I USED TO BE OUTRAGEOUSLY DISCIPLINED.
Everything from months of juice fasting to running 40 miles a week and yet…
I was never satisfied with my body.
So after years of tightening the reigns and pounding the pavement, I re-defined discipline and discovered what it was truly like to EXPERIENCE my body rather than controlling it:
:::The old discipline:::: I must juice fast during the day and eat only one (raw and vegan) meal at night. I went for long periods eating one meal a day. It was well intentioned. The “gurus” I was following all seemed to be glowing creatures of perfection and spiritual mastery… but my body just wasn’t having it. While it might have been great one week, the next I’d be spacey and cold and denying that I was anything but present in my body and just salivating over my next meal.
:::The new discipline::: I must listen to my body. This doesn’t mean that if I wake up thinking donuts, that I’m always having donuts. I learned from EXPERIENCE (because no food is “good” or “bad”) that no matter how pleasurable of an experience that is, that I’ll be cranky shortly thereafter. It means that I use a combination of intention and intuition to eat in a way that supports the way I want to LIVE. Perhaps one day I’m feeling high energy and focused and too much heavy food will bring me down. Perhaps on another, I’m feeling chilled and ungrounded so I choose heartier, warmer options. Whenever I quit listening to my body and start following someone else’s plan, I find myself way out of balance, overeating, and feeling disconnected and weighed down.
:::The old discipline::: I work out 6 days a week, an hour a day. Half cardio, half weights. It doesn’t matter if I’m exhausted, I’ll kick myself into gear with some fitspo posts and throw my body into the hardest workout I can muster up!
:::The new discipline::: Move every day. Get fresh air. Feeling stiff? Yoga. Feeling restless? Go for a hike. Feeling sad on a rainy day? Jump on my trampoline to a great playlist with the windows wide open. I do what a love, balancing challenge with restoration. I never get bored, my muscles get worked, and I’m a happy lady. I also don’t cheat myself. Just because I “do what I want” doesn’t mean it’s never hard or uncomfortable – but it’s challenging in a way that doesn’t feel so gym-heady. It feels balanced and feminine and very, very healthy.
:::The old discipline::: Counting calories or ounces or grams or WHATEVER. Eat at certain times of the day and only at those times. No snacking.
:::The new discipline::: Eat when I need nourishment and be very, very honest about it. Eating when it’s not needed throws off my energy but making myself wait because “it’s not time yet” leads to an unhealthy fixation on food. I also refuse to count anything. My body likes different amounts on different days based on a variety of factors (activity levels, emotions, hormones, etc).
:::The old discipline::: Holding a staunch belief that I could only get on with my life when I was the perfect size and felt wonderful all the time. I would hang on to clothes that were too small and not buy anything while I was a size I didn’t want to be. This was my “motivation”.
:::The new discipline::: Live wholeheartedly, regardless of externals, and continue to live mindfully because it FEELS good, not because it gets me to whatever size I think I should be.