Friday, March 9, 2012

Changing Focus

My mind has been thinking a lot lately. Not that it doesn't usually ;), but it's been thinking along the lines of how do I change to accomplish what I want to accomplish?

I will not have the -Free Life I long for if I keep doing the same things I'm already doing. "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Change has to happen. But it's not going to just happen on its own. I have to change myself. I have to change the parts of me that block me into parts that support me. And maybe add in some new things.

Change can be hard. It requires we get out of our comfort zone and sometimes by a lot. Being out of our comfort zone can feel threatening, scary, nerve-racking and even wrong. We have a mistaken belief that everything feels right when it is right, but that's not always true. Sometimes all that's wrong is that we're just not used to it and we need to grow into it.

There's a lot of talk out there that says that everything we do should feel right. Which feeling though? Some feelings are really instinct talking, or divine inspiration. Absolutely, if that side isn't "feeling it", we should listen. But others are just emotional issues--or even physical issues, like in the case of an alcoholic.  Addicts don't feel right when they're not succumbing to their addiction, so does that mean they should stay addicted? A ridiculous thought! Clearly feeling isn't all what it's about. Some feelings are wisdom and others are just our emotions talking. And it's not always easy to tell the difference.

My point with all of this is that I feel the need to change. I'm tired of not getting closer to my goals. I learn all about things but can't seem to get myself to take action on them. There are all kinds of plans and no action. The only way I will get to action is if I change at least a bit. The saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" doesn't actually mean that if you plan it will all just work out. Action needs to be taken, too.

One thing I've realized is that part of my main motivator in changing my diet to a -Free diet has been my weight. My weight is still considered "normal", so it's not really a serious issue, just one of those things I'd like to improve upon. It's been clear in my mind that the water retention and likely fat gain over the past 10 years has been the result of lifestyle, mostly what I eat. They say that in your 30s, your metabolism changes and that's why weight gets put on. But what if part of it is that your body just can't handle the cr*p anymore? I've seen this slow weight gain as a message to detox my diet. Not just do one of those detox weeks or whatever, but really remove the cr*p. Weight is not my only issue: sinus problems, sinus headaches, frequent colds/flu, tiredness, skin issues (acne, rashes, dry skin...), my complexion is no longer bright and vital looking, increased environmental allergies and food sensitivities... Good grief, with this list, my weight should hold no importance! And I know it's not about the weight. Losing 10-15 lbs is not going to make my health any better unless the 10-15 lbs are the result of my health getting better. I know that as I take charge of what I put in my body and aim to be healthy with all the other current issues, the weight will take care of itself.

And yet, what do I do? I check the scale. I don't check to see how long I've had a headache--or when I can last remember not having a bit of a dull ache. I don't check to see if I've got increased or decreased skin issues. I don't check to see how healthy my diet was yesterday. I imagine how I will look when I've lost the weight--because that's what things like The Secret say to do, right?--but don't really imagine how it would feel to be fully healthy. (Do I even know?)

So, I'm changing myself. I'm changing my thoughts and focus. My focus is on being healthy. I know that to do this, I need to pay more attention to really fuelling my body with healthy foods. (And really, let's be honest, if it's not healthy food, is it really food?) I started today at lunch. "What can I eat that will be loving toward my body and help it be healthy?" was my focus rather than simply, "What is there to eat?" or "What should I eat?" I came up with this:

Essentially, a salad (without dressing) in a pita, like buying a wrap from... hm... can't remember the name of that outlet at the food courts. Yes, it's a white pita and not whole wheat. I spent 5-10 minutes at the store trying to find one that did not say, "May contain milk ingredients." (I do wonder how much of my water retention is the result of all these "may contain milk" products. I have gained in the past 3-5 lbs of water weight overnight simply by having milk products, and have equally lost 3-5 lbs over the course of a couple of days when I was careful to cut all milk and any chance of milk. And now I wonder just what is in that pita--is it healthy? Does it have nasty chemicals? I was so focused on it not containing milk that I didn't think about the rest. And obviously wasn't thinking in any way about wheat-free. ;) ) It was vegan until I decided to put a bit of mayonnaise on the one pita flap. I didn't fill it enough, so I was hungry afterwards and steamed myself some cauliflower. Yes, I've had some junk over the course of the day (and paid attention to the headache after the cookie), but I do believe in the mantra, "Progress, not perfection". And more than anything, I can truly feel my focus changing to "What can I do to support my body being healthy?"

This change in focus is going to force me to change in other ways. Like (at least sometimes) not eating some unhealthy thing that I'm craving. Like taking the time to prepare that orange or bowl of grapes or whatever. And despite my talk above about not necessarily trusting when it "feels right", this change in focus and the changes it will lead to does feel right. Gut feeling right. It's not going to be easy, I don't think. Memories of my first wheat-free day from a while back come to mind on how difficult it might end up becoming. But...

It'll be worth it.

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