This summer was an awesome one for me. I saw a lot of growth as a person and in my professional life. I also took the time to enjoy small vacations and time at the pool with my son and some late nights with my love. In that, I ate intuitively, but not as well as I had in the past. In true Jess fashion, I decided it was time to get back on track and do something about my habits. In came the Whole30.
The problem with that was my mindset. I felt guilty and wrong and this was my punishment. I had to go back to a strict regiment to reestablish what I already knew. It was the yo yo dieting mentality of yesteryear that somehow crept back in unbeknownst to me. Breaking the cycle of dieting is really tough and even when you think you’ve mastered it, it can seep back in if you’re not careful. It happened to me and I was going full force.
As I began the Whole30, I recognized some old thoughts coming into my head. The guilt, the pressure, the obsession…I was engulfed in making rules around food and sending myself subliminal messages that I had to do better and be better.
“You have to do this perfectly or you have to start over.”
“You have to get yourself together.”
“You failed yourself this summer.”
I was in a slump and at a loss.
The good news is I recognized it early and told myself to stop. I’ve done 2 Whole30 rounds and I know how to eat. I know what affects my body and what doesn’t. I just had to get back to the basics and show myself some grace with the choices I make from day to day.
As an anti diet advocate, I challenge you to look at why you’re doing something. Is it emotional? Is it to change your body? Is it pressure from others? If so, take a moment to write things down and evaluate how YOU feel. Changing habits takes time. It’s not an overnight process and showing yourself grace in that process is important.
Changing your food path is not to punish you. It is to better you. If you’re punishing yourself for bad choices, you tie a negative energy to food. That negativity then translates to how you feel about the food affecting your body. Don’t get me wrong, you should be wise in your choices. BUT…never punish yourself when it comes to food. It’s counterproductive and will not garner lasting results.
I challenge you, instead, to crowd out the foods that are processed or don’t make you feel good and add more of the things that do. For example, if you know that you eat a few too many chips before dinner, replace them with veggies instead. Or if you have a problem with loading your plate with carbs and protein, try replacing a part of your plate with veggies. Think of the veggies you like to eat and start there. Don’t love kale? That’s fine! There is likely a veggie you enjoy and can incorporate more often.
I’m not saying that a Whole30 is bad. It’s a great learning tool for your body. The bad part is when you do it to try to get results or put yourself into timeout for the choices you’ve made prior. Be mindful of the reasons you’re doing a thing. That’s with life in general.
Your body is an incredible tool and it talks to you every day. It’s up to you to listen to it, acknowledge it and honor it. Eat more veggies, drink more water, crowd out processed foods, and move often. It’s a simple equation, yet complicated in the world we live in today. The key is being gentle with yourself and knowing that you are up to YOU!