Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Liberating and Empowering - Part II

Yesterday I mentioned the Whole Life Challenge --

I know I've been mentioning it a lot lately, partly because it's starting on the 13th of September and mainly because it really has had a massive positive impact on my life. There's still time to join me and a few other members of my team (along with thousands of people worldwide) in this 8-week challenge - one that literally changed my life and may change yours too. Read more about the rules here and if you're interested, register for my team here.

What I really want to talk about in this post is what elements of the challenge made me feel liberated and empowered.

First of all, the discipline of following a challenge for the entire 8 weeks was definitely empowering. I committed to something and I stuck to it. Once I got it in my mind that I was going to do this, nothing changed my mind. I was not tempted by any foods. I was not swayed by any friends. I was fully focused. I may not have been perfect, but any imperfections were a result of my own choices.

Understanding that it was all in my hands was the second empowering discovery. I got rid of all those notions of having to eat a certain thing or a certain way to satisfy somebody else.

My family doesn't eat the same way I do.
I don't want to be a rude guest.
I don't want to be the one to spoil the mood at the party because I didn't eat/drink with them.

While these may be challenging situations, they are still manageable. You just have to understand and accept that the decision to make the change may be slightly uncomfortable (and often just to yourself). Don't let these types of thoughts (excuses) get in the way of what you really want to achieve. The discomfort is often just temporary, and usually it is because what you're doing is something new and not because it is actually physically uncomfortable.

There was a time when I was cooking different meals for myself versus others. I would go to parties and family gatherings and politely decline food. I would go to restaurants with friends and be one of 'those' people who asks questions about ingredients and food prep before ordering.

Did I get criticized? I sure did! Many, many people were negative and critical. They would make fun of me. They would tell me, 'Go on, just have one.' I was told I wasn't fun anymore. I was told that I was being too strict. I was told I was crazy (the label I hated the most).

I had to steel myself against these criticisms. I had to be strong. I tried to explain what I was doing, but very few people understood. Well, actually they just didn't take the time to really listen. For the most part, I just smiled and politely declined.

I did find myself socializing a bit less once I started the challenge. It was a bit sad, but honestly, I was so busy with everything else in my life and the challenge (planning food, grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, exercising, eating right) that it didn't matter. The best part was that each week I was noticing a difference in myself. I was getting stronger, leaner, and finally thinner! I knew this wasn't a weight loss challenge, but the consequences of cleaning up my diet and being disciplined was showing in the exact ways I wanted them to show.

I was loving it!

Didn't go to a party and have a slice of cake or a glass of wine? No problem! I was dropping dress sizes! :)

Here's the good news -- after some time (actually after the 2nd time I did the challenge), people started getting it. They started to see how I maintained most of the changes I made on the WLC even after the challenge. They started to see how it really was a lifestyle for me - not just a trend I wanted to follow.

I mastered the art of rejection -- I would call hosts beforehand and explain to them that I was doing this challenge and to please not be offended if I didn't partake in the food/drink and that I would come just for the company. I would ask those I felt more comfortable with if they would mind me bringing my own food. I had people wondering what it was I was eating so I would invite them over and cook a Whole Life Challenge friendly FEAST -- and they would see it all in action.

Can you see how this was all liberating and empowering?

I was no longer a slave to food. I knew I had the strength to say no. I was living my life the way I wanted to and I didn't look for anybody else's approval.

It was fantastic. I chose the direction that I wanted to live my life and I went ahead and did it … and those that loved me most were so supportive. As for those who criticized … well, to each their own, right?

In the end, it doesn't matter. I knew I had to continue what I was doing because I was doing this for ME.

More on that tomorrow …


  1. wonderful post...making healthy food choices is definitely empowering, the more you do it the more people around you start accepting these changes and I have noticed a few people actually making similar changes..

  2. So true! I see the same changes around me too :)


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