eden's doors aren't locked but licked by repeated failures on two fronts: first, memory...second, imagination. We forget how good we had it once. Then, tragically, we can't imagine ever having it that good again.
Way back when, a younger Reb crossed the country with $300 and dreams of finding happiness in a fabled city: San Francisco. Within a year, I'd stopped drinking, begun working out, adapted an all-natural diet...and maybe not so coincidentally, started on what would become my first book, THE SUITING. I grew thin, ripped and passionately committed to becoming The Francisco Kid.
I could tell you some stories of heartbreak and loss that led to the loss of that Eden. But I'd rather focus now on getting back again inside those locked and pearly gates. So let's wrap the past up with a neat little bow: I married unwisely, my wife despised my writing and natural diet, we fought and fought, the fights grew worse, I left her and headed south--where, in the grips of a bloody divorce, the pressure of a new job, the grief over my father's death--I started smoking again after 12 years. I stayed off booze, I'm pleased to say, but I was back on junk food and smoking like a chimney...and so began the great battle to kick tobacco once again while my blood sugar spiked and yo-yoed.
Enough. No more excuses. It is time now get back to Eden. I've been back off tobacco for 2-1/2 years. Off caffeine and red meat for as many. So I've got a head start on my journey and the battle I now face against some mortal enemies: sugar, fructose, the wrong carbs and their gang of wicked cronies.
Battle plan: from now until New Year's, I plan to continue painting myself into the corner I want: increasing the daily amount of fruits and salads I consume...progressively eliminating dairy and chicken--the last meat I eat...decreasing the number of my daily decafs--and eliminating cream and the sweetened flavors Starbucks adds...
Special strategies: I work third shifts, 7 nights on, 7 days off. This plays havoc with my energy, causing cravings for sugary snacks to keep me in the zone. I'll need to start packing alternative snacks: especially low-calorie treats like shredded carrots and sliced apples,
Power packing: I'll need to set out daily armed with both physical and spiritual boosts: veggie wraps, juices, distilled water, fruits...Principles I've learned are true: Cravings create cravings--so cultivate great cravings...Baby foods make baby thoughts--so eat like an adult to think like a man...Lose the ounces, not the pounds--and find the journey in the steps, not the destination...
Goal: by following an all-natural diet, about 80% raw...and by eliminating entirely all meat, sugar and dairy...to return to that lost Eden. The great joy in my heart when the Mexican bus driver sang: 'Sahn Furahn-seeeeees-cooooo!' and I saw the fabled skyline and knew my life's greatest adventure was just about to begin.
Well, here I am in Charlotte, where I rather wish I weren't. But, God, I hear that driver sing. And, oh, I know it's time again to crash the gates of Eden. The S. F. Kid's come home again.
This is my report.