The only time is right now, so thank you for using your ‘right now’ by visiting my blog. This has been quite the year for a number of reasons, and this post isn’t going to be about world events.
This will be my last ‘before and after’ post for a while, I promise. I felt compelled to share this one. Below are pictures of me over the course of a year and 20 days. The left picture is from January 5th 2020, and the right is from January 25th 2021. A little over a year of trial and error.
They say the quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line. Let me tell you. That line was far from straight this past year. It looked more like an EKG. A lot of ups and downs, binges, and benders. Sprinkled in there were two juice fasts, which I like to refer to as life’s greatest teacher. You will learn more about your body in one month of juicing than you will in your whole life of research and experience. This post isn’t going to be about juicing though, so stay with me here.
Health and physique are a journey, not a destination. It took me a while to get that into my head. I’d beat myself up over eating poorly or drinking. When we do that, it makes those pitfalls and/or exceptions even worse. We are putting our bodies’ autonomic nervous system into sympathetic mode making it impossible, yes impossible, to heal from and digest the foods, drinks, and burden we’ve put on it.
I’ve heard the expression “a happy doughnut is healthier than a sad salad” a number of times lately, and I’m inclined to agree with that to an extent. I’m not advocating for shoveling doughnuts while in a good mood by any means. I think we all know the nutrition content of fried dough, but nevertheless, there’s a nugget of wisdom in there.
The problem with my journey was that I was more so on the sad doughnut route for a lot of the past year’s pitfalls, and that was after I discovered juicing too. I think it’s because I knew what I was doing wasn’t in my best interest, and I was doing it anyway. Rationalizing every bender and binge that I came across. It created a bad relationship with my food. In one breath I’d order French fries, then in the same breath I would be preaching about juicing. I felt like a hypocrite. I’m not perfect by any means, but I know now that when I do make those exceptions, that’s all they are: exceptions.
I learned that we just need to have to set ourselves up for success. Have a plan. Don’t stress about eating, and don’t stress eat. Maybe our plan is to not make exceptions two days in a row. Maybe it’s indulge once a month. Maybe it’s indulge once a week. The key is to not make it about the exceptions. We can look at it more as a reward knowing that you’ll be giving your body what it needs the majority of the time.
There’s the infamous word in nutrition we’ve all heard, and that’s “moderation”. Have your treats in moderation. Everything is ok in moderation. Yes, of course that can be true. What does moderation mean, though? Moderation is relative. Moderation to me can be once a year, and moderation to someone else could be once a day. It’s ok to have your treats. It’s not what we do occasionally that gets us into trouble. It’s what we do day after day that tells in the long run.
Someone once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Are we indulging all the time? Are the benders happening frequently? Well, then we may need to reevaluate our relationship with food. I’ve found that a juice fast is the best way to break and recreate the bond we have with food. Sorry, had to plug the fast slightly, but it’s true. Having said that, when trying to decide what moderation means to you and how often we should indulge, figure out what’s best for you. Listen to your body.
I know that I’m way better off now this past year than in the previous 28 years of my life. I’m closing out this decade in the best shape of my life with a hunger to continue to improve and learn more, while striving to help others overcome similar obstacles in their lives as well.
I didn’t do this all alone this past year either. Support, community, and fellowship are imperative. Surround yourself with positive influences and people who want what is best for you and provide motivation. I have so many people to thank. A friend of mine asked me how I feel when I look at that first photo, and I told her that it makes me happy. I thank that guy in that first photo damn near every day. I’m grateful for my past and all the pitfalls now, because I now have the awareness to learn from them.
The important thing is to not get too caught up in the lows. Be grateful for the journey and learn from them. It’ll make reaching those highs all the better. If you’re struggling with binging, benders, or stress around your health or nutrition, please feel free to reach out, and we can overcome this together.
We are powerful beings. More powerful than words can describe. Let’s thrive together.