It dawned on me whilst browsing Sarah Wilsons ‘I quit sugar’ and Brad Pilon’s EatStopEat, that at the heart of a success story, a life changed by ‘this new trick’, a new person made by ‘changing this one little thing’, is the pre-requisite of any success, life altering or otherwise. It is not the discovery of fasting for 24 hours, individuals with eating disorders have been doing that for years, and yes they’re slim – but no, they’re not happy. They’re the one’s looking at these diets wondering ‘why can’t I do that’. The ‘that’ they are referring to is the happiness, the contentment, the joy and self-love emulating from the people on the pages and screens before them. Before sensationalising eating well and exercising regularly they had their ah-ha moment and they discovered something else. Who they are. Furthermore, they accepted and loved who they are. (This isn’t me making a generalised statement, it’s written in ink and typed in Helvetica.)
Those that have come up with the best ‘its not a diet, it’s a lifestyle’ all have one thing in common; somewhere on their ‘about me’ page you will stumble upon the phrase ‘It was just about working out who I was and what was best for my body’. The great secret behind the best diet and lifestyle ritual is actually you (note: how empowering). It is the relationship you have with yourself; How you feel about the way you look and what you eat – and being honest about it. Ultimately, sort out who you are and listen to your body – recognise the signs of hunger, pay attention to how your body, emotions and mental state respond to certain foods, and not just while you’re eating them. We all feel great eating a man-size bowl of ice-ceam while we watch love actually, it’s how you feel in an hour, the next morning, or a day later that counts. Are you irritated, lethargic, or emotional? Do you get ‘brain fog’, short tempered, and count down until you can have your next big bowl of ice-cream. These are the things you need to pay attention to.
If you’re unsure where to start, cut out anything processed. Yes, it will be hard. It’s no secret that sugar is addictive, like caffeine we get headaches and ‘hangovers’ from withdrawal or over-indulging. On the other hand, salty food is keeping most of us standing on our 13hour shifts before our adrenals collapse.. If you need help, ask for it. See a good naturopath, dietitian or TCM practitioner. You might notice that you don’t crave chocolate or fries after 2 weeks – you might feel THAT great. Knowing how your body ticks is the trick to a successful lifestyle plan – after all, it is a lifestyle. The rituals we perform daily, weekly or fortnightly contribute to the life we will live in 10, 20 and 30 years time. If you choose to live with youth, vitality and energy, get to know yourself today. After this point you won’t need to look for advice, you will know yourself well-enough to know what does, and what doesn’t, work for you.