A new year beginning brings millions of people around the world to set new goals in efforts of bettering themselves. I use to be annoyed with this "trend" but I've come to gain some serious respect for the concept. Yes, you can change your habits any other day of the year, but some people need a firm deadline or some form of strict motivation that isn't the same old continuing pattern of "I''ll start next Monday."
In all honesty, who doesn't want to better themselves in some way or another? It's nothing to be ashamed of. Embrace it this year.
In the past, I've made many many goals. I've written them down, come up with a plan of attack (it went pretty well for a week or two... tops), life got busy, and I failed. The second I fell off the wagon so to speak, even a little bit, I completely threw in the towel. Then I kind of began to mock people who wanted to better themselves. Crazy pattern, isn't it?
However, despite all of the failed attempts I've had. My new years resolution for 2015 has come through ten fold - to heal my body from the inside out. While that seems like a very generalized goal, it also carried a very specific plan of attack. I transformed my entire life, left everything I knew, and stepped way outside my comfort zone in order to achieve the true meaning of health. It was the very first successful New Years Resolution (or any health goal for that matter) I've ever had.
I owe it all to my faith, attitude, support, perseverance and most importantly - my motive behind the goal. No matter what level you are at, there is always room for expanded knowledge and room to grow. The important thing is to be motivated by that and not hindered by it. No one is perfect. Not body builders, not Victorias Secret models, no one. Remember that.
My intent of this post is to share with you What made my New Year's Resolution to Achieving True Health Possible:
1) DITCH THE NUMBERS: For the first time in my life, I didn't want to be healthy to LOOK better, fit into my high school size 00 skinny jeans, or see a lower number on the scale. I didn't weigh myself 2-3 times per day or count any calories. I didn't over eat and then beat myself up on the treadmill to make up for it. It wasn't the same vicious cycle of indulgence and guilt I had known so many times before.
For the first time, becoming healthier wasn't about an outward appearance. Instead of losing 10 pounds, I wanted to rid my body of toxins. Instead of limiting myself to 1200 calories per day, I wanted to learn how to consistently nourish my body properly. Instead of wanting to be skinny, I wanted to be strong internally.
2) QUIT BEING YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY: How can you expect to build yourself into something better if YOU are the one who is constantly tearing you down? In order to even begin to make my goals possible, my train of thought had to transform first. I had to work at no longer looking in the mirror and pinpointing what I disliked about myself. Focusing on the cute little cellulite that made itself a comfortable home on my thighs or the non-existent 8-pack had to stop. I had to make a conscious effort of viewing myself (literally) as a strong, beautiful person both inside and out. My mirror had sticky notes all over it that were either uplifting bible verses about strength and perseverance or positive quotes about true beauty. It felt way out of my comfort zone initially, but I got use to it quickly and read them multiple times a day as a reminder to see myself in God's eyes and not through the eyes of criticism.
This quote by Kris Carr initially struck me as overly cheesy, but I've grown to find it 100% true. The problem today is that we are so use to beating ourselves up as some sort of defense mechanism. As if hearing it from ourselves will prevent others from being able to tear us down. But does it really work that way? If you don't love, accept, and respect yourself first, how do you expect others to? Focus on your strengths, and constructively strive to improve on areas of weakness in a constructive (NOT destructive) way.
3) FOCUS ON PUTTING MORE GOOD IN - It's all out there: Weight Watchers, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Portion diets, etc. While many of us have differing opinion on what "diet" is the best for us, I think we can all agree that the main idea we need to be focusing on in order to achieve true health is to EAT MORE WHOLE, PURE FOODS. Have you ever heard of someone becoming unhealthy by eating more broccoli and less real (OR artificial)sugars? ... Me either
The thing I dislike about diet fads is, if you're like I use to be, you "fail" (slip up) even once and its all a downhill slope from there. I use to have the mentality, "well, I ate one cookie so I might as well eat the whole box and then top it off with some of chips too." Then if I'm still feeling crappy I just wouldn't eat the rest of the day....
Like what?! No.
If you simply focus on putting more good in, you'll be a lot less likely to start the vicious cycle or give up on health altogether. Have your dang cookie, and eat some greens too.
