Sometimes our greatest enemy is ourselves.
Tired of being sick and tired, I’ve been letting go of the negative things that were destroying my health and emotional well-being. Instead, I’ve been trying to embrace the positive things that inspire and rejuvenate me. However, I had an enemy fighting against all the goodness I was discovering. That enemy was myself — because my subconscious wouldn’t stop heckling me.
“Who are you kidding? You’ll always be fat and frumpy.”
All along this journey of nutrition enlightenment, I’ve fallen off the wagon more than a few times. It makes no sense. It’s not like someone is shoving those McDonald’s french fries into my mouth. (Correction: someone is. Me!) As I entered a drive-thru, I wondered what the heck was I doing? But I ordered them anyway and begin a salted frenzy while the enemy within laughed at my questionable willpower.
But let’s be honest. Was I truly hurting myself by eating those fries? It’s not the smartest thing I could have chosen. But I believe that I was hurting myself more by feeling guilty about eating them. The guilt only led to feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, and more destructive thoughts. And the desire for more french fries.
Once I realized that, I didn’t want fries anymore.
Here’s the thing: As adults, we are in charge of what goes into our mouths. Someone else may do the shopping and/or the cooking, but we’re the masters of our forks. You can either eat healthy food that is nourishing to your body, or you can eat food that destroys your health. Green leafy vegetables = good cholesterol. French fries = bad cholesterol. Whatever you choose, don’t feel guilty about it. Just understand the consequences of it. Do you want to feel good, have energy, and sparkle again? Eat your green leafy vegetables. If you want to feel bloated, constantly fight off colds, and always be exhausted — drink a couple of sodas and eat french fries.
For weeks, the numbers on my scale didn’t moved much. I kept playing around with the same 2.5 lbs. I gained it. I lost it. Then I gained it again. I got caught up in losing weight. I agonized over what I was doing wrong. I read a half dozen books and spent hours on the internet looking up the secrets to breaking a weight-loss plateau. Then it dawned on me. The only thing that I was doing wrong was worrying about it. Because I’m not on a diet.
I forgot that simple point.
I fretted that I won’t reach a specific weight goal by a specific date. The closer that date came (and went), the more I felt like a failure or that I didn’t have willpower. The reality was I shouldn’t have had a weight loss goal and target date in the first place! The day I stopped drinking soda, I never once considered if I would lose any weight. I just wanted to feel better. Weight loss is the by-product of my improved nutrition.
One day in mid-March, I’ll pause to celebrate all the good things that have happened in the past 365 days. I’ve thought about that day for awhile now. Correction: I’ve obsessed about it. Thankfully, I realized that I needed to stop thinking about it and get on with life. After all, it will be just another Thursday. I’ll go to work. I’ll go to yoga class.
So like all the other negative things I’ve let go, I disarmed my enemy within.
I’ve stopped looking at the scales everyday. Same thing goes for the calorie counting app; I deleted it from my phone. In many ways, I blame the scales and the app for giving my enemy within a voice. Because rather than creating awareness, they created a monster who felt guilty about every bite whether it was good or bad. My journey has never been about calories or what the scales said. It’s about how much life I can gain by making smarter choices. And how much health can I restore by healing my body with food and yoga. Not just for a year — but for a lifetime.
Finally, I let go of the enemy within.
By the way, the scales moved in the right direction. Coincidence? I don’t think so.