If you have done any sort of “diet” program, you have probably been asked to “find your why”. This pretty much means, find the thing(s) that remind(s) you why you started, and that will keep you from giving up on those hard days.
I remember being asked this multiple times while on Weight Watchers and never really having an honest answer. I mean, sure, I had all the cliche “whys”: I want my clothes to fit better; I want to get healthy before getting pregnant; I want to build self confidence. No disrespect If these are your true “whys”, they just weren’t enough for me to give 110% to my weight loss journey (and definitely not enough to keep my from my junk food!) So, when Holly asked me to find my why for my homework (yes, I am given homework – no shame) and for it to be a legit why, I became a little anxious. Sure, I could give her the same ol’, same ol’ reasons for being on this journey, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough, for her or myself.
After procrastinating the entire week, and then proceeding to stare at a blank page for almost two hours, I finally came up with something I could call a why…
This is supposed to be a letter to myself to explain why I am doing Whole30, and essentially doing a complete overhaul of my diet. A letter to remind me why I want to stick with these changes and not run to Chick-fil-A for fries and a vanilla milkshake! After staring at this blank Word document for over an hour and thinking of all the cliché things I could say, I found an honest answer. This was my last resort.
Wow, that sounds pretty dramatic doesn’t it? Well, honestly, I was desperate when I reached out to my nutritional therapist. I was at the highest weight I had ever been, I was continuing to binge eat like crazy, and my sugar cravings were seriously ruling my life! I had been on Weight Watchers, followed a vegan diet, counted calories and macros, and nothing stuck. I was lost. Throw in increasing anxiety, and debilitating depression, and I was going downhill fast! I knew I needed something different; something new; something more drastic to make real changes.
Sticking with the honesty, Whole30 can really suck! In the moments that I want to numb my feelings with a pint of ice cream, I don’t want to hear the logical reasons of why I am doing this. It is in those moments, though, that the answer is in the question. I am doing this because I don’t want to be 75lbs overweight. I don’t want to rely on my sweet-tooth to be my only form of happiness. I can’t have such an unhealthy relationship with food that in dictates my emotions. Not to mention the constant stomach aches, unhealthy skin, and extreme fatigue that comes along with those food choices.
I know there is a balance somewhere between eating for nutrition and eating for pleasure. I do love food, that is not going to change. And I do enjoy not-so-healthy foods (um, pizza!) However, I can learn to love healthy food just as much. Why? Because I want to feel comfortable in my own skin; because I am tired of feeling unhealthy (mentally and physically); because I want so much more out of my life that pizza and ice cream just can’t offer me.
So, this letter may not be your typical “find your why” motivator, but it is going to be a reminder to me that, at this moment, I know why I am making this change, and I know why I can’t give up.
What I go back to, when I read this over again, is the line,”…because I want so much more out of my life that pizza and ice cream just can’t offer me.” That says it all. This journey is [finally] more than just losing weight. I have a lot more extra baggage I want to get rid of than just shedding those pesky 75(ish) pounds. Starting Whole30, and working with Holly, is about finding a balance between food and emotions. It has been about challenging myself and it will be about learning what I can do, both physically and mentally, when I am not being held back by sugar highs (and lows), brain fog, and everything else that comes with the poor habits I have been holding onto my entire life.