Note: I was three quarters through the “Hitting Save” blog post, when I was suddenly confronted by my own self-limiting BS / which led to this next entry following right on its heels. I finished the post, because there is good content in there that shows an important part of my journey: that there is never an end to the self discovery, or to learning more about myself and my health – or even to my own limiting mindsets that need to be crumbled and rebuilt.
In one of my last blog posts, here, I wrote all about excuses. Over the last 10 months, I have lost 50 pounds of fat from my body. That sounds pretty great, right? In the first 5 months, I lost 40 pounds; in the last 5 months, I have lost 10 pounds. When I write it that way, it has less impact, but it does tell a story. A story about an excuse that I conveniently left out of my last post. Something has gone a little sideways. And that something is my own limiting bullshit.
Back in June, I wrote this blog post about my experience trying (half-assing, is more like it) an autoimmune protocol. Looking back at that blog post now, I feel kind of embarrassed. While it felt genuine at the time, it now reads like an excuse. That protocol really marked the end of being completely engaged in my weight-loss. Did I go off the rails, no. I still move my body, fill my tummy with whole and organic foods, still sleep between 7-8 hours per night, and I am still generally kicking ass – if i was working to maintain my weight. The harsh reality is that I still have between 80-100 pounds to lose, and that is no joke. The good news is that now that I know better, I am doing better. I am engaged and excited about dropping the next 50 pounds.
So what happened?
I don’t think that any one thing contributed to the snails pace with which I have been losing weight, since May. It is more of a combination of things. I realize now that I was, to some degree, still clinging to my old dieters mentality that to be successful, I needed it to be easy. Not to discount the first 40 pounds as completely effortless, but I don’t remember being particularly uncomfortable. Beginning a pretty restrictive protocol DEFINITELY made me uncomfortable. My pre-protocol mantra was, “I am a healthy person who can eat whatever I want – I just happen to mostly choose foods which support my health and vitality.” My protocol mantra was more like, “I am a healthy person who can hardly eat anything – I am miserable and I can’t do this.” I am actually cringing at my own bullshit, as I write this. How could I not see through my own self-imposed limitations?
I am Holly. I ran the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon. I have birthed two children out of a tiny incision in my abdomen. I once landed a job at Yahoo! while on a vacation, and then completely uprooted my life in Canada for a life in California one week later. I was one of a handful of people who got to attend Facebook’s IPO from the NASDAQ in New York City. Just a few weeks ago, I sat in front of over 350 people and interviewed sports legends Kristi Yamaguchi and Brandi Chastain for an hour, but an elimination diet can take me down? I mean, come on Holly! I can accomplish all of this, but I can’t commit to eating veggies, fruit, and protein for 28 days? It’s laughable! Only, not really.
So what happens now?
Well, just like I could never go back to my old bad habits, knowing what I know now – I can’t keep simply maintaining, now that I have been hit over the head with my own excuses. I need to up-level my game, re-engage, and start chipping away at the mountain ahead of me.
In short, I need to shake things up again. In a text string with Jennifer this week, she wrote, “I still think AIP.” Quitting the original protocol was the first and only example of dissent against my coach since I started this journey back in January. Through Jennifer’s guidance, I got the first 50 lbs off – it only makes sense that the next 50 lbs will come off the same way. I don’t feel anxious about it this time. I feel excited. Empowered. Unstoppable. It’s the same energy that carried me through the first five months of this marathon, and I am grateful that it’s back again.
It has been five days of AIP part deux, and I already can’t believe how much easier it is this time around. It really reinforces for me the notion that mindset is 90 percent of the battle. I can, I will, I am over I can’t, I won’t, I am not. Jennifer is always telling us to be mindful of how we can up-level our game. Like everything else that I have learned from her this year, it is a practice. It is layering good habits on top of each other. Progress, not perfection. Process, not perfection. It is falling down 8 times and getting up 9. And the good news is that I am not even falling anymore. I may have been coasting, but my days of falling and failing are few and far between. And that, in and of itself, is a major win for me.
I am starting to place more weight (no pun intended) on how food makes my body feel, instead of how food falsely makes my mind feel. Food as fuel, instead of food as comfort. I am sure that getting older has something to do with it, having a family and wanting to be around for as long as possible also has something to do with it – but whatever the reason, vitality is suddenly important to me. It was not something I considered, before. I also believe that connecting more with fresh whole foods connects us more to nature in general. And when we are more connected to nature, we are a kinder, more gentler version of ourselves. We can see how we are a part of this ecosystem, and how the ecosystem is a part of us. Taking care of my body, doing the hard-but-good work of regaining self-love, and practicing gratitude for all that is good around me and in the world (even, and especially during these times of great tragedy and human/natural disasters) is what this journey is truly about – and I am thankful to be exactly where and who I am in this moment.