This is it. I’m jumping in.
Of course, I’m not jumping in blind. I’ve read the book (Bright Line Eating) twice. I know what I’m doing. And I’m reading it again. Cause I’m sure there are things I missed, things I’ve forgotten, and things I just didn’t pay enough attention to. And this is not the time to be sloppy.
Preparation is Key
I’ve seen my doctors – my family doctor and my naturopath. All are on board. I have my before pictures. I don’t have a kitchen of my own to clean out, but my dorm room at school and my room in my parents’ house, where I’ll be spending the summer studying for exams, are clean. Not a speck of NMF to be found.
I have all the stuff:
- a digital food scale – and an old-fashioned analog, which I like using because any time I can forego electricity, I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside
- food containers – some plastic for travelling, but mostly glass, because I am a naturopath, after all
- a food journal, which makes me happy because it matches the BLE book’s colour scheme
- a gratitude journal, which is really just my normal journal (I write a lot)
- a bathroom scale – not a high quality digital scale, but it’ll do
All I’m missing is a 5-year journal. I’m still debating that one. I can see the utility of it, but really, how many journals can I be expected to keep? I already have the 2. Plus this blog. Plus my dream journal. And a nice 5-year journal is not cheap – and I know myself well enough to say that if it’s not nice, I won’t write in it. If anyone’s used a 5-year journal, I’d love to hear about your experience with it. Is it worth the money and the commitment?
Other preparations: I have social support! Massive social support. I have my Facebook group, Bright Line Eating Canadians. Which is awesome, by the way. And I am now part of a dedicated Mastermind group. Highly recommended. Without my Mastermind group, I would not have found the courage to step on the scale again. I didn’t have it in myself. I borrowed from them. ( I love you ladies! )
I also have plans. 3 meals, already portioned out, for the next 4 days. More in the freezer for several days after that – I’ll just have to buy more fruit. And an Emergency Action Plan, in my purse, ready to be pulled out and used at the first sign of weakness.
I’m posting this at the beginning of the day, so I can’t say exactly how it will turn out. But I’ve already resisted Easter candy left at my door without a second thought, and I’m not expecting any temptations more difficult than that. I’m at school, so my day will be full, which always helps.
I don’t see how I could be any better prepared. But I’m still scared.
I’ve done this so many times. I’ve failed this so many times. This one has to be different. It will be different. I tell myself that. I pray desperately for that. And I cling to the hope that it is possible.
I’m doing this. It just has to be done. I do not want to live the rest of my life this way. It’s not worth it. The food lies. And I don’t have to listen to it anymore.
This is me psyching myself up. Mental preparation, in addition to all the practical considerations. Which is really important, considering the fact that there will be a mental war going on inside my brain for the next few days. Maybe weeks. The rational side has to win. I need to build it up with every ounce of strength I can funnel to it.
And – I think this is key – I need to deal with my shame.
I don’t want to get rid of it. It’s a part of me, and it’s an appropriate emotion.
We feel shame when we do something we’re not proud of. Something we know we shouldn’t do. Things that hurt others, or that hurt ourselves.
Our culture tends to shove shame into a corner, to demonize it, as if it is something to be eradicated. Something with no place in civilized society. But deep down, we know this is wrong. To be shameless is not something we admire. We don’t want to be like people who ignore their own faults, who delude themselves into believing they’re perfect. Obviously, we are not. We can all improve. We have the potential to be better than we are. To deny that is to deny ourselves the opportunity to grow.
Shame – uncomfortable as it is – is what exposes those parts of ourselves that we need to clean up. And motivates us to do what is necessary. The same way that pain drives us away from things that can harm us.
The problem is when, instead of allowing shame to propel us into action, we hide from it. We shove the dirty laundry under the bed, instead of cleaning it. We close the blinds so we can’t see the accumulated dust and grime. I know, because I do that all the time. My first instinct is always to hide. To escape the scrutiny of my own conscience. To shut the doors and block out the world and drown out my thoughts by whatever means necessary.
That is not dealing with shame. That is fearing it. Allowing it to rule my life. Instead of using it for what it was intended: to let it shine a spotlight on the things I need to change.
Don’t think I’m being too hard on myself. I know why I hid from the shame: because I felt utterly unable to deal with the problems it exposed. They were too big for me to handle. And it’s not like I didn’t try. As I wrote yesterday, I tried a lot. And failed, a lot. Hiding was a self-protective mechanism. I don’t blame myself for that. And I don’t blame those who try the other route – defying shame, by embracing and celebrating the aspects of themselves that they don’t believe they can change, no matter how unhealthy they are. People do what they need to do, to survive.
But now, I have a solution. Possibly THE solution. BLE has offered me hope unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. It’s obviously not easy. It’s a lot of work, especially to begin with. And I feel incredibly weak, at the moment. But it is possible. And if I don’t try again, I will continue to be eaten up by shame. That’s no way to live. So I can’t keep hiding from it. I need to use the shame to motivate me. To give me the determination necessary to get through these first few weeks – the headaches, the fatigue, the cravings.
So I’m not beating myself up. I’m not even angry with myself. But I’m recognizing the need to change. And I’m going to do it. No excuses. No delays. This is happening.
And honestly, I feel better already.