As you may know, I'm really into optimizing my life from a health perspective, especially when it comes to trying out different ways of eating. I was an omnivore growing up: I never had to thinkg about my weight or the way I ate (although altering my diet could perhaps have helped with the teenage acne) - I just had whatever I wanted and stayed slender without much exercise.
Since those fast metabolism teenage years, I've been in a rollercoaster ride with both my mental and physical health, my ways of eating and my weight. I've gone from that omnivore into vegan and everything-but-chicken and paleo and keto and no-sugar and now carnivore. Each time I change my diet I'm trying to fix a health issue: trying to get healthier, trying to get my body to function properly, trying to fix mood issues.
All this has lead me to a place in my head where all I think is food. Can I eat dairy? Can I use garlic? If I have tahini, will my problems come back?
Somehow, quite sneakingly, I have started identifying with what I can or cannot eat.
And that is why this podcast by Christina Rice struck a chord when I listened to it today. She is a holistic nutritional therapy practitioner and on this particular episode of her podcast Wellness Realness she talks about the real reasons you're not achieving your health goals, including identifying with your illness, victimizing yourself, staying sick because it's easier than change, and finding your true identity outside of food or exercise.
While I knew all the things she spoke of (being the psychology freak that I am), I had seemed to let myself forget them. In my head I had let myself become the girl who has to eat carnivore style to avoid infertility. (There, I said it. Keto took my period away. Carnivore gave them back.) Although she speaks of those labels with respect to your circle of influence, I actually haven't told anyone but my partner the real reason I'm a carnivore. (Actually, I don't think I've told anyone I'm a carnivore to begin with.) So for me, the label isn't in the eyes of other people. The label is in my head alone.
I'm trying hard to eat and exercise in a way that I stay fertile and won't gain weight (I have a massive fear for getting a double chin) and have a good mood at all times and not get acne again and not over eat ever again. Carnivore seems to work for all of these, but I find vegetables so much more delicious than meat that I notice myself often - far too often - wondering if I should try some vegetables again. I should know better by now. But I don't. Because I have identified myself with my nutrition issues.
I also think a part of me massively enjoys the attention I'm getting from myself because of this health and diet thing. I mean, I don't have to pay so much attention to the truly important things - my life's work for example - if I give some of it to my health. And of course a part of my psyche, the part that Steven Pressfield would call Resistance, wants me to quit the work and dedicate all my focus on this health issue. Because it's easier. And a part of me feels important that way.
So in case I didn't say it already -
STOP FREAKING VICTIMIZING YOURSELF! You're not your illness or your health issue or your diet or your exercise regimen. You're so much more. You don't need to give into that victim attitude. You can start to talk to yourself in such language that enforces the identity you truly have - be that whatever you want.
I'm the girl who has to eat carnivore style to avoid infertility and who gets mood swings from broccoli I am intelligent, relentless, compassionate, loyal, and entrepreneurial. I get stronger with adversity. I'm the woman who places nothing above the verdict of her own mind and who takes full responsibility of everything that happens in her life. I'm the sister who doesn't judge. I'm the partner who is a challenge.
But first and foremost, I'm a person whose life's work is to write and publish over 100 novels in her life. (7 done, >93 to go.)
Now you go.