After reading an article interviewing food writer and finalist of TV series Great British Bake-off, Ruby Tandoh, I couldn’t help but share my thoughts and feelings towards her views on clean eating and the wellness movement.
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Have you ever been in a situation when you can't figure out what to do? You may be starting up a business, entering into a new job, falling in love, starting to have kids, or experimenting different ways to eat. Whatever you are trying to do will always be accompanied by times and feelings of uncertainty. A lot of people (including myself) don't really care for uncertainty, yet everyone loves a good adventure. We love going on trips or vacations, spontaneity, and the thrills we get when we watch a movie full of suspense. If basically all human beings like a good adventure, then we offhandedly like uncertainty.
Now I don't negate the fact that there are those text book, A type personalities, that read the plots and outcomes of movies before they watch them, they look at dinner menus online before they go out to eat, and they read the last chapter of a fresh new novel before they begin the book, but even those people like a good adventure...they just want to know it's a good adventure before it begins.
The way we can embrace the uncertainty of life is to change the way we view uncertainty. When we look at uncertainty and we change the verbiage to something like "Life Unfolding", we can take a step back and look at the big picture. We are never going to know what's going to happen at every moment in life, but that's the adventure. Some circumstances are not fun, like experiencing illness, or the death of a loved one, losing your job, or going through a divorce, but in every situation Life continues to unfold for us.
Because I deal with people's eating behaviours, I see all kinds of uncertainty when it comes to the foods they eat and the way they consume them. I see uncertainty with the thoughts they have towards themselves or food, and I see uncertainty when we sit in a session together and I tell them to embrace uncertainty. But everyone loves a good adventure.
Eating challenges present us with a chance to view Life Unfolding in a tangible way. When I was bulimic, I used to hate myself after each episode, and although I no longer struggle with an eating disorder, I look at it now as being a teacher and a guide. My behaviours, though damaging both mentally and physically, were actually helping me at the same time. They were a continual wake up call from my body saying that it needed help. This was my experience with Life Unfolding.
What areas of your life cause you anxiety or stress because you're uncertain of the outcome?
What is the uncertainty of each situation trying to convey to you?
Most often, we are challenged with uncertainty because Life is calling us to trust, to have faith, and faith in something greater than just your own self. The interesting thing about trust and faith is that they physiologically put the body into a relaxation response (Ie: Rest and Digest), which is the exact opposite of the Fight or Flight response. When we are in Rest and Digest, we think clearly, we breath slower which increases oxygen to all organs and muscles efficiently, and we can be at our highest metabolic potential. When we are in fear or anxiety, Fight or Flight is turned on and we are no longer in Rest and Digest. Do you think your body could possibly be smart enough to try to get it into a state where it can be at it's most vibrant and healthiest place?? The answer is yes. The body is physiologically beckoning us to trust.
Stress and uncertainty will always present itself, but the more important question is how will present yourself before stress and uncertainty? Will you continue to live in fear, or will you trust that Life is calling you to a higher purpose and trying to convey a higher message?
I've had this scratching feeling on the inside since I started my studies through The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. The feeling that leaves me so deeply moved to say something is the feeling of being fed up. I'm fed up with all the lies we've been fed and manipulated to believe around food and body, I'm fed up with mass producing companies claiming to be healthy, low fat diets, eating less/exercising more protocols, and focusing on weight loss first before focusing on what's happening inside of us. I'm fed up with a lot, but most of all I'm fed up with people hating their bodies, beating themselves up in the gym, starving themselves, not diving deeper into themselves, tricking, playing, restricting, measuring, weighing, pinching, poking, and dismissing themselves. When will we all get what life is really about? We teach what we need to learn....
I'm at fault too, no one is immune to this way of thinking and behaving, not even me, especially not me. I have been through physical, emotional, and verbal hell against myself when it comes to my body and the way I eat. You name it, I've tried it, all in the name of "something greater". Ask me about any diet, I've done it and I've put countless people on programs just like them, all in attempt to finally be happy. That's the goal isn't it, To happy? Though we continue to learn and progress in our knowledge everyday, this I know for certain:
Happiness is not in the future
Happiness is not in the extra 0-25lbs you want to lose, happiness is not in the gym putting on muscle, it's not in the new shiny car, or in a pair of skinny jeans. Happiness doesn't come when, happiness comes now. This is what we've been made to believe, that happiness will only come when .... you fill in the blank.
I've been so skinny and still hated my body, I wanted to kill myself at one point I hated me so much. I may have been ultra thin but it wasn't because I was the poster child of health (even though that's what I claimed to be). I would workout twice a day and claim to be this big health nut, but then go and sniff coke and throw up everything I ate at the end of the day just to keep my slender figure and my inner world numb. Does that sound like happiness? What kind of life is that? Do you want to live like that if it would mean you were this unrealistic size or shape?
I'm fed up with people believing that every skinny person walking around is the most happy, vibrant, sensual, loving person they can be because more often than not, this couldn't be further from the truth. Does that mean all skinny people are unhappy? Of course it doesn't, that's not what I'm saying, but I am saying that whether skinny or bigger, if you hate your body now you will hate your body then, regardless of it's shape.
There will always be something for you to pick apart when it comes to your body, always. Every time we flip through a magazine or turn on the tv we are reminded of how unworthy we are, not matter what you look like. There's always someone who's thinner, prettier, richer, taller, shorter, more symmetrical, has nicer hair, bigger muscles, a small nose, straighter teeth, whiter teeth, nicer clothes, bigger house, nicer car etc... The list goes on. When will you finally be happy?
Happiness is not when, happiness is now. If you live a life of comparison, or with your appearance being your most important goal, you've completely missed the mark and your life is as shallow as a bed pan. When will we all get past the surface and get deeper with ourselves, with our lives?
