Aug 20, 2010

patience through the process.

hello? anyone still out there?

if you're here reading after the last... um, interesting 48 hours, hey! i'm glad you're here!

gf update: i'm on my third day and feelin good! gf is pretty easy for me because of my little sister's celiac, but i did sorta sigh when mom pulled out homemade whole wheat bread from the freezer today.

i'm making a new recipe for gf teff bread this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled! i'll probably get off my lazy butt and make wraps too, but don't hold your breath :)

and tonight, i get an awesome early birthday present of going to dinner with brittany of eatingbirdfood! we're getting sushi to celebrate my 21st birthday (on the 22nd)... yes blogworld, i will finally legally be able to buy Kahlua for making desserts! i see an obsession building.


just a quick thought for today...

how many of us have decided on a whim to change something in our lives, only to end up failing, feeling guilty and defeated?

we plot to overhaul things like our diet, exercise habits, or organization with a spur of the moment decision. we put our heads down, work crazy-hard for a week, then run out of steam, finally caving in. we kick ourselves, feel worthless, and vow to do better next week. sound familiar?

this seems pretty frequent around new years, not to call anyone out... :)

but why does this cycle keep happening? after thousands of failed "i'll start on monday" diets in my teens, you would think i would have conquered this mindset, right? i realized when i transitioned to eating animal-free that i might not be as tough as i thought i was!

i was totally taken off-guard when i struggled at first with my new lifestyle. i just didn't get it: i am fearless! i have willpower out the wazoo! i am a nutritional solid rock! i'm laughing now because it's so ridiculous i felt this way, but really, i did!

i'm not sure why i was shocked - it's a HUGE change! but yet, to say i was shocked would be an understatement. once i woke up, chilled out, and started loving myself, i realized two things:

lifestyle changes aren't about willpower, and we approach them all wrong!

i think it's important to ask yourself why you're approaching such a dramatic change. are you unhappy with who you are? are you missing something? are you empty? why?

"i need to lose weight" doesn't count. why do you need to lose weight? "i need to exercise more" is good, but what's your goal? "i should go vegan" is pointless... because why?

this is not the place to shrug off the tough questions. dig deep! let your mind wander, and be honest with yourself. change shouldn't be for someone else, from pressure, or out of anger. if you don't really know why you're doing this, it can't be that important to you.

without an answer, you have no real motivation. if your motive don't come from the heart, you won't be successful in the long haul - change requires too much effort without solid convictions!

you don't need "willpower" - you need a reason to persevere. after about two years of soul-searching, i finally had my answers... do you? if not, it's ok! just keep looking.

it's also really important to cut yourself some slack, darnit!

lifestyles changes are a HUGE deal - you're overhauling yourself! we beat ourselves up with so much guilt over "failure" in our diets, relationships, and careers for no reason... so stop it!

if you were to just up and move to a foreign country, you would be more realistic. you would realize adjusting to the culture, language, and schedule takes time, and isn't a simple transition. you'd be more sympathetic, right?

apply this same logic to a transition you've made, or are thinking about making, in your own life. love yourself through the process, and accept that big changes means big challenges. don't let yourself slip into negative self-talk - you're a work in progress!

 i should have known that it would take me some time to adjust, but i was almost guilty about the struggles i encountered. i expected easy, instant results - i wanted success, and i wanted it now!

don't do what i did: expect instant gratification.

any serious change will take time, and that's totally ok - it's not a race, silly! if it's truly worth it, transitioning at your own pace is the way to go. just because you aren't flowing seamlessly after 15 seconds doesn't mean you're a failure!

i doubted myself, second-guessed myself, and thought about going back 10,000 times. but continuing to work through a transition means you're making progress. don't give up just because you have second thoughts! that's the hard part... and when motivation is totally key. you see what you're made of during the doubt, you know?

growing as people is a life-long process. we have successes, we have failures... this is normal! just keep getting back up again, and eventually, your new life will become second nature to you. if not, you know it wasn't right in the first place, and problem solved!

have you beat yourself up about a failed "resolution?"
have you made it through adapting to a new change?


  1. Oh my goodness. I beat myself up for failed resolutions a lot. It's not always about health either. I would have to say this is a perfectionist ideal. We want to do something perfectly, try, fail and then because it's not perfect we run away, avoiding the change/attempt all together.

  2. I find myself often beating myself when changes don't come easy to me. I think this is in part due to, as you point out, not making the change for the right reason or at least not fully examining my reason for the change. Maybe I'm transitioning because I see someone else doing it and it appears to be the right thing to do. So then I look to that person for how the transition should go, and, of course from my perspective they look like they're flowing along beautifully. And then I start to berate myself for not being like them. It's not a healthy cycle, and I agree that it can be prevented by taking a harder look at what's motivating the change.

    Relatedly, I'm curious what has made you decide to go meat-free? I'm new to your blog, so maybe you've discussed it in previous posts, but am just always curious about decisions regarding nutritional changes.

  3. Great post! I'm so bad at having patience. I'm constantly trying to tweek my diet to get through the lats niggles of my IBS. Then they don't end up working because I get impatient and then I get stressed and then the IBS flares up. Doh!

    I'm so happy that GF is working for you, hurrah!

    PS we're visiting Virginia week after next (going to Williamsburg). So excited.

    Hope you have a great weekend, and i'm excited about the bread recipe!

  4. I love this post, Rebekah - there are so many of your words I can relate to.
    In my opinion you HAVE to ask yourself these "why"-questions several times during recovery. "I must gain weight" is not enough, you have to have a clear knowledge of why you must gain weight, and also change it to "I WANT to gain weight, because that means gaining health, life etc... "
    We need to be more aware of our motivations for doing things, I know I had no clear conciousness of this during the early stages of recovery when I was literally force-fed. My brain was not able to think clearly, and see that life lived happy and healthy was the reason for me gaining weight.
    When I realized what I was doing, and what the extra weight meant it gave a whole new boost to my recovery process, and eating good food and relaxing got easier as I saw the benefits of it.

    It is also true as you say that change takes time, sometimes a long time. You need to take it gradually, to truely consolidate new mental patterns and new behaviour. That is not done in a matter of seconds, you need to repeat repeat repeat untill you've build up new and better habits.

    Thank you for this post, I know it will be very helpful to a lot of people.

  5. I decided to eat an almost-all veg. diet because it feels AMAZING! It makes me feel full of energy, we spend less money on groceries, I can go longer and harder in my workouts, and almost every plate of food is different than the last! People see my meals at work and are inspired to try new odd-looking veggies, to try and go a day without red meat, and shoot! Our bodies thank us for it. I love eating plants, food that God made and comes from the ground, not a science lab. Our bodies are temples, created in a perfect way, being active + eating good-for-ya food makes them strong and long-lasting. Goodness, all of it...makes me smile :)

    But dood, I get my meat on once a week so that when I go to México to visit family, my body still knows what meat is :)

  6. i love being 21!! theres something really exciting about it other than just being legal. its when i definitely felt like an adult for sure! HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE <3

  7. Happy almost b-day Rebekah!

    I fully agree with having to have a reason behind a big change. Another good point is that reason has to be for you and no one else - it's the only way it will work. :)


questions or comments about my thoughts?
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