‘Tis the season of celebrations, festivities, and abundant opportunities to indulge. This perfect storm of excess may lead many of us to toss our wellness habits to the backburner and plan to begin our new, perfect, healthy, Instagram-worthy life come the new year. I was no stranger to this declaration in the past (okay, Instagram didn’t exist back then, but the intention was the same). In all honesty, my desire to change my entire life was the seed that bloomed into the idea to untap my sparkle. Luckily, I eventually learned that changing every aspect of my self and my life was very different than the real journey to untap my sparkle.
While the desire to make grand change is built on the best intentions, it can sometimes lead us into the shadowy territory of throwing our wellness priorities out the window until the day arrives that we assigned “Day 1 of MY NEW, HEALTHY, PERFECT LIFE”. Selecting a date in the future to change my life was often a “free pass” to go on a serious food/drink/unhealthy-habit binge. Without realizing, I was setting myself up to make “starting my new, perfect, healthy life” that much more difficult. I was pushing the goal line farther away before I even began making change.
Here is the thing – even as I write this, I am promoting the incredibly exciting new group coaching program #Whole30MakesMeSparkle. I recognize how easy and tempting it can be to say “F it!” to health, habits, and all things balance from now through the end of the year. For the record, starting a Whole30 on January 1 (I do hope you will join us!) is not the day you are starting your life over. That is the day when you kick off a new experiment to support you in building on the beautiful foundation of sparkle that is already radiating from within you! Meaning, the next few weeks don’t need to be a sugar and booze fueled bender, but rather a joyous time of holiday celebration where you live your life, knowing that in addition to your current wellness and self-care habits, you are also making plans to continue to untap your sparkle into 2018.
When I started to shift away from my old black and white thinking about the holiday free-for-all (which, real talk, is no easy task and still takes effort), I began to see how I was setting myself up for that cycle of self-hatred, guilt, shame and “F it”. I would eat ALL THE THINGS with no recognition of what I actually desired, as though each gathering or celebration was my last meal before execution. By the time the holiday season was closing, my body would be screaming for mercy. The interesting part to me now is that when I found myself on “Day 1 of MY NEW, HEALTHY, PERFECT LIFE”, my body and brain were so accustomed to the numbing process of the holiday binge that any change I tried to make led me to extreme withdrawal, hanger (hunger + anger), irritability, and just overall unpleasantness. By giving myself a “free pass” to lean into my number one vice, I was creating an environment that made it damn near impossible to stick to the habits that were going to create this new perfect life of my dreams.
The cycle would continue.
This year, when I begin the Untap Your Sparkle January Whole30: #Whole30MakesMeSparkle (Register now!), I know that I won’t have weeks of damage to undo before I even begin untapping my sparkle further. I will fully enjoy time with my loved ones, and yes, that will include foods and beverages that are not in my usual routine. The last week of the year will not be a regular week, but I will work hard to mindfully experience every minute of those days with friends and family. The key here is that I won’t spend the entire month of December waist deep in cookies, candy, chips, and queso. A part of my sparkle is recognizing that I am an adult. I am allowed to eat anything that I truly want, any time I want. There is no need to act like every meal is the last meal of my life.
I now know how amazing I feel when I mindfully enjoy holiday celebrations with my loved ones instead of going on a month long binge. This awareness eases the process to build on my sparkle when I decide to kick off a reset like #Whole30MakesMeSparkle. In fact, because I know how great Whole30 makes me feel, and how much I love learning about my health, habits, and relationship with food, I find myself looking forward to January more than ever. Over the past few years I have found that a January Whole30 really does set up my year for more sparkle.
Are you ready to sparkle? I have a feeling the Untap Your Sparkle January Whole30 is going to be really special. Let’s sparkle together in 2018!