On the way back from Blue Ridge, Georgia this past weekend, I was puffy, bloated, and a little headachey, but for the first time, EVER, literally… ever, I was content and okay with it.
I felt a peace like I had never felt before… a guilt free, shame free and not gluten free peace.
So, I had spent Friday afternoon to Sunday morning with my BFF for her Bachelorette Weekend. I had stayed mostly Whole30 compliant the week leading up so that I could make sure my willpower cup overfloweth upon my arrival.
I hadn’t given myself permission to eat or drink whatever crossed my path. I simply gave myself permission to make that decision in the moment when the opportunities presented themselves.
and I did.
and it worked.
I had anxious expectations and much to my surprise, no anxiety was felt around food for the first time, well, ever.
I am a planner–to a fault. I’m one of “those” people with 4+ calendars and a color coordinated agenda that I start prepping months in advanced. I make lists, and add things I’ve already accomplished to the list only so that I can cross it off.
So thinking ahead is something that comes naturally to me, especially when it comes to my food freedom.
This past weekend was the first time my food freedom was tested in full capacity. I was sharing a cabin with 9 other women with many meals and drink options that were outside of my control. I came with LaCroix and some emergency food if needed but I had already decided that I was there to celebrate my best friend and if there was a food or drink that was worth it, in that moment, for this special occasion, then I would activate my FFF knowledge and eat it if I wanted to, or make the best decision I could, right then. Not 2 hours before something happened or didn’t happen… ya know?
I didn’t binge. I didn’t restrict. I ate pizza (gluten-filled pizza) WITH cheese, and stopped when I felt satisfied. I ate it knowing that the gluten would potentially give me a zit or two, and that the dairy may make me feel bloated. I risked eating food with no brakes but stopped easily and walked away from the chips and dip when I felt like I’d eaten enough.
I didn’t eat to fit in, I didn’t NOT eat to fit in, I drank the beer I brought with me and sipped on wine at the vineyards. I wore something other than my infamous black shirt that makes me feel hidden (I didn’t even wear a scarf, which I find that I often hide behind.) I got in my bathing suit and sat in a hot tub with the girls and didn’t feel like everyone was mentally documenting my every flaw. Just like they weren’t keeping tabs on everything I was or was not feeding myself.
The longer I travel on my Whole30 journey the more my self-confidence improves as well as my self-awareness.
I was so thankful on that drive back for feeling completely guilt free about the gluten and the dairy I consumed because I made the conscious decision to eat it. BUT, I found myself looking forward to going back to a clean diet, free from the things I know wouldn’t make me feel my best… because, now that I know what feeling my best looks like (on the inside and out), I crave that far more than I do pizza.
And isn’t that what it is all about? Enjoying the moments we are meant to enjoy, with or without food, without anxiety and unrealistic expectations?
I am forever grateful for the low point I felt over a year ago that lead me to pick up It Starts With Food for the first time. Since then I’ve been immensely blessed and am beyond thankful that I now have time to appreciate the little things in life. Well, and the big things. I remember the day I wouldn’t have enjoyed a weekend away with the girls because my mind would have been focused on all the wrong things.
The self-awareness of decision making and the ability to listen to what my body is actually telling me is one of my biggest non-scale victories.
Things aren’t always easy, but I assure you,
it is always, ALWAYS worth it when you realize that you are worth so much more than the negative emotions that are weighing you down and that you are capable of feeling so much better than you do right now.
It’s okay to be on the fence about changing the way you eat, just don’t stay there. There are so many resources out there to help prepare you for your Whole30. Feel free to use me as one of them. Because if there is one thing that is true about The Whole30 it’s that you are not in this alone.