I remember when I first started changing my lifestyle and taking charge of my health. I had read Sarah Wilsons I quit sugar e-book and was ready to overhaul my entire life. I was pretty gun-hoe about it all really. I started devouring health blogs and took almost every health increasing tip on board as something to work into my day. I was so super determined to be like these girls who so made healthy eating look so friggin good and so effortlessly easy. I was well and truly falling down the Health and Wellness Rabbit hole… with no torch to light the way.
All I needed to do was:
- Drink more water
- Drink lemon water in the mornings
- Make sure my water is filtered
- Swish coconut oil around in my mouth for 10 minutes
- Do yoga
- Go running (or move in some way)
- Get more exercise
- Stop taking the pill
- Have breakfast worthy of Instagram
- Eat organic food
- Eat less meat
- Eat more veggies
- Activate my nuts
- Avoid all sugar
- Cut out gluten
- Avoid dairy
- Get rid of anything with chemicals
- Dry brush my skin
- Lather up in coconut oil
- Make some raw cacao desserts
- Navigate the health food store and its obscure ingredients
- Drink less coffee
- Drink straight from a coconut
- Learn how to pronounce Acai
- Drink more herbal tea
- Get more sleep
Every. Single. Day.
Easy peasy right? pfft!
It didn’t take long at all for me to realise that I was in over my head and then all of a sudden I felt like a big fat failure. I remember feeling like I had a shiny beacon on my head whenever I ventured into a health food store that read “I’m new here and I don’t belong”, as though they could tell by looking at me that I didn’t know what cacao was. How was I going to be a healthy goddess if I couldn’t achieve all of these things?
The secret was that I didn’t need to. Good health is a journey. It is constantly changing and evolving and there is no “one size fits all” option. Everyone is different and our bodies need different things at different times.
I decided to pick a couple of things that felt achievable for me and stick with those until I was ready to explore more. Once let go of the pressure to be perfect and embraced what worked for me it got a whole lot easier. For me that meant drinking more water and eating less sugar. What a perfect place to begin.
I can see how doing a lifestyle overhaul may be appealing, that “we want results and we want them now” mentalilty is built into so much of what we do and it’s easy to be inspired by hotties on Instagram and to want to change everything all at once. But the reality is that for most people that kind of overhaul is both stressful and unsustainable. It’s not realistic for most people and so often when we “fail” or give in we end up feeling shitty for not meeting out own unrealistic expectations.
Letting go of old habits that are no longer serving us and forming new habits is something we must learn over time. Small changes create lasting results.
I still have to remind myself when I see someone “better” than me that I am exactly where I need to be right now (and also that comparing myself to others is just my egos way of making me feel shitty, but that’s a blog for another time). Wherever you are on your journey, I want you to know that it is the perfect place. Maybe you are just thinking about starting, or you speak the language of fermented veggies and raw desserts fluently – just know that it is the perfect place for you right now. With Instagram and facey loaded with hotties and health nerds right at our fingertips it’s so easy to compare ourselves and to feel like you aren’t as good as everyone else, but remember that the person you are comparing to probably started in a similar place to you and is just further down the road. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!
If you have been dabbling in getting healthier or are wanting to make a change then I would really like to encourage you to start with 1 or 2 little changes. Stay curious and be open to try new things but know that you don’t have to do it all at once. Over time these new changes become second nature and you will start to do them without even noticing.
How does that sound?