In a recent post I was explaining my plans to try and achieve some goals in relation to my diet this year.
I then created a year of nothing. No goals. No plans. No lists.
May seem a little contradictory, right?
Well, I’ve decided to loosen the soul simple diet plan. To re-frame.
Of course I still want to be healthy. Of course I still want to rid myself of the burden of carrying excess weight. Of course I still want my body to feel strong, and physically fit.
So I guess for the most part, the end goal is still there.
But I’m not going to structure how I do this.
Instead, I’m just going to continue eating. But I’m going to eat mindfully. I’m going to pay more attention to what I’m eating and how I feel. To listen to my body and respond lovingly to what it tells me.
I’m going to keep moving. But instead of engaging in rigorous exercise routines and things that feel like socially acceptable forms of physical torture, I’m going to explore ways of staying active that I enjoy and love doing.
Maybe I’ll skip down the driveway and then dance my heart out to loud music for an hour?
I’m not going to weigh myself or measure myself against what society says I should weigh and measure.
I’m going to focus on how I feel. And take time to notice and appreciate the subtle improvements that are happening with my skin, my eyes, the shape of my belly.
I’m going to focus on loving the skin that I’m in, and nurturing it rather than torturing it.
I’m going to pass on all my recipe books and healthy eating guidelines, and in doing my own research I’m going to use my own mind and heart and soul to guide me. I’m going to allow my body to tell me what it needs. And I’ll hold myself accountable for listening intently, and responding accordingly.
I think sometimes the greatest gift we can give ourselves is kindness. Gentleness. Compassion. Openness.
Rather than embedding ourselves in the structures and the routines that we are given. It’s so important to acknowledge that each of our bodies is unique. We all have unique needs. We will all have a different requirement for healthy living.
My body is telling me what it needs.
Up until now, I really haven’t been listening.
I’ve been listening to Jamie Oliver. Donna Hay. Pete Evans. Lorna-Jane Clarkson. Masterchef. All of whom have years of expertise and valuable insights on how to live a healthy and balanced life. With all the latest whiz bang ideas. And maybe it works for them. Maybe it works for you.
But I haven’t been listening to me.
Following their advice doesn’t work for me.
So the sad story of following other people ends here. Today is a new day of discarding the rules. The recipes. The programs.
Before I go, I’d like to say this:
You can appreciate and respect the expertise and research and opinions of others. Especially when they dedicate their lives to a cause you are also passionate about. But you don’t have to follow their path. Maybe their recipe is not the right recipe for you. Maybe you can use some of the ingredients, and create your own recipe? Maybe you can learn about different methods and apply them in your own way? Create your own unique meal? Plate things up your own way.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
It doesn’t have to contain the latest superfoods.
It doesn’t mean you need to spend loads of money on the latest fitness apparel and done the matching bag.
Maybe it’s as simple as eating what makes you feel good, and going for a walk everyday.
Maybe it’s as simple as removing all the junk and focusing on what’s natural, what’s simple.
Maybe for you, it includes going to the gym because that’s what works for you?
Maybe you can step into the unknown and ignore the latest gluten free, macro, paleo, plant based vegan diet?
Maybe you need to eat carbs (Holy Toledo! Take it easy girl!).
But whatever it is. Make sure it works for you. Make sure you’re getting the nutrition, and love and kindness that your body needs.
Life is not about deprivation. It’s not about always following the rules.
You can write the rules as you go.
Or like me, you can do away with them altogether.