Earlier this year (probably about a month and a half ago) I hit a breaking point. I was fed up with feeling depressed and anxious, and living the stressed out life I was living. I was in a relationship that went south in what felt like the blink of an eye, was surrounding myself with people who weren’t helping me reach my potential or bringing me happiness, and I was spending way too much time indulging in unhealthy habits.
Then, one day, a day I remember like yesterday, I hit that breaking point – that moment where I yelled, “I CAN’T LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE.” I broke up with my boyfriend, I broke up with that friend group, and I vowed to live a purer life that’s filled with joy, love, and a lot less heartbreak.
I’ve been doing a great job since then. I’ve felt happier, healthier, a whole lot less stressed, depressed, and anxious. My relationships are richer. My work is better. I have a deeper and undying faith. I am undoubtedly happy.
Breaking points can be messy and painful, but once you get through them, goodness, they’re lifesavers. Remember when I shared this blog post? The one where I apologized for living a lie? For showing you a life that wasn’t the whole truth, when in reality I was truly struggling with a bout of depression and anxiety? I don’t feel that way anymore, and it’s because of this breaking point where I cut off what was suffocating me – a lifestyle that wasn’t allowing me to be my true authentic self.
Anyways, now that I’ve gotten through that, I realize there’s still further to go. So yesterday I embarked on the Whole30. If you don’t know what the Whole30 is you can learn more here.
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re probably well aware that I struggled with an eating disorder for many years. This, my friends, is not a diet. There’s no counting calories or stepping on scales. This is a 30 day lifestyle change to reset your body, reset your mind, and reset how you approach food.
Here’s why I’m embarking on this journey. It’s not why you’d think:
I need to spend time alone… truly alone.
I’ve grown very accustomed to being surrounded by people. And if you think about it, we’re really never alone. We’re constantly connected to devices, living in others’ worlds through social media, and always chatting, chatting, chatting.
I used to be scared to be alone. I still am. But I’m taking this journey as a journey toward enjoying being alone and loving who I am. What do they call it? Being your own best friend? That’s what I’m practicing. And that kind of self care allows you to care for others in the best and fullest way possible.
I need to have fun doing things that don’t involve alcohol.
No. I’m not an alcoholic. But alcohol is everywhere, especially in my age group and in the city I live in. Want to go to the movies? There’s a bar there. Want to go to a baseball game? Only if we get beers. Want to go on a hike? Sure, let’s get beer after.
This is also tiring, and it takes away from the value of the moment. Whole 30 means no alcohol, which in turn means I’m going to have to enjoy activities without a cold one (and I LOVE craft beer). But it’ll be a challenge and one that I believe will show me that, hey, I don’t need it anyways.
I need to reset my eating habits.
Whole 30 brings you back to the basics. Think paleo… but a step further. I spent years and years counting and agonizing over calories. But calories come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t created equally. 200 calories of grilled chicken is a lot different than 200 calories of Sour Patch Kids (no offense to the cute little guys). But I was looking at calories, not nutrients.
I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the wrong types of food, instead of the healthy and wholesome foods I should be eating to nourish my body. This journey is meant to help me look at nutrients over calories.
I need to reset my approach to “food and fun.”
So, I started this journey yesterday, and within the span of 24 hours I wanted to go out to eat about 5 different times, because I was bored. Talk about misaligned priorities right? I’ve grown so accustomed to connecting food with fun, and don’t get me wrong, food IS fun, and spending time eating with others should be something we do often.
But I was using “food as fun” as a crutch. Instead of getting out and trying new things with friends, going out to eat became an extracurricular activity I took part in quite often.
I’ll surely still go out to eat by myself and with friends throughout this journey, but I’ll be working to better align what food is, how it can be fun, and that the combination of the two shouldn’t be my only activity.
I need to save money.
I forgot to mention. Right after this breaking point, this revelation of mine, I booked a trip to Spain and Portugal (is it becoming more clear that I hit a quarter-life crisis?). But not just any trip. I’m going on a 12 day pilgrimage for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima appearing to the three children. Yes, I’m Catholic.
This journey is my incentive to spend less money, build a better budget, and live a more frugal life so that I can enjoy my trip.
Have questions on what a pilgrimage is or why I’m heading on this journey? Please feel free to reach out! And more to come on the blog about it.
I need to sleep more.
I think this one is pretty straight forward. Sleep has always been a difficult thing for me. But I’ve found that the more stimulants I consume (i.e. caffeine or alcohol or sugar) the more difficult sleep becomes. I’m hoping this journey helps me get more sleep. I’ve already slept more this weekend than I have in a quite some time… so we’re making some progress!
As you can see, it’s not about losing weight (I don’t think I need to). It’s not about counting calories. It’s not about controlling my food intake. It’s about practicing better self care. It’s about taking my health journey one step further.
As humans, we get stuck so easily (and quickly) in the status quo, and we don’t challenge ourselves to break free. We consistently find ourselves in ruts, wondering why we can’t get out.
But sometimes, you’re your own worst enemy. Don’t be your own worst enemy. If you don’t challenge yourself to be better, you’re hindering yourself from being all you can for yourself and others.
And don’t forget – make sure to love yourself along the way.