4) READ THE INGREDIENTS not the numerical label. If you don't recognize an ingredient, your body probably won't either. We're all taught that numbers in that black and white box label can depict the true health of a food. That's why so many processed food companies get people intrigued with their "Fat-free" "Sugar-Free" "350 calorie meal" slogans. But let's think about it, an avocado has MORE FAT and MORE CALORIES than a 100 calorie pack of Oreo cookies, but which one's healthier and more nourishing to the body? Which one will your body recognize how to digest and distribute nutrients?
The problem is these chemical-filled food-like products leave our cells HUNGRY for real nutrients. You can eat and eat and eat and still feel an emptiness that preserved foods cannot fill, simply because they do not break down to nourish the body as whole foods do.
Craving sweets? Eat something REAL. Make your own cookies out of pure ingredients, not processed chemicals, sugars, and dyes. One way of seeing it is to think about how your great great grandmother would have eaten: simple ingredients from scratch. The ingredient list of Grandma's famous chocolate chip cookies wouldn't contain things like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), potassium bromat, sodium nitrates, artificial dyes, monosodium glutamate, etc.
5) Fat is not the enemy, artificial and processed sugar is. Healthy fat does not make you fat. I promise. That is all the further I'm going to get into that topic for now. Take my word for it ;)
6) GET THE BAD OUT - This is my personal favorite.
Let that shit go... Literally.
One of my very favorite quotes (and I'm a quote junkie so that's really saying something) is "When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the ENVIRONMENT in which it grows, NOT the flower." So what is your internal environment like? Is it full of stress, sugar, sadness, and unkind thoughts? Maybe your toxicity is due to the people that you surround yourself with, the food you eat, the thoughts you think, or the substances you use.
When I got to An Oasis of Healing this was the major focus for me. I had NO idea how toxic I was. De-toxing was a major portion of my success. While I did do coffee enemas to detox the liver, colon hydrotherapy to detox the colon, lymphatics to detox the lymphatic system, juicing to detox the body as a whole, and many other therapies similar - the most important detox I did was personal. I had no idea the kind of anger I was holding onto. I hadn't ever realized how much I was holding on to negative experiences and emotions of the past that I had not yet truly forgiven. It was literally making me physically sick.
Be strong enough to acknowledge pain, sadness, anger, and weakness. Be strong enough to let go of those who bring you down. Be strong enough to respect yourself and accept nothing less than to be treated how you deserve to be treated.
"Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren't inherently bad people, but they aren't the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can't destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful - you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself." - Danielle Koepke
7) QUIT FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF - I promise you, no one wants to come to your pitty party. Adopt a "get out of this phunk" routine. Listen to music, go for a run, read a book, whatever it may be. Because no one likes to be bitter and unhappy, things need to change.
Spoiler alert: life is honestly NOT out to get you. We all have our own unique "baggage," and how we deal with our burden is called character. Unfortunate circumstances force us to either shrink into our self loathing or step into action. Your past has taught you valuable lessons, listen to them, grow from them, and celebrate them.
8) SET SEVERAL MINI GOALS AND ATTACK THEM (one at a time) - an overall goal is awesome, but a plan of attack is necessary in order to achieve it. Start with something so small and simple, attack it whole heartedly, achieve it, and build on it. If you have one major goal, have 30 mini goals to go along with it. Attack one at a time and feel like a winner in the process.
9) FIND YOUR own WAY OF DISPLAYING FAITH, Find a way of being so strong in your faith that it takes away power of your fears - Life here on earth is unexpected, filled with highs and lows. Planting firm in your faith means that no earthly circumstance can shake you too far. It is the most freeing and beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Faith for me is not displayed by reciting bible verses, sitting in a pew each Sunday morning in my best dress, or claiming to be a perfect Christian. It comes through helping others grow, lifting spirits, building a relationship with Christ, trusting him in all things, and putting my life in His hands. Each person's relationship is unique and should be respected. But just know that you do not have to be anywhere near perfect to be abundantly loved by Him. There is no such thing as too far gone in His eyes.
10) FOCUS ON FINDING THE GOOD IN OTHERS AND SHOW IT TO THEM, EVEN IF THEY CANNOT SEE IT. The world has enough negativity, be positivity and encouragement for others.
Make 2016 a NEW year. Start fresh, adopt a new mindset, and a new found love for what use to be the ugliest parts of life. I promise that there is so much beauty around you AND WITHIN you, you just have to open your eyes to it.
Wishing you a new year filled with love and gratitude,