As part of the process of starting this new site and melding it with my previous writing, coaching, and websites, I thought it would be fun to share some older but relevant posts with you. Think of it as a bit of “Throwback Thursday” feature.
Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to make for dinner or how to turn my favorite recipe into a healthy version that even non-healthnuts will love. A while back, we cooked for some friends and made a meal that we absolutely love – Mac and “Cheeze” – but they weren’t quite as enthusiastic about it as we are. And I completely understand. It can be hard to accept a healthier version, because we constantly compare and tend to judge new things before we try them. It’s our fun way of resisting change and the unknown.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Stepping outside of the “normal” box can be very uncomfortable and even create anxiety.
In today’s Throwback Thursday feature, I’ll share how being forced to step outside the “normal-food” box taught me one of life’s most important lessons – Letting go
When I was 20 years old, I became unable to digest cow’s milk. I dealt with terrible stomach aches for about 6 months, tried several over the counter stomach and digestive aids, and then finally went to the doctor where they had me cut out dairy. I immediately felt better. After the initial few weeks of trying to figure out what I could and could not eat, it became easier. I began to find some alternatives for milk and eventually things like cheese and ice cream. I found out I could eat (and I thoroughly enjoyed) goat cheese.
The most important lesson I learned, though, was to let go.
It’s strange to think that “letting go” would be the lesson to learn with a food intolerance, but it honestly was the best teacher for me. If I had a craving for a food that I knew would make me feel sick afterwards, I would eat it anyway – at first. I would take an enzyme to try and help digest better, or deal with a terrible stomach ache, because I “needed” that “normal” food. But after awhile, that grew old. I didn’t want to feel bad or sick. I didn’t want to go home from work or class early because of a stomach ache.
I began to see that food is only food. A craving is just a craving. My life would not be better if I had a piece of cheese, a slice of pizza, or a bowl of ice cream. Afterwards, I would still be me, whether or not I ate that food. What I would focus on instead is how the food made me feel. Was it worth the pain and discomfort? Nope. Would the craving eventually pass? Yup. I simply learned to ask myself these questions, and remind myself of why I didn’t eat these foods. When I had this internal reminder, I was able to harness my will power and see the meal or snack for what it was or wasn’t. It gave me clarity.
If you are making a change to some aspect in your life, whether its diet related or not, you might feel moments of doubt. From tiny little threads of doubt to huge explosive layers of doubt. When this happens stop and ask yourself, “Why did I want to do this? Why do I need this change in my life? What am I getting out of it that is bigger than this doubt?” When this happens to me, I remind myself of the why , and I let go.
Sometimes life’s biggest and best lessons come from surprising sources.
When you are making a change- whether its food, a craving, or a change in your overall lifestyle – what tends to pull you back? Leave it in the comments with one way you can remind yourself to move forward and what this lesson has taught you.