I am not immune to it either, just so you know that I know that I'm not. I'm just fed up with an unending strive for something that never comes. I'm done letting the world dictate how I should look, think, feel, act, or talk. I'm fed up with conforming for the sake of pleasing people who don't truly care for me and who have no interest in seeing me for who I truly am, which is more than my body. Your body is an expression of you, it doesn't define you. If your identity is solely in the way you look, it's time to grow up and open your eyes. Life is more than just creating your appearance, life is about creating happiness as you are right now.
Well, we've come to the end of the success series. Here are the last 5 tips to help prepare your body, mind, and spirit to be the most successful version of yourself that you can be. Thanks for giving my articles a read, and for everyone that gave me great advice. It's a beautiful thing when you have people around who will support you, challenge you, and mentor you.
- Embrace Change
We are an ever evolving society, and if you aren’t willing to evolve along with the times, you will stay stuck in the past as everyone else advances. The one constant we have in life is change, I’ve said that before, and you have to look at change with an open mind and be willing to get out of your comfort zone. Being unwilling to accept and embrace change will only stunt your growth and deter you from success. A sign of true health is being able to adapt to any given situation. If you cannot adapt when something changes, or refuse to step out of your box, you automatically lose by default.
- Be Thankful
Learn to develop an attitude of gratitude. When you remain thankful, you don’t take anything for granted. People are turned off by arrogance, or those who exalt themselves. It’s important to live life with a humble posture and to not become prideful. The prideful will fall and the humble will be raised up.
- Share Information And Data
“One person is generous and yet grows wealthier, but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty”. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to share with people. If you keep all the information you have learnt to yourself, what good is it? People can sense sincerity, and if you don’t want to sincerely help people and are only motivated by money, people will sense that and won’t want to contribute to your success. People don’t want to be seen as walking dollar signs, they want to know someone is there to help them.
- Continually Educate Yourself
There is no greater power than knowledge. To be the best you can be in your specific area, you have to be knowledgeable, and that takes education. You don't necessarily have to go and get a PhD in something, but learn from those in your field of interest that know what you need to know. Successful people are productive people with a passion to learn, and to learn continuously. Spend your time doing things that contribute to your success. Listen to podcasts, read, write, and keep learning. Fill your time with education. There is no maintenance in life, if you aren't learning, you are going backwards. Don't ever think you know it all.
“Love never fails”. This is probably the most important key to becoming successful. When we love and value, not only others, but ourselves, we create a safe environment to grow successfully. If you don’t love yourself, you will never put yourself in a place where you can truly flourish because you won’t think you’re worth the effort. You have to believe it to your core that you are worth the effort, and you are worth loving yourself so much that you couldn’t bare to let yourself not succeed. Shout out to my wonderful Grandparents. You got this whole love thing down pat xoxox!
I am blessed to work with some of Calgary's most successful people, both financially and personally. I train CEO's, Engineers, Lawyers, Partners, and many others. I'm in contact with some of the most brilliant people in the world, I truly believe that. These people are hard workers, entrepreneurs, and high achievers, and I get to pick their brains everyday. I have been working on a list of qualities and advice on the keys to becoming successful from theses brilliant minds. I've gotten a lot of information so I am going to do a 3 part series of success.
- Have a Vision
“Without a vision, the people perish”. In order to be successful in life, you need to have a clear vision of how you want your life to be. Everyone’s definition of success is different, and each one of us have a special role that we play here on earth, and because we are all very different, it’s important to set out just who you want to be and where you want to go. You can get ideas from others that have gone before you, but ultimately, your life will look different. If you do not have a vision for your life, you will never live up to the person you were created to be. Sit down with a pen and paper and write it down. Post it on your bathroom mirror so you can see it every day and start to work towards making your dreams become your reality. You cannot just simply dream without taking any action and expect to achieve results.
- Keep Your Life Balanced
Successful people are balanced people. Yes there are very rich, stressed out people who work long hours, but remember, the definition for success isn’t just having a ton of money. To be truly successful means having a life you are proud of at the end of each day. If you spend all your time working and neglect your family or friends, you are not fully successful. Set aside some time each week to do something that is not work related. For me, I call a friend or family member just to chat, even if it’s only for 10 min. Take vacations when you feel burnt out. Buy something nice for yourself after a profitable month.
- Laugh In The Face Of Adversity
If you think there are never going to be hard times that come your way, you are sadly mistaken. When we are going in the right direction is most often when we come against the greatest adversity. If you are facing a trial in your life, it’s most likely because you’re on the path to something great. When you are doing what you’re meant to be doing in life, it will initially come effortlessly and the chips just kind of fall into place, but there will be people or things that come against you that test your dedication.
- Get Back Up After You Fall
One of the world’s most famous and successful pop vocalists, Beyonce Knowles, quoted this in her song, “Perfection is a disease of a nation”. Perfectionism has been the thorn in people’s sides for a long time, and the cause of their demise. A perfectionist thinks that they should never fail, but failure is one of our greatest tools to learn from. When we fail, we get the opportunity to get back up, to create strength and determination. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing, failure is a learning tool, so accept the fact that you will fail. Be ok with getting knocked down, but don’t be ok with staying knocked down.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People
Your level of success is determined by the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with people who complain all the time, people who are negative, and people who are unsuccessful in life, it will rub off on you eventually. People’s attitudes are contagious so it’s crucial that you surround yourself with people who have positive and successful attitudes. If you want to be inspired, get around people who are driven, who laugh, who put others first, and who have a strong work ethic. Get around people who motivate you, those people that, when you leave after having a conversation with them, you have a renewed zeal for life, get around those people.