In 2011, things were looking pretty good in the health arena.
My typical day began with hot tea and a freshly blended smoothie. I’d usually see an early morning client then head to the gym to take a tough workout class. I’d make my way back to the office and see a couple more clients. When lunch time rolled around, I’d unpack my homemade quinoa salad (the recipe I had just given a client that same day)…
And so the day and evening went. I was doing all the right “healthy” things and seeing clients and teaching them how to empower themselves in doing the same.
And then the unraveling began…
It started with some heavy sighing in the morning whenever I stood in front of my blender in the kitchen to make my smoothies.
Later, I felt I could barely drag myself to the gym. “Once I get there, I’ll feel motivated,” I told myself.
I got there and I didn’t.
Not long after I found myself sensing an anger and confusion welling up inside me. The question finally ripped it’s way up through to the surface:
“What’s the f**king point?!”
Seemingly out of nowhere, I lost ALL motivation to prepare the smoothies or take the classes or make my special trips to the health food store.
Each time I tried to muster the motivation, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Why am I even doing this?!”
I couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer. This went on for weeks and weeks.
With the line of work I was in, this rocked my world. Much of my social image was tied to my “health-conscious” persona.
What felt like the worst of it, was my sweet, kind demeanor felt taken over by some rebellious, angry woman inside me.
Little did I know at the time that something in me was outgrowing a paradigm that I had subscribed to for years.
The Pain in the Problem
Many women that come to me for support experience the felt gap between what they want for themselves and their ability to actually do it. They recall a period in their life where they were able to, for example, commit to a specific workout schedule or stick with a highly restrictive eating style (even if was only for a week!), but are unable to do things the same way now.
When I ask what they think the problem is, answers sound something like:
“I must be lazier now.”
“I just don’t have the willpower I had then.”
Or, ” I must be depressed or something.”
If you’ve been in or are currently in this space, I get how disconcerting it all can feel.
At the same time I’m also excited for you because you may be on the brink of a new and more congruous way of eating and living.
That of a woman and not of a girl.
I remember sitting on my couch in my apartment one morning blankly staring down at the carpet, taking stock of all the things I chose to do in the name of health. I saw how nearly all of them were rooted in an underlying need: The Need to Be Good
It was a painful realization.
I knew I wanted to take good care of myself, but suddenly lacked a solid foundation to stand on.
Living my life to “Be good” was no longer good enough.
And yet, somewhere in my history, I learned that I needed to be good. And maybe you did too. Many of us internalized the message that we needed to be a good girl by being nice, doing all the right things, looking a certain way, or behaving a certain way. (Of course this impacts our expectations of ourselves with diet and our bodies).
When we operate from this place, our decisions and our sense of “I’m okay” are based on externalities. We become very concerned about what other people will think of us.
Here’s the reminder. The silver lining is: You’re likely outgrowing a belief system that no longer sustains you.
A case of the F*** Its can be a really good thing.
Here are some invitations I find accompany this paradigm shift:
You are being called to outgrow perfectionism
You are being called to honor more of your feminine nature (based on feeling and not achievement)
You are being called to create a new eating paradigm that really honors who you are (based on what’s most important to you)
You are being called to make more decisions based on your heart and not your head
You are being called to let go of taking responsibility of what others think of you
You are being called to develop long-term self-care strategies (not impulsive, short-term, fear-based decisions)
You are being called to bring more depth and range to your life
Once you work to create this steady foundation, one that is far more in integrity with who you are, you’ll find you have the freedom once again to explore ANY dietary or exercise strategy. You know who you are. You are grounded by a sustainable WHY around what you’re up to when you’re buying fresh, organic produce, when you are lifting weights, or when you’re taking a nap.
So I say, if you’re plagued by an ongoing case of the “F*** Its,” congratulations it’s time for something new.
Like this article? Then you might also like: Read this if you’ve fallen off the bandwagon too many times.