Hey guys! Woah, it’s the first Monday of 2016. How freaking crazy is that? I absolutely love the very beginning of the New Year because it’s such a great time to wipe our slates clean. We can’t necessarily place all of our lifestyle change aspirations and goals on this “New Year, New You” mentality, because that is way too much pressure and it’s just not realistic, but what we CAN do is use the fresh New Year as the very best excuse to take action on things we’ve been saying we were going to do for a long time.
We can also use this beautiful clean slate moment to visualize the goals we’d like to accomplish this year, and the healthy lifestyle changes we want to create and maintain in our lives. As for me, my goals for the year go from very general to extremely specific, and I will share those with you later on in the week.
Today I want to tell you about a few things I am planning on cutting out of my diet this month in order to feel my best and find the healthiest version of myself. And I know what you’re thinking… Yikes, cutting foods out seems like a recipe for disaster. It sounds like too much pressure and restriction and like the exact type of thing that makes someone want the things they’re cutting out even more. I will address that fear in a minute, but first I want to tell you what I am giving up for the month:
I know, it might sound a little strange for me to be giving up alcohol when I don’t have any sort of alcohol problem, per se. I went through a phase when I had orthorexia where alcohol was basically off limits to me. I hardly ever drank, because when I did I felt like I was tainting my perfectly pure and healthy body. Since that time, I have come a long way. Over the last year and a half I have worked really hard to develop a healthy relationship with alcohol where I can sip on some cocktails when I’m out with friends, have a lot of fun, and not feel guilty about it in the morning. I even started to enjoy having a glass of wine with dinner from time to time — something I never would have done when I was super restrictive.
And now that I have found my way back to having a normal relationship with alcohol, I find myself to be drinking more often than I’d like to. I am a very social person, and many nights a week I go out to dinner with friends/family, attend events and go out on the weekends. Even though its not in my nature to drink several nights per week, I sort of end up doing it anyway just because I am going with the flow and enjoying myself.
Nothing wrong with that! But I had several nights over the holidays where I drank a liiiitttle too much. You know when you’re with all the people you love and the drinks are flowing, and you just end up having three, four or five drinks too many (lol). That’s not always a bad thing… But the hangovers definitely made it hard the next day to exercise, eat well, be productive, or feel my best. I am ALL about feeling my best and making it easy to stay on track with my health and fitness routine, so I just want to cut out alcohol for the month of January to see how I feel. I have a feeling I will be super proud of myself and love this alcohol-free life, but I don’t want to get carried away and never drink again (you know I’m extreme like that), so this month is sort of just a test and a fun little challenge.
(BTW, if you follow me on Snapchat — username jojoyounger — then you know I got pretty wild on NYE. I was basically still hungover until yesterday. Really ready to let that side of me go for the month.)
And then there’s sugar! My reasons for cutting this one out are a little more obvious. In working with my nutritionist Kelly of Be Well by Kelly, I have learned a lot about how sugar spikes our blood sugar levels, making our hormones go all out of whack and messing with our hunger cues. I also have a major sweet tooth, so when I crave sugar I crave it pretty ravenously. Like, if I have a craving for frozen yogurt I absolutely need to fulfill that craving within a short window of time or else I’ll feel like I’m going crazy.
It’s pretty nuts to think about how much food can affect our bodies like that. I hate the thought of being dictated by my cravings and feeling like I have no control over what my body wants. I have had to be very careful about this for the last year and a half because my main priority has been to recover from my eating disorder. Now I feel like I am finally in a place where I can start saying “no” to a lot of those cravings and previously off-limits desserts/foods, because I know I am not depriving myself but rather just trying to feel my best and be my healthiest self.
There is a huge difference between straight up restriction and just creating boundaries so that you can feel awesome. If I didn’t feel like I had a problem with sugar, I wouldn’t cut it out. But I do feel like I am so extreme and that cutting it out will work wonders on my energy levels and how I feel overall. Plus, it’s a great way to challenge myself in a healthy way without going overboard and putting another label on my diet.
Now, for the question you are probably all bubbling over with right now… How to do this without getting super restrictive again?
How to Find Balance & Not Go Overboard When Cutting Things Out of Your Diet:
There are a few ways I plan on doing this…
- Sharing my experience openly on the blog with you guys, so that I can hold myself accountable and also talk about it and not keep it all to myself. I often feel that when someone has a goal and they don’t talk to people about it, that’s when the obsession and guilt starts to kick in. I don’t want to obsess about this at all, so I am just going to remain honest and open about how it goes for me. A lot of my restrictive thoughts during my eating disorder were ALL in my head… And if I would have shared them a lot sooner I could have nipped them in the bud before they got really bad.
- I am not going to be a psycho about it. If I am in a situation this month where I truly want to sip on a cocktail or have a bite of a dessert, I am not going to FORCE myself not to. If the desire is legitimate and the situation is right, then I can feel good about my decision. What I am trying to eliminate here is the mindless snacking on sugar and the overindulgence on alcohol when I may have not even felt like drinking in the first place. I am going to be confident about saying “no” when I don’t want it, but if it’s going to get in the way of my life in one or two situations I can let up on myself.
- Remembering WHY I am doing this. I am not doing this for any extreme reason of being sober for life or sugar-free for the rest of time… I am doing it to see how I feel and to give my body/liver a little detox for the month. These things aren’t off limits to me for all of time, and that’s the extreme mentality I will have to push back against if I start to feel those old thoughts of mine creeping up on me.
- Filling the “empty” space from no sugar/alcohol with all sorts of other healthy, flourishing, awesome things so I don’t feel their absence. I will have more nights in doing things I love like writing, reading, watching documentaries about serial killers (yes, I am serious), AND I will get up early to exercise more frequently because lately with all the nights out and drinking waking up early has been nearly impossible. And I have my MARATHON to keep training for that’s coming up in February, so I couldn’t imagine a more perfect time
SO! What do you think? Does anyone want to do this with me? I know it might sound a little extreme for someone like me who is already extreme… but I feel that it’s time to prove to myself I can make healthy, sustainable changes in my life without having to worry about developing orthorexia again or becoming obsessive. Perhaps that’s my overarching reason for doing this and the huge reason why I am so thrilled to do this and proud of myself for taking the leap.
Would love the support of any/all of you who want to join! I will also be sharing more details of my experience in my TBB Tribe Newsletter — so sign up there if you haven’t yet!! XO