Living each day much muchier
Real change takes time.
Time, persistence and continuous effort are fine at the start when you’ve got all the willpower of optimism, but after a little while, they become hard. Really, really hard. It makes you question whether what you want is worth it.
Two months ago, I wrote ‘I’m breaking up with you’. It made a tiny sploosh after being shared by The Moderation Movement and resonated with a lot of people. I told everyone that I was breaking up with diets, with body shaming and with endlessly torturing myself over how I look.
…and I have, mostly.
I don’t calorie count. I don’t weigh myself every day or even every week. I’ve thrown out the ‘off limits’ list and can have any food I want if it satisfies my hunger and not some other impulse like boredom or stress. I bought clothes that fit. I walk my commute to work and move for pleasure instead of punishing my body for its shape.
I turned into a proper intuitive eater. A+. Gold star. I went straight from broken to booyah and lost two kilos right off the bat… amazing right? Except, it only lasted two weeks.
At that point, I got complacent with my hunger and starting eating when it was convenient and until my plate was empty. I stopped sensing what I really felt like eating or drinking and fell back into old habits. I stopped losing weight too. Not that it’s all about that, but let’s be honest, it’s always a little bit about that.
I treated intuitive eating like any other diet – like I could wake up every day, be motivated and expect to see results on the scales. Exactly like any other diet, it became unsustainable, too hard and I stopped doing it.
The thing is, what was really too hard was trying to go straight from broken to booyah. Maybe I understood all the theory of how it works but in the real world, emotions and habits and thought patterns are tricky things and that don’t change instantly just because I think I know better.
Going from broken to booyah instantly is like getting up from the couch to run a marathon or from writing hardly anything to gushing out a novel. There’s no instant fix. The only way to get there is to be patient and compassionate with my mortal, fallible self and just keep going.
Real change takes time. The effort itself needs to be its own reward.
I suppose you might wonder whether anything’s changed for me, since nothing looks different on the outside. I promise you, there’s a whole new landscape on the inside.
I can’t begin to tell you how much value there is in the wonderful lack of torment that used to happen over food and my appearance. I manage to live with peace instead of militant food vigilance and shape torment. Even if I never drop another digit, this state of calm acceptance is worth it.
It’s simpler (though not easy) to find a way to NOT torment myself rather than continually try to be worthy of less torment.
Real change forces you to look closely at yourself, not so much at what you’re doing, but why. What are you doing it for?
Picture your booyah state for a moment, your own one. It’s a very personal state that’s particular to you. It’s a version of yourself, at the end of all your striving. It might even be a better version of you – the person you wish you were and whose life you’d prefer to be living.
Then ask yourself how that booyah state will bring you happiness. Do you know for sure that it will or do you only assume so? What if it’s a goose chase? If it’s scary to imagine letting go of your booyah image, then maybe it’s time to try something different.
Going from broken to booyah requires real change. It’s about seeking peace and finding joy directly instead of pinning it on a future state when you or your life look a certain way. It will take time, effort and persistence and that’s pretty daunting but the effort is its own reward.
“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.”