How I Put Off My Old Self
There is a better way.
If you are confused about what is good nutrition, what is good to eat, this is for you. If you have tried time and time again to lose the weight and keep it off, this is for you. If you have tried keeping up with the latest “nutrition research” and popular diet advice only to continue to run circles and fall back into your old ways, this is for you. If food, nutrition and body issues dominate your thoughts and influence your actions, this is for you. If you know you need to take a step towards living a healthier lifestyle but feel lost as to how to even begin, this is for you.
I’m writing this article for you because I used to be you.
I sat down to write this post just as I would any other. I pulled out a piece of scrap paper and mapped out the big rocks, then took a few minutes to reorganize the talking points. As I started to type out the final piece my gut kept pulling me back to the beginning. Something didn’t feel right, but I wasn’t sure what it was.
It was then that I had a memory of a message I listened to by Steffany Gretzinger, worship leader and speaker based out of Bethel Church in Redding, CA: “The most profound thing I can share with you is my very life…. I am who I am because I’m under a lot of blessing to be me.” (If you’re interested, you can watch the full video here). The idea of being under a lot of blessing to be exactly who you are stuck with me.
So here is a piece of my life, my story of working through all of the confusion and frustration of the muddled world of diets and nutrition until I found the better way out.
My interest in nutrition began at a young age, around 15 or 16. I grew up in an active, health-minded family. My parents have both always been active recreational athletes and I grew up chasing them on bikes through the backroads and trails of northern Tennessee. My mother went to great lengths to make sure our family not only ate well but also understood the importance of eating mostly real, from-the-earth fuel.
Flying the nest at 18 introduced me to the real world, apart from the healthy, balanced home I had always known.
During my first year of college I became interested in going vegan, having been influenced by other girls on campus and the surge of popularity of the diet in the media. I had no ethical reason behind my choice to eat this way but was looking for an “easy, no-brainer” way to eat to maintain my weight (hello, campus cafe food and goodbye cycling). And so began my journey into the world of lifestyle dieting.
I began working as a fitness instructor a year later at a CrossFit gym, a workout community responsible for putting Paleo on the map. It took me at least 4 months of working at the gym before my co-trainers convinced me to abandon my vegan ways and embrace bacon. And embrace it I did. I started off my Paleo venture with a round of Whole 30 (the first of what would be 4 rounds). Immediately I dropped 7 pounds (of water weight) and felt better than I had felt in over a year (who knew the body loved protein from animal sources?!). At least for those 30 days.
For the next 2 years I floated somewhere in the space between Paleo and keto, interrupted only by the much-anticipated weekly cheat meal.
In hindsight these cheat meals were my peace of mind gasping desperately for air. No human should ever be that excited to nom out on pizza, ice cream and cookies. All at once. And practically in one bite.
Even special occasions got the Paleo makeover. I was an expert at ruining your favorite holiday treat by making it with almond flour, dates, cashews and applesauce (today I can confidently tell you that there is absolutely no substitute for the real deal when it comes to dessert, and your waistline is better off in the long run to skip the look-a-likes and indulge on the real deal).
During all of this my health and body composition fluctuated greatly. All of my efforts to control my body through my stronghold on nutrition proved to be futile, and my state of mind was crumbling out from under me.
It was in year 3 that things really started to get wiley.
I was tired of the constant cycle of willpower/forced decision making to over-the-top cheat meals and back again. My days started to become more and more centered around eating, what I would eat, what I wouldn’t eat, when I would eat, and what I would do to burn off the calories. A lot of days involved some kind of mini-cheat followed by a mini-meltdown and trip to the gym. Mad at myself for lack of willpower, I would usually rally by resolving to do another Whole 30 or intermittently fast or start tracking macro’s/calories, etc, etc.
This went on for 2 long, gruesome years. Finally I realized that what I had been doing wasn’t working, so I threw my hands up. And let go. Completely. I had had enough.
It was in the years that followed that I slowly began to find my way, the better way, to what real health looks like.
The process of getting there was certainly not pretty. After putting myself through the mental and emotional wringer for years, I let go and my health took a backseat. I simply did not have any energy left in the tank to care about nutrition or exercise.
It took time to relearn my body, its inner workings, and what balance truly looked like before I came back around to genuinely wanting to live in a way that supports a truly healthy me. The process was longer than a thirty day reset or a 60 day challenge. It wasn’t a 21 day fix because the underlying problem was much, much larger than 21 days. I had to remember how to live with food as I did when I was a child; I had to remember that life was more than what was on my plate. Contrary to what you might expect, the less I obsessed over what I ate, the better my choices became overall.
I let go of my desire to control my body through food and exercise and instead let it do as it was designed to do by simply giving it what it was designed to need.
I found my joy returning as I began to make more room in my life for experiences rather than restricting myself according to my “lifestyle” of eating. I could still hear the siren call of the diets but they began to fade in the light of my new way of thinking.
If you can resonate with any piece of my story, know there is a better way. It will not be simple; it will be a completely new way of thinking. It will not be fast; it will take a patient process to find your way. But it will also not be fleeting; you will learn to put off the old self and walk fully into the new.
In just a few short weeks we will be releasing our transformation program, The Common Sense Transformation, for pre-sales. This program comes as the accumulation of 4 decades of industry experience between my own career and Carol’s career, as well as my personal experience having lived through the diet roller coaster. For years we have watched from behind the iron curtain as the diet culture pushed society through its cycles, leaving us in a worse state after each passing wave. We’ve both coached clients to massive, lifelong successes and know the process inside and out.
This program is the process laid out before you for the course of an entire year. For one year you get to walk with us as we help you navigate the journey of renewal and transformation.
The program launches January 1, 2019, but if you enroll early you’ll get the opportunity to save up to $189 (and first 100 to enroll and pay in full receive free copy of the textbook!).
WHAT THE CST IS, IN A NUTSHELL:
A 12-month virtual coaching and lifestyle transformation program
A 12-month course in foundational to advanced cooking skills (be totally competent and confident in the kitchen – never fear a recipe again!)
An intentional habit change program that builds from foundational habits to the habits necessary to maintain your lifestyle through all of life’s seasons
A year walking hand-in-hand with us as your guides and coaches
A progressive and sustainable approach to permanently changing behavior and mindset
Grounded in Truth, the program takes a COMMON SENSE approach to nutrition
A community of support
Includes an optional small group guide, The Common Table, allowing you to share in your journey of transformation with friends
THE CST IS FOR YOU IF YOU CAN SAY YES TO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
You struggle with weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight
You experience anxiety over food or your body
You experience obsessive thoughts or behaviors regarding food or your body
You are confused about what is considered good to eat
You struggle with permanently changing habits or behaviors
You lack confidence and knowledge in the kitchen
You depend on food industry products or restaurants for most of your meals
You are confused by the mass of conflicting diet information
You want a simple, proven, no-nonsense approach to nutrition