Day 1 of this photo was January 31. I had just finished my second Whole30, and this was actually an “after” photo. I was proud (and still am) of my progress up to that point. I was wearing an XXL shirt on the left; it’s a Medium on the right. I still can’t believe how much my body has changed in the last 188 days!
I realized today that I’ve been AltShifting for over 6 months. Thanks to the AltShift Diet Facebook group, Jason Seib’s periscopes, the AltShift podcast, and the AltShit Like a Pro webinar, I’ve learned a ton during this time.
Sure, my body looks different, which is definitely cool. But what I’ve learned during this time — and the positive changes I’ve made in my head — mean SO MUCH MORE.
I am not selling anything. I am getting nothing for sharing this. Most of it isn’t my words anyway; it’s just me regurgitating all the truth bombs Jason has dropped. But here’s what I’ve learned:
First-and-foremost, I’ve learned to keep my focus on HEALTH and “living the way I want to look”.
I’ve learned that when I focus on health and when I live my life this way, everything else falls into place. There’s no room or need for things like sugar or grains or Dr Pepper or going on a donut binge,or even the less obvious things like stevia or “paleo treats” or gluten-free beers or “cheat days”. I’ve learned that I cannot eat those things AND be healthy and fit. I’ve learned that the temporary rush I get from eating those things does not compare to how great I feel when I don’t eat that junk. I eat food that makes me feel good; that makes me healthier. Since my focus is on health, it’s easy for me to just keep living this way. Nothing else is worth it.
I’ve learned that willpower is a muscle. I do not have any more willpower than anyone else. The more I flex that muscle, the more everything I’m doing [read: ‘this life I’m living’] becomes habit, and the easier it is. This lifestyle becomes my lifestyle. It’s second nature.
I’ve learned that if I make a mistake, the very next bite of food can (and will) get me back on track. Instead of dwelling or beating myself up or going on a bagel bender, I learn from my mistake and just keep shifting on, without “looking in my rear view mirror”.
If I choose to eat something off plan, I do not consider it “cheating” (not even in my head) because I am mindful of everything I do, and this includes what I eat — AND what I THINK about what I’m eating. The concept of “cheating” is never a positive thing. I choose to live — and think — positively.
I’ve learned how much power my thoughts have over me. Spoiler: thoughts are EVERYTHING.
I’ve learned that how I think about myself matters. That WHAT I think about matters. That if I’m going to love myself and be my own best friend, I need to speak as kindly to myself as I do to other people I love. That referring to myself as “fat”, even in my head or even as a joke, is destructive. That focusing on negatives and flaws is NOT what I do with people I love, therefore NOT what I do about myself.
I’ve learned to NEVER speak negatively about my body, or pinch at my fat, or point out my cellulite, or complain about how my clothes fit, or show ANY disgust towards my body in front of my kids. I’ve realized that this will set them up to have poor body image as well. I show them that I love myself, that I’m kind to myself, and that I take care of myself… which (I hope) will teach them to love themselves, too.
I’ve learned that meditation is not just something yogis and monks and hippies do… it’s a powerful game-changer. Being mindful and present is incredibly empowering. I’ve also learned that meditation is a lot of work. Some days it’s way harder than others, just like any other exercise.
I’ve learned that walking feels really, really good. Especially after getting fitted for better bras that actually fit (ha!). It’s how we are meant to move. And that it’s addictive and relaxing and fun.
I’ve learned that conventional wisdom, when it comes to food, is CRAZY WRONG. That dietary fat and cholesterol are good for us. That flavor is a legit drug. That prioritizing taste over health is crazy. And that the “food pyramid” is making America sick and obese and the opposite of healthy.
I’ve learned that every diet will “work” until my body adapts. I’ve also learned that the definition of “works” is subjective… and I no longer believe that all of those unsustainable diets “work” because they cannot produce long term health.
I’ve learned to recognize how nourished I feel when I feed my body to fuel my life. I’ve learned to identify hunger and satiety. If I’m hungry, it’s because I need to eat more food.
I’ve learned that conventional wisdom regarding exercise is also wrong. That steady state cardio is bad for our bodies, our joints, our adrenals. That exercising with the intent to “burn calories” is a ridiculous goal on one end of an unsustainable yo-yo.
I’ve learned that lifting weights and learning how to properly move, is so much better for current AND future health, and that being strong feels great!
I’ve learned to ignore my scale. The number corresponding to my gravitational pull is useless.
I’ve learned that consignment and thrift stores are THE place to shop. Because my wallet cannot keep up with how fast my pant size keeps decreasing.
I’ve learned that my body is, and always has been, the perfect body for me. It has given me everything I’ve needed, whenever I needed it. I’ve learned to have gratitude for every breath and every step. I’ve learned to celebrate my successes.
I never feel deprived because I focus on ALL of the positives… the rewards, the things I’m learning, the foods I CAN eat, the things my body can now do, how great I feel, how clear my skin is, how much more energy I have, how much better I handle stress.
AltShift has never been hard for me, but I think that has a lot to do with my perspective.
I’ve allowed this to become habit. This is simply how I live now.
I had to get a new driver’s license and was shocked when I compared my old and new photos!