Sunday, January 6, 2013

Celebrate Small Victories

So I'm sitting here at Flyers Cafe, one of my favourite places in the whole world, and I've just indulged in an omelette and rye toast with butter and jam, and coffee and... Oh, there are baked goods that look incredible! And I've just been thinking - Flyers' fresh breakfast has never felt like an indulgence before, it's always felt like the healthiest choice. But now I feel guilty having eaten it, because I'm on this new health kick and trying to eat vegan and let's face it - when it comes to diet changes, we believe in hard and fast rules. I tend to see things in life as very black and white, a quality I have always disliked about myself. Especially when it came to making "healthy changes", which in the past has been code for "losing weight". I've always had everything planned out - "I'm going to go vegan, so I'm going to print out these one thousand vegan recipes and make a meal plan for every day from now until 2017. And I HAVE to stick to it!" How ridiculous. I made plans so big and sweeping that no one could stick to them, then punished myself when I inevitably went off track.

I don't want to judge myself anymore. I'm tired of it. Why do we judge ourselves so much? Especially for the silliest mistakes like indulging in some food we were trying to avoid or pushing our workout up a day. If I have not caused myself or some other some pain, what's the point of judging myself? I am who I am. And this healthy journey I'm on, I'm going to be on it for the rest of my life. It's a process. I'm not in any rush. I'm not trying to lose weight or inches or beat some deadline I've made for myself. I have no grand plans this time around. I'm simply trying to make my way toward a much, much healthier life than the one I have been living for the past... Well, twenty-five years. A life that is healthier for not just me, but for all other living things, including my planet. It's a process. Every part of my life is going to need a change. I'm going to be learning and growing and changing until the day I die, and so will my journey. Each day will be different.

So, rather than beat myself up for eating eggs and butter today, I'm going to celebrate the small victories I've had over the past few weeks and try my best to continue with my plan. My small victories, I should be proud! I've gone from five to six cups of coffee every morning to usually just one, sometimes two, sometimes none at all. I quit smoking nearly three weeks ago. I've been tracking my nutrition and I'm getting my recommended daily intake of nearly everything. Plus, I've been eating mostly vegan, which is an adjustment in and of itself.

I'm trying to remind myself that healthy journeys are not about getting everything absolutely right all the time, or comforming to a standard of how you're "supposed" to do something. It's a hard lesson for us humans - we're used to fitting in someone's box. But I'm making my own box. I'm going to do things the way I want to, the way that's best for me. It is my journey, after all, no one else's. And the more standards and rules I make up for myself the more I will be trying to box up and label something that can't be labeled. An inevitable failure. I don't want to waste any more time thinking I've failed myself. Whatever I do is what I've done - there is no going back, only forward. So why feel horrible when you could just take a lesson from it and move on and feel great?

And all this has led me to really feel as if I should write something about this silly idea our society has that weight loss is synonomous with health. But my coffee is gone and I need to trudge home now. Another time!

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