I'm not Paleo.
I'm not gluten-free.
I'm not low-carb.
I've never Whole9'ed.
I've never done a 21 Day Sugar Detox.
Shoot, I don't think I eat 5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
What I am doing, is my best. What works for me. Highly restrictive diets do not work. They screw me all up mentally and I end up binging ... such a dirty, negative, unhealthy, guilty thing ... I'd rather carry around a few extra pounds of body fat if it meant I never had to deal with the mental beat down that happens after a binge or "cheat" ... the perfectionist in me has a hard time with guilt, with not "following the rules," with caving in when I should have stood strong.
Instead, after trying enough of these "Insert 30 Day Challenge Name Here" ... I've learned I will never follow any diet paradigm. Diets fail. They just do, because they're not sustainable. And the perfectionist in me (and a lot of other people), have a hard time living with that feeling of failure. I can't handle the guilt. The remorse. Even over something so stupid as a few Milano cookies on the weekend.
If someone tells me no, my whole being just screams YES. Call me a rebel, whatever. The second I tell myself that "food item" is off limits, it's all my mind thinks about.
Rather than live in a world of restriction, I want to live in a world of abundance.
Instead of telling myself foods are off limits, everything is a-okay. I also tell myself though, that food is fuel. Where eggs are premium fuel, a Milano cookie is a junky, unleaded fuel, full of fillers. Instead of a Milano cookie, I can have a few blocks of 70% dark chocolate. Instead of thinking about what I shouldn't have, I think about all of the fantastic things I can have: berries, dark chocolate, nut butters, etc.
It gets a little tricky for me when my will power starts to fail ... Will power can be strengthened, much like a muscle. But it fatigues easily. I am slowly training mine, but damn, the process is slow. But, I see that I've come a very long way. Habits I thought I could never give up are gone, habits I thought I could never pick up are now second nature ... (eating vegetables for breakfast!). It takes A LOT of falling off the wagon. And a lot of getting back up again.
In learning to exercise this will power muscle, I've learned that the language I use to talk to myself with can make or break me. If I see something I want, like a doughnut, but know I shouldn't indulge, instead of saying, "No Courtney, you can't have that," I say, "I am healthy. I am strong. I am fit. I don't want that doughnut, really." Fake it til you make it ... one day I'd like to be that person with an abominable will, like a monk. Where I could sit in a room surrounded by doughnuts and not even feel a muscle twitch.
One day. ;)
I'm happy that every day, I get a little bit stronger. Grateful that I live in a world of so much bounty, that food is even an issue. Grateful I have the choice. Grateful that I belong to a community where we fuel ourselves to get stronger. Food is friend, not foe. Grateful I'm going to bed full tonight. Grateful I have someone to cook and bake for. <3
Black bean brownies are the BOMB diggity!
1. Have you ever done a "30 Day Challenge" type of diet? How did it change you?
2. Are you following a certain type of diet now? Are there foods you're not allowed to have?