My WHY & How It Can Change Your Life
Today, I wanted to give you a peek into my past and explain why I do what I do and how my approach differs from the traditional New Year's detox or fad diet, as well as introduce the idea of setting an intention for health this year.
As many of you know, I have a past (and current) history with a myriad of health issues all stemming back from anorexia that developed at age 14.
I originally developed anorexia as a way to try and gain acceptance from my peers, which my adolescent mind thought would come from simply being physically smaller.
After going through the recovery process, I spent the next 8 years of my life doing anything and everything to stay as thin as possible, because although I was "cleared" from treatment for anorexia, my mindset that thinner was best hadn't changed.
I ate very little, counted every calorie, and plotted every single meal to fit in my specific parameters. Fat was rarely allowed in my diet, and red meat was off the table. Food literally consumed my mind 24/7.
I also exercised incessantly, using any form of exercise to burn as many calories as physically possible. This, coupled with a low-calorie, low-fat diet left me tired, hungry, CRABBY, and miserable. BUT I WAS THIN.
Fast forward to 2014 when I discovered the paleo, real food movement, and slooowwwwlllyyy started to change my diet and eventually the way I exercised over the next year and a half.
But the damage was done.
The immense amount of pressure and STRESS I had put on my body for the past several years left my body in complete dysfunction from my hormones to my digestive system.
Through lots of work, study, and testing, I was able to put a label to the various health conditions I had developed, but what it took me a long time to learn was that unless I worked on my MINDSET and my relationship with my body, I would NEVER see lasting progress. Never.
I spent a decade literally beating my body up for everything it did and gave it no credit for all the amazing things it DID do, which included keeping me alive (among other things).
That's when I pieced it together: if we never give our body a moment of grace and a huge THANK YOU, how can we expect it to perform what we ask? You wouldn't expect that from another person, so why do you expect it from your body?
My story is living proof that if you go through life beating yourself for every "flaw" on your body, you will spend a lifetime chasing unattainable happiness.
Being thinner will not make you happy.
You think it will, but coming from someone who WAS thin for a good majority of her life, it will never be enough. You'll still be self conscious. You'll still poke and prod at yourself in the mirror. You'll still hate body (and therefore yourself).
What WILL make you happier is achieving health. When we focus on health first, all those other goals fall into place (yes, even weight loss). But when we focus on hating ourselves, beating ourselves up, and treating our bodies like dirt, we get the reward we deserve: misery.
I want you to think long and hard about how you see yourself when you look at pictures, the wording you use to describe yourself, the voices inside your head that pick you apart all day, every day.
This method of trying to rely on willpower and degrading yourself WILL NOT WORK.
What will work?
Being kind to yourself.
Learning to love your body.
Being comfortable with who you are.
Realizing that you are enough.
Does this mean you can never have goals or want to change how you look? Absolutely not! What is different is the mindset around the goal. Instead of "I want to lose weight because I'm a ugly and fat," the goal becomes "I want to focus on my health in order to feel my best inside and out and if weight loss comes along as a side effect, that's awesome, but regardless, I AM ENOUGH."
With all this in mind, I am taking that mindset into every program, event, and workshop I offer in 2020 so that we all can learn to give ourselves some grace, learn to thank our bodies, and realize that I AM ENOUGH.
Over the next several weeks and posts, I'll be sharing about the three main offerings I have in 2020. I hope that you'll join me as we work to set an intention for HEALTH this year, rather than hate.