I recently dropped out of a 30-day program, called Whole 30.
It’s like the caveman diet on steroids.
I made it 9 days. Nine days of no dairy, sugar, alcohol or white carbs, plus about a million other things that were on the naughty list (including hummus and legumes……WTH?)
So, by day 8 I was cranky. No, I was bitchy.
It wasn’t a big deal to eliminate a few of those things, namely sugar, alcohol and dairy. But no quinoa, hummus or brown rice?
No thanks, food police.
It started out feeling like a good way to reset after an enjoyably indulgent holiday season— but slowly morphed into feeling like a walk down deprivation lane.
There is a BIG difference between a feeling of deprivation versus a healthy choice to self regulate something in your life (except for the super bad things, but I will assume if you are here, reading this, you are already healthy enough to know you can’t regulate a healthy amount of crack, cigs or mountain dew ; )
In the world of psychology, self-regulation refers to the ability to self manage potentially disruptive emotions and behaviors.
Ideally, we all learn to self regulate (consciously choose) things in our life—food, time, people, our own energy and our overall life choices.
This is where most people end up (hopefully).
We know what we love, know when to say no and when to say yes. It’s common sense for most us, unless we are dealing with addictions and more serious problems than an occasional sugar binge.
We are grown ups about our choices (most days anyway).
And that doesn’t mean we don’t slip. Of course we do.
But it probably doesn’t mean we go as far as drinking a couple bottles of wine on our own, or eating a whole cake in one sitting.
And even then, if we do—we get right back in there and fix it if we are on the path to being conscious.
We own the mistake and aim to not go down that road again.
We get back in the game and choose things that FEED our alignment in life (feeling good, healthy, connected, loved, happy).
Whereas self-regulation is a conscious choice to create a healthy boundary or limit with something (with the main focus on gaining something positive from that)—deprivation has an energy of feeling forced, like we must—or else. It feels restrictive, lacks freedom and doesn’t feel like the main focus is on a gain, but on a loss.
Deprivation isn’t an energy of allowing (and we want to be in an energy of allowing in order to manifest what we want).
Also—when you venture into the “I feel deprived” zone—it can trigger the desire to go the OTHER way, and overindulge in the very thing you are depriving yourself of.
I noticed this with Whole 30. It didn’t feel like a healthy self- regulating—it felt like deprivation and I actually felt unusually hungry all the time, even though I was eating plenty.
Maybe some would say I wasn’t strong enough, didn’t push through the discomfort. That maybe I needed to tough it out.
No thanks. I don’t play in that world. I play in the world where I stay aligned with my truth, feel what feels right and follow that.
I’ve pushed enough.
I’ve paddled my canoe upstream enough.
I like the downstream flow better.
It’s easier, more peaceful and way more scenic.
Trusting our inner guidance is where it’s at.
Otherwise, we are living a lie—and we know right where that leads us—to 2 bottles of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s : )
There is no point in denying yourself pleasurable things…just because someone else says it’s the new best thing!
The new, best thing changes all the time, doesn’t it?
So I have a better idea—do your best thing.
Self regulate where you need to. You know where that is.
If you don’t, then get help from someone who can show you how to find your healthy, conscious boundaries and limits.
But if you’re really committed to living a life that’s more of a flame than a flicker—don’t dim that fire by disallowing things that you know make you happy and bring pleasure.
The real kind. Not the transitory, quick fix pleasure. Or addictions that masquerade as healthy pleasures.
As always, this is about you getting very clear about YOU—your desires, your dreams, your challenges and your truth in life.
This isn’t about some silly diet, following what everyone else does, or a rigid way of being in the world.
It’s simply about being you. And listening what feels right for you.
It matters because you’re robbing yourself of your truth if you adhere to things that don’t truly align with who you are.
It’s super dorky, but it’s true—you gotta be true to you.
Choose you. Choose to say YES to what feeds you (in more ways than just food).
And be ok with saying NO to what doesn’t nourish your soul.
Now I am off to have some cheese : )
p.s I am not anti-Whole 30. It just didn’t work for me. But I have seen it work for many people who need a reset, from a dietary perspective. I know in some situations, it really is a great program. I have been athletic and super healthy all my life, so I didn’t need to lose weight, nor do I have bad eating habits. So for me, this just wasn’t my thang. I also am a recovered bulimic and this started kicking in negative ideas about some foods being “bad.” From an energetic standpoint, it wasn’t in my best interest to force myself to continue. But I do think the program has value for certain people.