A step towards Self Acceptance

I decided to call an audible on starting Whole30 yesterday. Now, don’t freak out,  I’m not giving up on it but it occurred to me as I was looking over my calendar that I can’t actually complete my 30 days. I’ll be leaving for camp on Day 26 which causes two problems. First, I have zero control over what foods are offered at camp and second, I’ll not have access to a scale to do my weigh-in on day 31.

Starting the plan and not being able to complete it properly is a bit of a trigger for me. It makes cheating or the decision to off-road easier and easier to make. I considered doing a 15 day Whole30, that way I can finish it before leaving but then I got to thinking, do I really need to do a strict Whole30 or do I just need to make the food choices I know I should be making? “Doing Whole30” pretty much amounts to nothing more than having guidelines to hold myself accountable. Is it time to take the Whole30 training wheels off?

I think it is.

And so, the new plan is to eat according to the new lifestyle that Whole30 and my Reintroduction showed me. Between now and camp it’s no sugar, dairy, gluten-grains, or legumes but yes to non-gluten-grains and yes to paleo versions of our favorite foods. I will weigh-in before I leave for camp just to track my progress.

I’m looking forward to being back to clean eating. The sugar cravings are getting harder to resist (the few times I actually resisted them) and I’m starting to feel frumpy and the self-loathing is kicking in again.

I was showing all of my study abroad pictures to Shane the other night and I caught myself talking on one video. I immediately said, “Ugh. I hate the way my voice sounds.” to which he sarcastically and (understandably) with frustration replied, “Of course you do, is there anything you don’t hate about yourself?”

That kind of hit home.

I am really unkind to myself. I hold myself to unreachable standards. I have personal expectations that are not only unrealistic but often hinge on things completely out of my control. It’s unfair to my husband that he has to put up with me putting myself down all the time. I’m too fat, I hate my teeth, I hate my smile, I wish I didn’t have to wear glasses, I hate my nose, I’m a terrible singer, my hips are too big, my breasts too small, I hate my voice, my hands look old, my skin’s too dry…..the abuse goes on and on.

It’s time to put a stop to it. I can’t sit here and claim to have come so far emotionally and continue to beat myself up over every little thing. And how long before the man who loves me and calls me beautiful every single day starts to believe all of the horrible things I say about myself?

It’s definitely time to put a stop to it. No more self-hate. No more abuse. Any time I feel the urge to say something about myself that is negative, I will make a deliberate effort to turn it into something positive. It’ll be a challenge. Forty-plus years of self-loathing don’t go away overnight. But just as I say over and over again,  I really have come a long way through personal healing.

The journey continues.

I wish I could leave you with some wonderful, wise advice. I’d love to tell you you’re beautiful, talented, special – because you are! but I know a quick google search will yield hundreds of pretty pictures with all of those self-affirming words on them for you to read. You’ll believe them just as easily as you’ll believe me, because who am I, really?

What I will leave you with is my personal truth, and grit, and determination.

Fight. Whatever it is that you are struggling through; fight. It doesn’t matter what your fight looks like; fight. It doesn’t matter how many times you have to start over. Fight! You are worth it!

I’ve spent the majority of the last 40 years wishing for a different life. I didn’t start seeing changes until I (and here I must give props to God) started making the decisions necessary to change my circumstances. I did the hard things, the impossible things, the un-fun things; the unpopular things. I fought through self-sabotage, self-doubt, and criticism from those around me. And now I am starting to live the life I always wished I could have. A life that is no longer defined by guilt and self-loathing, by feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. A life where I can love freely, where I can trust, and where I can feel confident in exploring all the things I’ve always been interested in.

Whole 30 has been the tool that finally worked for me in overcoming food addictions and weight issues (and consequently, hormonal and emotional issues.) But Whole30 worked for me because I was finally in a place where it could work. I was ready for it; it was time. And now it’s time to move forward to the next step. It’s time to try the new lifestyle minus the Whole30 training wheels. If I fail, I can always take a step back. If I succeed, then I am one step closer to a better me; a me without the chains of addiction and debilitating emotional dysfunction. A step closer to a version of me that I can look at and say, I like her.

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