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Earlier this week, I was talking to my children about a family friend who will probably have to make some changes to the way they eat. And if we have them over at the house, we want them to feel supported and cared for. So I asked my children, “What are some good foods that we can have for them to eat?” Broccoli! Strawberries! they enthusiastically answered. “Absolutely!” I replied. “You are too clever by half!”
And here’s where the irony isn’t going to be lost on me.
See, I built in with this conversation with my children that, because this friend had to make some pretty significant changes, we had to help them at this juncture because they needed it. It’s a pretty critical step in their healthiness journey.
I’ll give you one guess as to what my Fed and Fit Project epiphany was.
Here I am in an accountability group, focusing on the pillars of food, exercise, water, etc., and how much of it had I done? Not a whole bunch! Things got stressful so I allowed myself to go off the rails. Someone brought donuts so I let one derail me until I had eaten three (true story… although Shipley’s Donuts are delicious). I’m too stressed to worry about eating properly, I told myself. I’ll worry about it tomorrow.
I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store because we’ve been traveling so much. I told myself. Picking up fast food is easier and cheaper.
And every time I did that, I felt like I was putting the problem into Priority One. I found ways to say and/or convince myself that, even though I knew and even told myself that one Shipley’s Donut would lead to many, many more, I could still have one. That the sugar wouldn’t kick these intensely high cravings into gear.
I appreciate that, within the Fed and Fit Project, Cassy has built in the framework that you’re going to mess up. You’re not going to get it 100% correct. And that’s what happened to me. And I didn’t feel confined or frustrated by those first two weeks. Far from it. I felt like some valuable lessons came to the forefront from those first two weeks in the Fed and Fit Project.
1. It’s OK for me to be a priority.
Alright, this one sounds a little weird, especially with the self-care and meditation I’ve talked about before. But I learned from those first two weeks on the Fed and Fit Project that I don’t have to wait for an emergency or a catastrophic event to take care of me. I can start taking care of me right now.
I can start to make myself a priority right now.
I can take a few hours on Sunday to meal plan, grocery shop, and prepare to eat well during the week.
I can look ahead to when I can take short breaks at work to walk around.
I can build into my budget the days that I really want to pick up a smoothie instead of eating hard-boiled eggs from home.
I can do all of those things and still be OK. The world will still revolve and turn. No one will think any less of me. It’s OK for me to be a priority.
2. There’s no right or wrong epiphany moment.
When I did Whole30 last year, I got to a point where I was eating “on the plan,” and I was moving along just fine. I was satiated. My energy levels were up. I slept OK (as well as I could… I have two young children whom I love to snuggle to sleep even at 3 am when they waltz into my room like demons possessed and demand that I become one of them). But I’m not really sure where the disconnect happened.
Maybe when I ordered 6 dozen cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday party and we had to do something with the 4 dozen that no one ate (no, I did not eat the remaining 4 dozen).
Maybe when I threw a Mardi Gras-themed Beautycounter party at my house and put away half of a really delicious King Cake and 2 quarts of red beans and rice.
Maybe when I started working a few more hours and made a few less hours to go to the gym.
Maybe it was the false hope that I could always start another round next week which was swiftly followed by I could always start another round next week.
Whatever it was, there’s no right epiphany moment. Yours may be totally different from mine. Yours may stem from years of disordered eating and something clicks in that the Fed and Fit Project and the Perfect For You Plan allow you to eat foods that are, well, perfect for you. Maybe you have to change course like your life depends on it – and others depend on you, too! – and it’s time to make a change. Maybe you struggle with telling your toddler that cupcakes are not acceptable breakfast foods, but once you get to the office, you’ll happily scarf down a scone because you’re a grown-up and you can make whatever damn rules you want about eating and no one can tell you otherwise… and oh my God, you realize that the scone has the same amount of sugar and high-processed high-gluten flour as that cupcake you denied your two-year-old and you wonder What example am I setting here?
For what it’s worth, I did actually tell my toddler that cupcakes are not breakfast foods… but someone a cake ball was alright. Go figure.
Whatever it is, there’s no right moment and there’s no right time. It just is. It can sneak up on you in a conversation with your children or in a moment of reflection as you’re driving to work. The moment is perfect for you, and that’s all that matters.
3. I won’t hit all of my daily targets… at least, not right now.
The Fed and Fit Project has some great formulae for water consumption, sleep consumption, steps locomotion… and I have hit them 0 times thus far. I get close to drinking the recommended amount of water (hint: take your weight and divide it by half… that’s your magic water consumption number), and I know I need to be a little better. But I have switched to decaffeinated tea in the afternoons rather than full-fledged Earl Grey which in turn allows me to go to sleep a little earlier.
I work a desk job anywhere from 7-9 hours a day with a 30-45 minute commute each way. And this desk job has a relatively tight deadline so it’s in my best interest (and the client’s!) for me to be at my desk, maximizing my productivity (and yes, I am aware that consistent exercise can make me more productive). So my steps count may fall by the wayside. On those days, I try to be creative and pace when I have to take a phone or race my daughter up and down the halls.
But racing the length of our house over and over again won’t get me to 10,000 steps without driving me completely bonkers.
So that’s where my grace and slack come in for me. Gone are the days where I could be a cardio junkie at the gym for 90 minutes each day. Those days have been replaced with puzzles on the living room floor or listening to my kids howl at The Boss Baby for the umpteenth time in as many days. There are certainly trade-offs, and I don’t miss those lazy days that much.
4. I finally figured out I’m in it for the long haul.
I’m finally understanding that I’m grappling with years of self-doubt and self-imposed issues, and that’s going to take some time to unpack all of that. It’s not a get healthy quick thing. This will take time. And as certain events have recently unfolded for me, I realize that that’s OK.
It’s OK for me to make the investment in myself. It’s OK that I won’t check every box every day. It’s OK that I might say yes to a gluten-free cookie. These things are OK, but using them as excuses to put me last is not.
The Fed and Fit Project has helped me to realize that, and who knew it could or would? When I started this, I certainly didn’t. I don’t think I ever really saw the potential in the Fed and Fit Project and in me to come to that moment and realize the profundity it would have. And that’s a pretty cool gift to have and an awesome opportunity for me, my children, and my family.
So there you have it. A progress update! A little out of the ordinary, but what would this be if not fun?
What are some epiphanies you’ve had recently? Tell me below!