I was all teed up to write about St. Patty’s day shenanigans: how to best manage alcohol and it’s aftermath. Then Friday happened and I felt compelled to share it with my Beacon Buddy Tribe.
Here’s the story: Always down to try something twice, I took the recommendation of a friend to try an Indian alternative medicine consultation. I’m open to learning! I’m down to improve! I put on my beginner’s mind and headed into the office. What I experienced was a kind and seasoned Ayurvedic health coach who was very smart and said things that resonated with me. The problem? She seriously overwhelmed me with information, set me super unrealistic goals, and had me leaving the session feeling deflated and defeated. Yikes.
Among other things, she suggested I begin cooking all of my meals in real time without refrigeration or reheat, no coffee (!), only eat organic, become vegetarian and dairy free, drink hot water and lemon in the morning, add to my meditation practice, have no screen time 2 hours before bed, take a mindful pause before all meals and between bites – the list goes on. About half way through the session, I found myself shut down, resentful, convinced this was complete crap and not for me, and, of course, I felt a little bit of shame as a result.
Boy did it bring me back to the days of my diet drama and diet trauma, Buddies. Those days when I would see nutritionists who would give me elaborate food plans that I knew I would not be able to follow, personal trainers who pushed me too hard so I never returned, endless fad diets that I would sort-of-start and never ever finish. It felt awful. When I knew I couldn’t accomplish any of the goals being asked of me, for a minute I thought there was something wrong with me!
Thank goodness, I realized there was nothing wrong with me and everything wrong with how unreasonable the goals were! And then I thought of you, Buddies. I thought of how many diets we try and fail at thinking we are the problem, when what is being asked of us is often impossible or unsustainable. I thought of how badly we want to make changes and how absolutely hard it can be to make them all at once.
Then I remembered one of my favorite tenants of Harm Reduction: Something is always better than nothing. How quickly I forgot that, like you, Buddy, I’m an awesome, willing, committed person who wants to make changes in her life! I’ve made healthy changes in my life – given up sugar, created a meditation practice, to name a few. When I remembered that I have accomplished some real things, it brought me closer to remembering that I want to continue improving . Frankly, shaming myself and living in the not-enoughs just makes me want to eat granola.
With my wise mind restored, I looked at the enormous goal list and thought about who I wanted to be, how I wanted to change my life, and chose a few goals that I knew I could accomplish: I can totally start to reduce my screen time at night – 10 minutes at a time; I can absolutely begin to take a mindful breath before I eat my lunch, which is my most rushed meal of the day; I can definitely add a meta-meditation one night a week before I go to bed – all in the name of self-care and the very best me.
Something is always better than nothing, and something always leads us closer to our ultimate goals. Are there goals you want to achieve that you’re putting off because they feel too unattainable? Can you set a smaller goal or two that can set you up for success? You’ve got this, Buddies.
Let’s continue this chat! Join me on Beacon’s Facebook Page for our Beacon Buzz Afterparty on FB LIVE. 8:30 Tonight. Bring your beautiful self and all your questions about something leading us onto the road to our ultimate goals.
And in the name of achieving all of your goals: Do you or someone you love need help, guidance and support with your struggles with food and weight? If you do, we’ve got you! Get in touch to schedule a 20 minute strategy session with me. Beacon can help in all sorts of ways – including our new E-SERVICES for those of you outside the NYC metropolitan area. And always stay in touch – your Beacon team wants to know what’s up! Shoot us an email and let us know all the things!
PS: Do you want to hang with me this week? I want to hang with you!!! I’ll be speaking on Wednesday, 3/21 at Brazen Beauty Project’s Self Love Series: Body Image and Career. I’ll be chatting about how our issues with our body impact our careers, and what we can do about that. It’s sure to be an interesting and informative night. The event is being held by Brazen Beauty Project, whose mission is to erase stigma around body dysmorphia and redefine what it is to be beautiful.
Here are the deets:
When: 6:30-9 (networking and light food/drink provided)
Where: The Yard, Flatiron
Tickets and more info: CLICK HERE
Fingers crossed to see you there!