Dangerous Messaging + 5 Steps to Get Your Sh*t Together

I’ve been processing some things lately. I’m still in the middle of it, but I thought I’d share where I am right now.

For years I have bought into messaging that if I don’t do _________________ or feel this way about something or believe ________________, etc, then I’m wrong because ________________ says so.

I have historically gone back and forth with a few things, and some things I have historically “sat in” and I’m having a hard time letting go. I have listened to messaging all around me and taken it as “the only way,” so it has taken a long time to overcome.

As I’ve been part of the Street Parking community and listened to many, many episodes of the Consistency Project and the SP podcast, I’ve realized that maybe some of the messaging has been dangerous and kept me stuck in an unhealthy place. So I’m digging myself out, one step at a time.

When I got out of rehab, I started eating all the things, focused on “intuitive eating,” and focused on “body positivity + Health at Every Size” messaging. I gained 25 pounds that year. I thought it was BAD to want to lose weight and that I should “love myself the way I am.” For several years I sat in that. I didn’t exercise, and I kind of ate what I wanted.

THEN, I went the opposite direction in some ways. I believed that the only healthy food is grass fed/pastured/organic (this has been a back and forth thing). Last year and early this year, I spent a fortune on a 1/2 grass-fed cow (which, honestly I do like supporting my friends and it has been nice to have food in my freezer), I made everything from scratch, I spent a fortune on “natural” products, I tried all the supplements, I felt “guilty” if I used “unnatural” products and foods, trying essential oils (AGAIN, despite the fact that they DO NOT WORK), and just did a lot of things that have no evidence of doing a bit of good/being necessary.

In all of this, I still sat in the idea that it’s not okay to work to lose weight, but to be “natural.” I have thought for years that if I wanted to change my body composition that I didn’t love myself. That I could only love myself if I sat in what my body was like.

I sent this to EC Synkowski from Optimize Me Nutrition (and creator of the Consistency Project podcast), and I loved what she had to say.

It was in that moment that I realized something… I’m a grown ass woman and I can do what I want. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a certain body composition for whatever reason I want. It’s super important to eat mostly whole foods with lots of fruits/veggies and adequate protein, drink more water (and have a little Coke Zero), to move my body as much as I want, etc. I get to decide these things and I get to do them because I know it’s best for me. I get to decide if I want a more fit body and to work towards that. And you know what? I’m so much more mentally healthy for it. Sitting in my old thoughts about things made me unhealthy in all the ways. It feels so good to have goals, to work towards them, and to meet many of them. It feels good to do hard workouts, to be more fit (and more fit by the day), to lose fat, and to eat in a balanced way. It feels good to not beat myself up for having an “off” meal, but to get right back to healthy meals because consistency is key!

The more I learn about the science of things, the more I realize that “natural” is just a marketing term. Everything is made of chemicals. Food additives are highly regulated and as long as you eat a wide variety of whole foods, a few “processed” foods here and there won’t kill you. Even diet soda isn’t as bad for you as is taught. It’s just important to drink mostly water because caffeine can dehydrate you. Taking the power out of drinking diet soda has actually dropped my consumption a LOT.

One of the podcast episodes that I listened to last night talks about “doing what you can with what you have.” Eating frozen veggies, canned tuna, etc isn’t a terrible thing. It’s still veggies + protein. Start small (which this was taught through Balance 365 as well). Grass-fed, pastured, and organic are NOT necessary to have a healthy diet. Just eat some meat, veggies, fruits, and carbs with a bit of fat. Drink lots of water. This is hard for me, but I’m getting there. No, the water doesn’t have to be filtered with a Berkey filter. I enjoy shopping locally, but I don’t HAVE to. I enjoy supporting my friends and the food is usually pretty amazing, but it doesn’t make me better or healthier for it.

