Ok, maybe the title is a bit of hyperbole…but only kind of.
Hello, 2018! New beginnings, resolutions, goals on goals on goals! New Year, New You–isn’t that how it goes?
At the risk of being a party pooper, I have to admit I hate that mantra. As soon as I hear it I feel like a failure of a human who better hurry up and transform into a new and improved version of myself before this entire year is wasted…only two weeks in. New Body, New Diet, New Habits, New Relationships, New Spiritual Practices, New Budget…it’s enough to strike terror into the hearts of even the best life-livers. Perhaps I am allowing my insecurities to lead here, but I can’t help but feel there must be a better (read: healthier) way to achieve self-improvement than pursuing New-Everything. Because, well, I am a self-professed perfectionist and the unhealthy version of me completely buys into the lie that I can start fresh and actually achieve that shiny perfection. Hello. I’m spinning my wheels and it. is. EXHAUSTING.
As is customary for many of us, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks mulling over the year ahead and centering on the things I feel should be my priorities. I don’t want to fall prey to the set-yourself-up-for-failure New You mantra, but I do feel motivated by a fresh start, by the chance to reevaluate and retool my life to better accomplish the things most important to me. What does this have to do with Paleo eating and business? I digress, but we’re getting there!
I covered a lot of mental and emotional territory while trying to determine where to put my energy in 2018. My perfectionism was busy making lists of new habits and self-improvements, jacking up my anxiety to an all time high. I quickly realized my motivating force was broken and based on the lie that I need to DO more, achieve more. Ultimately, I decided it was healthiest to focus on just ONE thing, one thing I knew I could accomplish but would bear fruit in many areas of my life.
So, I decided to dive into eating a Paleo diet. This choice isn’t specifically for weight loss or general health (though, bonus!), but for emotional health. One thing you should know about me, I LOVE TO EAT MY FEELINGS. Food is an escape and a comfort. At my worst it’s a numbing agent, at my best it’s a celebration to be shared with those I love. I love to cook and I love to eat. While crashing into late 2017 on the wake of a less-than-ideal business year, I started to doubt all the sacrifices I’d made to be where I am. The old familiar voices grew loud within me, questioning my worth, my skills, my talent. So, I tossed out my mostly-healthy and gluten free food habits to emotionally indulge in all the tasty things that crop up around the holidays. I mean it–ALL THE THINGS. With every bite of sugary goodness, I felt myself care less and less about the thing I worked hardest for this year. I felt ready to throw in the towel.
Cue Paleo. I started into this journey with one goal in mind, to heal my relationship with food so that my feelings could be felt in other, more productive ways. I now come to you thick in the journey, only 9 days into this reset, but already I have allowed myself healthy space to sort out my thoughts without the blankie of food to comfort me (or smother me, as the case may be). This isn’t an exercise in denying myself as much as it’s a path to nurturing simplicity and healing. It’s raw and it’s good.
I realize my story isn’t uncommon. I have some lovely women in my life who also feel the weight of ineffectively coping using food. The struggle is real. But, there is grace and renewal if we channel ourselves toward growth, intentionality, and sisterhood. Ladies, it takes a village to live this life, so cling to those you love and trust, and hold one another up–it’s truly about Sistering one another. Maybe Paleo eating isn’t your journey, but find what is and make small steps each day that propel you forward. For me, this choice has cleared the emotional deck and allowed me to work through insecurities, ultimately reinvigorating me toward my passion and my business. I’m excited to share some new things out of Elana Grace Photography in 2018! I hope you’ll stick around.