We’ve Done It ALL Wrong!

This was not the post I planned to write today. This one happened through a beautiful act of grace.

If you have been following along for the past few weeks, you will know that we are in the home stretch of our 28-Day Kick The Sugar Challenge (KTSC28). We are less than a week away, and it has been filled with so many a-ha moments, incredible insights, amazing triumphs and powerful lessons.

Over the weekend, one of our beloved Challengers was going through a tough time personally, and it was truly heartwarming to see the group rally around her. Instead of using food or alcohol to numb her feelings or soothe her emotions, she leaned on the group to help her through.

I found it so powerful that she would do this, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

You see, I believe that all addiction is the same. I believe it all starts as a way to avoid pain.

Yet, in our attempt to numb it, we keep it alive for longer. It continues to grow and gain strength inside of us. It takes hold and requires an enormous act of bravery to face it head-on.

But that’s exactly what these people are doing. They are facing their pain, allowing it to soften, being gentle with themselves and carving out a new way of behaving in their lives; a new way of treating themselves.

The work they are doing is incredible. And life-changing.

Can’t we all relate? Don’t we all have things we do in our lives that we wish we could control better or stop? If we are really honest with ourselves, I believe we can all agree on that.

Much of the time we lie to ourselves and say that we are in control, not the other way around. Most of the time, we try to tell ourselves we are simply seeking pleasure (even if deep down, we feel shame in the exact same moment).

For example, have you ever ordered something at a restaurant that you know you “shouldn’t”? You find yourself telling your server “I know I shouldn’t order the fries, but I will!” Or “I know I shouldn’t have dessert, but can I just see the menu?”

These feelings are hints; cues that we know we want better for ourselves but we also want immediate gratification.

We want pleasure now and not the pain of deprivation in this moment; we can’t think ahead to the pleasure of saying no now and yes to our future self.

The pleasure/pain principle is at play once again.

But feeling pleasure all the time isn’t the way to a fulfilling life. It is normal to seek instant gratification, but it isn’t the key to long-lasting fulfillment.

This is not to say we shouldn’t seek pleasure, but the trouble is that, often, the same thing that we believe will bring us pleasure is exactly what brings us so much pain.

Let’s look at two scenarios.

Pleasure NOW

Let’s say we are having a bad day. Everything has gone wrong and we want to eat our favourite comfort food.

Deep down, we hear the voice that says we don’t want to eat these foods because, deep down, we want to feel good and we know it isn’t healthy for us. We wish we were thinner, fitter and felt better about our bodies; felt better in our skin. We know eating the junk food will just make us feel worse.

But, as we seek out the foods we are craving, it is as if someone else has taken over.

We eat.

And almost as soon as the fat and salt and sugar hit our lips, the guilt and shame begin to rise up from the pit of our stomachs. We try to shove the feelings down with more food, but by the time we are crumpling up our garbage and stuffing it in the trash, we are in a full blown state of self-loathing.

This is what it is to ignore the voice; to seek immediate gratification over long-term satisfaction.

So how do we get there? How do we get to a place where we can decide to wait for gratification when we are craving our comfort foods so strongly? When we have had a terrible day and everything is going wrong?

Pleasure Later

To answer that question, let’s look at exactly what happens when we have made the decision to stop the madness in our lives.

Let’s look at what happens when we choose to not eat the junk, to get on a healthier path, to decide we are going to put ourselves and our health first.

What happens?

Honestly, not much.

That’s the truth!

We may be able to white-knuckle our way through a couple of days, but here is what I have come to understand;

Without a decision, there is no moving forward; no line in the sand. This is true.

But without a plan, without the support of others and those we are accountable to, and without defined strategies to support our new decision, we are fish out of water, floundering until we fail.

Which we inevitably do.

And it is not even that failing is so bad; all we need to do is be gentle on ourselves and re-commit to our decision.

But doing so takes a ton of self-love and acceptance. It takes an ability to truly believe we can still achieve our goals even though we have “failed”. Once we slip, it can be very easy to have an “all or nothing” mentality and fall farther down.

So, how do we do it?!

I believe that the only way to get out of addictive eating and stay committed to a healthier lifestyle is to have a very clear path to get there, and then take steps every single day to get ourselves closer…or further along the path.

If we don’t, we will end up in the same position, or worse, than when we started.

Reverse Engineering Ourselves 

This is what makes the KTSC28 so incredibly different. We do so much inner work through our Homework exercises, and through creating a vision for what we want and why we want it, and then we have so many tools that help us stay on track in the kitchen and in the world around us, that our chances of success increase exponentially.

This does not mean that people haven’t slipped; some have. But the difference is that these people have more tools and awareness than they’ve ever had before.

So much so, that they are able to see what happened from a totally different vantage point; a point outside of their bodies, and then take their next step from that place; a place of love and acceptance; a place of understanding and empathy, and a place where they can truly believe that they can succeed where other “diets” have failed them.

And that is how I feel. Not that people fail diets but that diets fail them.

I spoke to the Challengers last week in an honest video call and told them that this is it. That they will never, ever diet again. Because living the way I suggest has nothing to do with dieting; it has everything to do with loving.

We are learning to love ourselves so much that we want to stop hurting our bodies. We are learning to trust and respect ourselves so much that we can accept who we are right now while also holding a vision of ourselves in the future; and we are getting there.

Day by day, layer by layer, we peel away years of habits, of conditioning, and of behaviours that haven’t served us.

Instead of fish out of water, we are learning to swim. And it is beautiful.

And when one is struggling, the rest of us are there, holding space, offering as much time as they need to work through the pain. But we are there. And it feels like love.

Because it is love.

So, thank you, dear Challenger, for sharing your heart and your struggle with us. What you are doing takes courage and we are humbled to be a part of your journey; because it is our journey too.

And if you, dear reader, are struggling with dieting or if you want to learn more about what we are experiencing, please click on "Sugar Challenge" above to be added to the wait list. I will be launching the next round of the Challenge soon and would be honoured to have you join our tribe.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.


P.S. Click Here to join the Wait List for the next KTSC28.

P.P.S. Let's be friends! Connect with me on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. 🙂

P.P.S.S. A few people have sent messages expressing concern that the Challenge ends after 28 days. They are worried it won't be long enough to reverse a lot of bad habits. Please don't worry. I have an entire Re-Integration and Maintenance plan that will support you indefinitely, so be sure to get on the list. 🙂

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