Friday, June 17, 2011

Amazing What a Difference a Year Makes

I just went back and re-read this blog, start to finish, and all I have to say is that it is amazing what a difference a year makes.  Since I started this blog in January 2010, I have grown tremendously as a person with regard to my healthy living. I have worked through my sugar sensitivity issues, eliminated wheat and gluten, cut down on dairy, and still remain alcohol-free and almost totally caffeine-free (with the exception of green tea and an occasional decaf almond milk latte). How have I done it?  I hate to give away my secrets, but...there really is no secret.  It wasn't rocket science.  There was no Wizard of Oz. It was all by doing small things on a consistent basis until it became a habit.  Until it became part of who I am and how I define myself.

As I wrote in former blogs, transitioning to new habits can be scary and uncomfortable.  As people, we don't like to change. We like the familiar and the known.  It was completely overwhelming to me for years to think that I could ever give up sugar.  I would have rather shaved my head than to give up sugar! Are you kidding me? But, I found that it was not as hard as I thought it would be because I created a support system around me as I detoxed from sugar, and then just tried to live in the present and take one day at a time. Baby steps and a willingness to try to step out of my comfort zone and approach new ways of doing things.

I am still in the process of changing. I am still trying to instill new habits that match my deepest beliefs and desires that I know help me to live my "best" life. I am still trying to be more vulnerable and "put myself out there" because living life authentically is really important to me. Showing my flaws and all. Looking at the "dark side" of myself and truly embracing it. 

This week our assignment at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was to listen to a lecture by Debbie Ford, author of "The Dark Side of Light Chasers" and a number of other fantastic books. Her whole philosophy is based around integrating the "dark" parts of yourself that you don't like - the parts we usually call flaws - with the "lighter" and more positive side of yourself so that you are a whole person. Debbie advocates reframing your "flaws" into qualities that can actually be helpful in certain situations in your life. She believes that you should go out into the world with a Big Vision for yourself that allows you to thrive and succeed even with all of your character "flaws" and fears in tow. In short, she would say to "be who you are, scared out of your wits, and do it anyway!" Her work inspired me years ago when I first added "The Dark Side of Light Chasers" to my home library - and it still inspires me today. I am a work in progress - and I hope to always be!