Yesterday, I was walking to work while brainstorming ideas for this post. I thought about the tone of the piece, the photography, and the overall message. When I woke up this morning, I was amped to get started. Then I realized there were other pressing matters to attend to, like the laundry and dishes ;) When I went to make the photos, the vision I had was just not working out. So I had to let it go. And that, my friends, is the lesson in all of this. It is why I began this 30-day whole food journey in the first place.
The 2014 WHO Global Status Report on Non-Communicable Disease lists cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of deaths. That’s 17.5 million people per year! Cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes are not far behind. We are at such a pivotal time in history on so many fronts. I believe awareness is a good starting point to shifting our collective perspective, and changing the current definition of ‘lifestyle’. Today, I’m sharing a list of 4 gentle reminders that helped get me through my first Whole30 Challenge. Really, they are great life reminders, so you may want to bookmark this so you can come back to it in the future :)
- Do No Harm: Also known as a major principle in the Hippocratic oath, which my classmates and I had to pledge at the start of our graduate program. This is one that I forget all to often. I have noticed that a lot of my friends and colleagues have the same habit! We are so hard on ourselves all the time, but is that actually beneficial? Having greater compassion for self allows space in the heart and spirit to express compassion towards others. So if you find yourself getting angry, try taking a deep breath, and talk to yourself with loving kindness, and understanding. Whatever horrible “mistake” you feel you’ve made, in the scheme of things it happened to show you a lesson, so that you can make a different choice next time. It really is that simple, and that beautiful.
- Choose Wisely: In practice, it’s a lot like yoga, or exercise. You want to move to the edge of your resistance, hold there, and let go. Beyond that point is too much. It’s pushing, and dogmatic, and unhealthy, right!? Case in point: The other day, after a brutal herbs quiz, a fellow student shared a square of chocolate with me. You know what your girl did, I went for that chocolate without hesitation! Up to that point, I had already been holding steady on the edge of my resistance, and I was at peace with letting go for a hot minute. And you know what, it did not change a thing about my mission, or goals. I found this lesson has helped me move past a lot of fear, self-doubt, and self shaming around my relationship to food. I now feel much more confident about deciphering what I say ‘Yes’ to, and when I need to say ‘No’.
- Celebrate Your Success: In other words, reward yourself for reaching those milestones. Perhaps you were able to go a whole day without thinking about quitting the challenge. Or maybe you finally found the best time in your day to get in a little exercise. Whatever it maybe, revel in it, because it means you are being accountable to the process of your health and healing.
- Share Your Struggle: Stress, hypertension, diet, and current lifestyle trends are all major contributing factors to the rising epidemic of heart related diseases. One thing I know for sure is that a solution can often be found in the pattern. So, it is important that we change any patterns that do not serve us. And you don’t have to go it alone, find community and connect with others to get you through. Surrounding yourself with supportive people will ensure your continued growth. We are all just plant-like creatures, TLC enables us to flourish! And as humans, we can utilize our awareness to transform our struggles into our strengths. So, go on! Tell your story. You may just inspire someone else to tell theirs. ♡ In Solidarity, Christian