And y’all. Something VERY mind-blowing is that supplements don’t work for me because they just don’t work. Unless you have a micronutrient that you’re deficient in. I take B12 and D3 because I’m deficient. But everything else just comes out in your waste. There are a lot of scientific studies behind this and you can listen to The Consistency Project to hear the details of these studies (including links to be able to read these scientific studies), but the most important thing is to eat a variety of fruits and veggies. The micronutrients you need are in those. I also say all of this because I have spent so much money on supplements over the years and they have never made a difference for me. Maybe that’s happening for you as well. If they work for you, then keep on keepin’ on! I have just found that they are a waste of money for me.

Now for a podcast episode that was a game changer for me.

I took detailed notes of the podcast episode, and I thought I’d share! It’s worth listening to yourself, though. This shows how type A I am by the way…

  1. Awareness/Honesty
    1. What part of this do I have responsibility for?
    2. What part of this are excuses?
    3. What part of this are stories that I’m telling myself that are just getting in the way? (we spend a lot of effort protecting those things instead of taking a step back and letting them go)
    4. What’s behind those stories?  What is the root behind this?
    5. What do you think you should change, and what is it that you really want?  What is your motivation behind this?  What are your values?
    6. What’s actually important to you?  What are the things that are holding you back from that?
    7. “7 layer why.” Ask why, then ask why 6 more times. It gets you to the deep answer.
    8. Health aspects and longevity of your life are the most important reasons. (SP says that they are not preaching the message to get you to look better, but to feel better)
  2. Acceptance and Humility
    1. Once you’ve made your list of what you want to do and why, look at the reasons why it’s not happening now, and determine what is in your control and what is out of your control.
    2. Acceptance not Tolerance
    3. Accept what IS, but don’t use it as excuses to not do what you want/need to do (don’t use it as a crutch)
    4. Reality vs. putting down
    5. Also, “I want to lose weight, I’m going to have to accept that I’m going to have to change some things.”
  3. Taking Consistent Action
    1. More than Nothing
      1. Continuous improvement
      2. A little bit at a time
      3. As long as you’re doing more than nothing, the ball continues to move in the right direction.
      4. If the action stops, the momentum stops.
      5. You are going to see physical changes, your health markers will improve.
    2. Showing up for yourself.
      1. Improving your relationship with yourself.
      2. People that are happy and have quality relationships are in the best health and live the longest.
      3. You cannot have quality relationships with anyone else unless you have a good relationship with yourself.
    3. Small choices, One at a Time
      1. Move you in the right direction.
      2. Don’t try to overhaul your life in one step.
    4. You have to change your way of thinking if you want to change.
      1. You’re going to have to find some new thoughts.  
      2. Join a community of people posting their stories and how they’re overcoming.
  4. Expect Imperfection
    1. There is no such thing as perfection.  
    2. You have where you are now, and you might have some idea what perfect adherence to what I think I need to do to get me where I am.
    3. The space between where you are and perfection is your playground.
    4. Enjoy the process.
    5. Don’t become complacent.  
    6. Imperfections aren’t even a misstep… it’s life.  Life will happen to you.
    7. Mold and move around it and continue on your path.  You might have to go the long way, but you’re still moving forward.
    8. Life happens… your health and fitness is supposed to be part of your life and not just there when things are “perfect”
  5. Where do we go from here?  Now what do I do?  Repeat 1-4.
    1. Constant re-evaluation
    2. Is this still what I want?  Is there something else that I want?  
    3. Be a perpetual student of yourself.

At the end of the day… I get to decide. I get to decide what my goals are and why. I get to decide how I’m going to move forward. I get to decide if I want to lose weight and fat. I get to decide if I use “natural” products, supplements, medication, Lysol bathroom cleaner, backyard eggs, Tresemé shampoo and conditioner, farmer’s market produce and meat, homemade foods, Native deodorant, and so much more. These messages that you are better if _______________________ is dangerous on all accounts. BUT it’s also dangerous to tell people that your weight doesn’t matter for health. Super dangerous. It’s what made me almost 200 pounds at one point. Weight is ONE part of the picture of health. Habits are the biggest part, but weight will drop if you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Naturally.

Anyway… like I said, I’m processing. But I am feeling pretty passionate about some things and felt the need to share!

I’ll come back soon with a post answering the questions that are above (the outline of the podcast). Check back!

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