Last night I was watching the women's beach volleyball team on the Olympics and the commentators at one point were talking about how early in the match Kerri Walsh Jennings showed a lot of adrenaline, then midway through the first match seemed to "settle in." After weeks of being all wound up with my new "DONE Playing Small" blog, website revamp and the Optavia introduction and open house - then some stress from my "we were comfortable with status quo" gremlins - I now feel like I'm settling in... to a stronger voice, more active voice, feistier voice - my real voice really. Just with less adrenaline.
I took a walk tonight. Did about 15 minutes of a walking meditation. Are you familiar? It's where you walk and just notice everything around you - the noises, smells, scenery - and let all the other thoughts float by. Then I started to write my blog, in my head. And now here I am. At my favorite time to write... at about 9:00pm when the kids are asleep, the house is quiet and my mind is focused.
On Monday night I host a 30-minute group video call for any of my clients who want to hop on. This week the question was asked about how to move from a food plan where pre-packaged "fuelings" are used in conjunction with whole foods, to entirely or primarily whole foods. How to transition to a new normal of naturally healthy eating in other words - without continuing to diet or forever walk on what feels like a tightrope. I don't exactly remember what I said, but whatever it was it lacked the benefit of my being able to mull it around first. Because it is not a straight forward answer. Yet I know it is a very popular question. So here is what I would say, after having mulled it around a bit... for everyone to hear, beyond the handful of people on the call.
When that question gets asked, I think the desired response is about food. How do you eat? Yet I think the real response is way more than food. My first reaction - and this I know I did somewhat say - is to understand that to gain control you have to give up control. What I mean by that, is as you add a broader array of whole foods back in - you want to get really clear about who is in charge. Your body. Not your mind and certainly not you. Remember - you and your mind are the ones that got you where you were. You need to fire them. Seriously. If your CPA continued to advise you down a bad path, you would not keep them around. This is no different. So, now that you are at a healthy weight and have a healthy eating rhythm and the knowledge and habits to make at least one healthy meal per day - as you add, you listen. How does my body feel. Does it feel good, or do I feel gross? Or did it kick in serious unhealthy cravings? Note the reaction. Give each food the thumbs up or thumbs down, then move on to the next, knowing that your new normal may not include some thing you want it to include. And you deal with that and revel in how it feels to be free of all the cravings and frustration - or you don't, and you justify things that lead you down a slippery path, because you refuse to let go of control, because you are determined to continue to eat certain foods, and you miss out on how amazing it feels to be free. That's honestly what it looks like. Which may not be what you want to hear. This journey is much less about food and much more about personal growth. How you continue to challenge yourself about what you want for your life versus what you want right now. And when you dig in and prevail, it starts to become habit. But that re-entry doesn't happen in two weeks. You push through - with the right support, and the right food plan and the right tools.
That's the first step. The first layer of the onion so to speak. Once you make peace with some of the crap food you think you can't live without, then you get to the cool stuff. I say that lightly - about making peace - when it can be far from it. I used to have a love affair with bread. It was seriously my friend. My comfort, my stress relief, my happy place. And my body did not agree. I could do all the self management, tap into all my tools and still I couldn't have one piece without having four. It was a drug. I was in denial, then pissed off, then a bit depressed about it I think. Then I tried to negotiate - "what if I try sprouted grain bread?" Nope. And so I had a very hard decision to make. And now as I say that is seems ridiculous. Who cares? It's bread. I haven't had bread in about four years and haven't missed it at all. Again, not what you want to hear I know. But it's the truth. Or at least it was for me. Every body is different. But it does take that level of willingness to let go of control, to gain control. Remember - DONE playing small. It's food for crying out loud. Not your life. Not your loved ones. Food. Unhealthy food. What is it seriously worth? Get over it. Move on.
So, back to what it takes once you get past that conversation. It then becomes about what else you want for your life. All of a sudden you realize you are capable of so much more than you thought. I tried to lose that weight for 27 years. And I did it. And not only did I reach a number on the scale, but I broke through my bread prison!!! And now I'm FREE!! Free to dream. Free to be DONE. Now what? How can I make my life even "more better" as my four-year-old would say? Because the food is no longer in charge. I am in charge.
The more you continue to peel the onion, the more you expand how you care for yourself, the more you stay on your healthy path. The more you continue to peel the onion, the more you experiment with new foods, the more you stay on your healthy path. The more you continue to peel the onion, the more you surround yourself with healthy people and healthy activities, the more you stay on your healthy path. The more you continue to peel the onion, the more you stop saying stupid things like "my goal is to maintain," the more you stay on a healthy path. (The word "maintenance" is no longer in my vocabulary - right behind "diet" and "cheat." If you want to know why, watch my video on motivation and a rubber band.) In other words, you keep going. You get DONE playing small all over the place. What you are not done with - is this program. This program is for life!!! Which is why it's called Take Shape For Life. Not Take Shape For A Little While.
My husband is the one who knew our coach, and found this program. We both thought we were starting a diet. And here I am 4 1/2 years later - cleaning out the clutter from my house, and getting our finances better organized - dreaming about being totally debt free, not just good for retirement. I go to yoga twice a week and take walks and be present with my kids and work from home without a commute and help other people and think about what hobbies I want to start (I want to study French I think) and what books I want to read and what friends I want to see - and when during my "work week" I am going to grocery shop and clean the house and pay the bills and exercise - so I'm not running around chasing life with my head chopped off (which I still do some days). I'm still on the program. I'm still committed to my health. I'm still working on new recipes. And wanting to write a book. And whatever else I have yet to dream up. This is how it's done. Of which the "transition" to whole foods is just a small part - kind of like pregnancy is a small part of your child's life. And becomes smaller with every year that goes by. Does this make sense? So when someone asks about the transition - I do my best to contain myself and meet them where they are at with the food plan - but this is all the stuff I want to get wound up and start yelling about!! Nicely of course. :) You don't lose weight, then transition to maintenance, then end the program. You live the program.
Or you can go try some weight loss plan that uses words like diet, cheat and maintenance - that will tell you what you want to hear - that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight as long as you do it in "moderation"... but I think they are not getting the big picture. I think they are not DONE playing small yet.
On that note - have a wonderful weekend, as usual. And if you have not done so already - take 60 seconds now to RSVP for my Optavia Open House, 5:30-8:30pm, Monday, September 12. There will be product samples, healthy appetizers and lots of great folks in the same boat - rowing toward your healthy path!