Changing the way you eat is hard. Changing anything is hard. No one ever said that upgrading your life was going to be easy.
As we change our diet, we need to allow for space to grow. As we evolve, things fall away and new things enter our horizons. [Read: 7 Ways to Remove Stress & Shame from Nutrition]
We need to allow for death.
For death of ….
+fear of failure
+fear of success
Because as we make changes in our life and diet, some things have to fall away before new can be properly integrated.
Sometimes things are unearthed. Things we learn about ourselves as we make tweaks with our diet. It’s not always comfortable to find these traumas, but they are key to your next level.
For example, when I went vegetarian I loved it. [Read the story in: 3 Bendy Rules for Your Food Phases] But when I started craving meat almost a year later, I could have stuck it out. I could have held on tightly to my vegetarian label and not allowed my body to get what it was asking for. I had to let go of the belief that vegetarian was still working for me at that time. I had to let go of the thought that I was “bad” for changing and no longer following vegetarianism. I had to let go of fear of change and let go of judgement on myself for ‘failing’ at something. (It wasn’t a failure at all and in fact it taught me to more quickly adapt.)
Moving through food phases, be it foods we love now or diets we are following is a lot like, well, life.
Between the ages of 18 and 27 I had moved 17 times. That is a lot of upheaval and “unsettle.” Suffice to say, I got very used to change. It wasn’t easy. It was frustrating at times and I would question my decisions and feel anxiety about where my life was and why I couldn’t settle. I even toyed with playing keeping up with the Jones’ before I realized it wasn’t me. I was so used to moving regularly that this kind of lifestyle became almost like a game. A gypsy game that I knew that if I could
a) become minimalist [Read: Why I’m Obsessed With Minimalism & How it Improves Your Nutrition]
b) keep riding it, but on a scarier limb, would be a great challenge to my growth and ability to adapt quickly.
So when I was 28 I packed my life into my car and went full throttle as a nomad.
Around this time is when I also started to identify my diet as a flexitarian. It was one great big metaphor that I was living. My life became insanely fluid in forward momentum and so did my nutrition. I used this life/food metaphor to start working with my clients on a level where they could also find freedom. We may think we need a fixed diet label or a meal plan regime to feel secure with our food choices when really we just need a basic understanding of what foods are healthy, [Read: 5 Reasons You Need Whole Foods] as well as the freedom and fluidity to allow ourselves to discover what works innately for our body. This is the “Consciousness Over Calories” method I teach, that I created and adopted, that creates a platform for success for my clients to eat well over and over again. Easily.
But once we hit that great plateau - then what?
Once we reach the top of the mountain of success and freedom we craved, then what? We can still get bogged down. We can still keep finding more problems to stress about.
Our minds crave a challenge.
Once we’ve found some personal success in nutrition we often then look at the bigger picture.
Is there huge problems in our food system?
Is it heartbreaking to watch farmers’ in hazmat suits spray our orchards down?
Is there psychological warfare in finding of the ‘right’ diet for you, for the planet?
Yes to all of the above.
Once we reach our goals, there’s always new layers of goals. They can seem daunting and frustrating because of the system we are in. But I choose to focus on the positives.
What are the positives of allowing death (thereby allowing growth) in our personal development using food as a platform?
+That every day we can make decisions to vote with our fork. (A powerful shift.)
+That every day we can choose organic in some capacity. (Powerful shifts in the food movement.)
+That every day we can love the planet by making conscious decisions.
+That we can support local farmers (when applicable to our lifestyle & budget)
+That every day we can choose the diet/food that works for us and not feel tightly bound by strict rules that stress us out.
A word on healing.
Those are the positives. We’ll always have some level of trauma that we play out in our food [Read: Stairway to Heaven: 7 Steps to Healing] and have the option of using food as a coping mechanism, but we can turn that around with consciousness. If healing is a return to wholeness, then healing from trauma is remembering that we can trust ourselves, we can trust our failures and successes in food and we can trust life as it changes. It is the reintegration into easiness, calmness, and the willingness to allow things to be as they are, rather than trying to control it all. We can’t control the system. We can’t change the health of our planet overnight. But it’s small steps and little tweaks in our decisions, our own willingness to try again, be vulnerable again, to show up, to reach out, and make ourselves an active part of our communities, and our own wellness.
Here are more resources to help you bring more of these positives to your life:
As you’re making change in life or feeling like you need to, just remember there is always a new perspective just around the corner. The simplicity, balance and freedom you crave is just one new thought away.
Lovingly dedicated in memory of Vincent Joseph Smith.