This month Melissa Hartwig released her new book Food Freedom Forever and this is where I am headed- to a place where I can live my life without the guilt and anxiety.
Part of the book talks about a growth mind-set.
"If you have long considered yourself unhealthy - it you've been overweight, sedentary, sick, or hooked on junk food for most of your life - a fixed mindset will tell you that you'll always be an unhealthy person. Even if you do lose the weight or change your deit, your Debbie Downer brain will keep reminding you that you're not REALLY healthy, because you're stuck with the health status you assigned yourself years ago."
YES - so much this. This is where I am. I have to get out of this mind-set and move onto GROWTH.
Melissa goes on to say:
"The best thing you can do is to adopt a growth mind-set and believe traits are malleable; able to develop and improve with commitment and effort. Instead of labeling your behaviors as healthy, committed, or motivated, label YOURSELF as those things."
I think the longer I continued my strict Whole30 the more I felt like I was punishing myself around food. The "I can't eat that" statement just started to wear on me. I know certain things affect my body poorly (gluten and dairy are not my friends) but what about that delicious maca cacao coffee that has a little coconut sugar and monk fruit? It is paleo and yummy and if I want it why can't I have it? I felt like I was at the point where if I was really gonna embrace food freedom I needed to exercise it and have something non compliant. So I stepped off the Whole30 reset and let myself enjoy it.
I have to figure out a sustainable life plan but it is really hard to shift to that place. When I started I had this huge freaking mountain to climb and at the beginning the climb was scary but I had this place to work towards and so in that since it was attainable. I worked really hard to lose 140 pounds and say "I am half my size!" - so now what? I still have my half marathon goals and I am working hard to get faster and run farther. I am working hard to get stronger and have been weight lifting for awhile and I am starting to actually have visible muscles. These are all things I am very proud of, but inside my brain I am still the fat girl. I am still scared of food. I am still scared that I will binge off a cliff and gain it all back. I am still scared that I will stop running and go back to lazy habits. I have become a healthy fit person but I am terrified about how to sustain it. I finally arrived and now I don't know what to do. I am struggling with my own identity and that is a by-product of extreme weight loss I didn't expect. You work so incredibly hard to get to the top of this mountain and now you are at the top but guess what? You can never stop climbing! All the hard work - it never stops. You don't just arrive and get to live your life - this IS your life. How do I embrace this? I am also left with the baggage of lose skin that makes me incredibly uncomfortable in my new body. Yes I wear a size 6 and a small and can see my rib and hip bones, but I also have giant bat wing arms, weird deflated balloon thighs, and stomach skin rolls. I need to be nice to my body and focus on the positive things but for some reason lately all I can do is focus on the negative. Mental plateaus and roadblocks are a part of this process and I have definitely come to a big one. I will persevere and come out stronger. I have shown myself I can and will.
Some advice I got from someone else who has lost over hundred pounds going whole30/paleo (my IG buddy @paleobailey) is to look at how far you have come and remember how healthy, strong, and amazing you are now. So for now I will focus on the progress and not perfection and continue to work towards a growth mind-set.