Let’s go back to cravings a little bit, particularly with how it relates to this challenge or a health and wellness goal you might have. I fundamentally believe that food is supposed to be fun and joyful and delicious. We need it to survive and therefore our brains are designed to help us seek out that which is most pleasurable and rewarding about it. All that is well and good, but I also think that our society has created so many foods that are distorted variations of the real thing that it can be confusing to sort through what our bodies actually need to thrive.
Enter into that a whole lot of social conditioning and rituals or traditions and it can be nearly impossible to navigate a path solely based on health. But personally, I don’t believe that we need to. I really believe there is also room for indulgence purely for the sake of pleasure and a deeply felt sense of contentment that comes with enjoying something fully for no other reason than it is delectable.
Bridging these two ideas can be a challenge sometimes because I feel like my old habits strive to override new ways of feeling deeply contented. What we do consistently is more impactful than what we do once in a while so change takes time. The difficulty with things today is that so much is designed to be easy, and as humans we gravitate towards this naturally, but easy doesn’t necessarily mean better. Then once we are on the path of easy, it becomes a habit. If we want to change that habit because we intellectually believe a different way is better for us, that takes work. And work isn’t easy – so we’re back to some pretty significant signaling from the brain.
I committed to 45 days of this challenge not because I think 45 days is a magic number or because 30 isn’t long enough to begin to see some benefit or because 60 days is insane and obsessive. I picked 45 days because I knew that it would be a challenge in some way and I also knew that I’d need some time to really feel a shift in my perspective. The challenging part has come along but I don’t know that the shift in perspective has arrived yet. Even if I felt that it had, I committed to 45 days and need to see what that’s about, if only because I’m curious. And really, this isn’t hard and that isn’t long.
Yesterday I talked briefly about how I am a grown-up with the ability to make my own choices. I don’t have any significant food sensitivities, an auto-immune disease, or anything that might lead me to be 100% strict with my eating. (Knock on wood…) I’m super healthy from the day-to-day perspective and from the doctor’s reports. Even my weight, although I’d like to see a change, is actually a healthy weight for me. So what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that I decided to do this 45 day challenge in order to discover something on the other side. I’m not to the end yet. Frankly, I don’t even know if I’ll have any earth-shattering change or discovery. Maybe I won’t. But that’s the thing – I’m here to find that out, not to assume that I have already gleaned what there is to learn. So these past few days when I’ve been wondering why I wouldn’t just loosen the reins a little bit, the answer is because I’m not finished yet and I don’t know what that looks like.
I also committed to the time and to you and to me. When we make a commitment to ourselves, we owe it to show up and do the work. Our minds know when we give up – this is, by the way, completely different from choosing to go a different way. A few months ago, I tried a more ketogenic approach and ended up moving away from that. The reason was that I could feel it messing with my head in ways that I didn’t like. It wasn’t making me feel more healthy and aligned with my self and was, instead, making me feel unsettled and unwell. So I chose to move away from it. On the other hand, when we give up on a goal that we really believe in just because it gets hard, then we’re telling ourselves that we’re not worth the effort. When in fact, not only are we worth the effort but we are totally capable of working through challenges and overcoming obstacles. Every single one of us is, without a doubt.
Right now I’m feeling healthy and aligned and the pull is to move back to something that doesn’t feel aligned. It really feels like I’m a toddler in a candy store throwing a tantrum and my mind wants to give me the candy so I’ll be quiet but the body is helping me to let it go because there’s something better out there.
So while I fully recognize my right to have a glass of wine, eat the chocolate, settle in with some cheese, I’m choosing not to and I feel better for it. I feel proud, strong, capable, a sense of accomplishment and ownership of my goals. And even though it’s still a little tough, I feel like I see the top of this particular hill and it really isn’t that far away at all.
I’ve already made my decision and now I’m just letting it play out. Thank you again for being there for me as I process this part of the journey. I appreciate you.
Shine bright. xo
So what did I eat today?
Breakfast – 2 eggs, zucchini, salsa, sauerkraut / Bell pepper with avocado
Lunch – Salad with grilled pork chop, beets, onions, avocado / Sweet potato chunk
Snack – Carrot sticks / Cherries
Dinner – Moroccan lamb and cabbage sauté / Melon
All the cravings were gone today. I feel totally balanced and good to go for the next little bit. I feel like I overate at dinner tonight though because I’m sitting here a couple hours later and still feel full. I was hungry and it was really good so I think I just ate more than I needed. Or maybe it was too much cabbage for my system. Not sure. But it’s interesting how this feeling of fullness is becoming uncomfortable to me. Just twenty days ago it was the feeling I was often seeking.
Staring down the end of the first 30 days feels pretty good.
How did I move today?
I didn’t get a full workout in but an abbreviated MetCon happened this morning. I also did yoga and took the dog for a walk. Feeling good.