1/5th — Foundation work
1/5th — Exercise
3/5ths — Diet
I wanted to talk a little bit about the foundation work. That little slice of the pie can look very different for different people.
For me, the first part of the foundation was coming to grips with why I put on the weight to begin with (suffering the loss of my nana and my mother). I needed to understand that trauma before I could effect any meaningful change in my life. Otherwise, I'd be doomed to repeat the coping mechanism of eating over and over again. I spent a good year in therapy to deal with my anxiety and did more work with my dietician to help understand the relationship between food and my sadness/need for connection.
The second part of my foundation had to do with coming to grips with my health and my body metrics. I'm still going through this; starting over as someone with Celiac Disease and what that means for my diet and how I need to compensate. But when I was first starting out, I think I needed to exhaust myself of all the excuses that absolved me of responsibility (such as a thyroid condition). I needed to accept that my body was the result of my choices. I needed to know my baselines -- my body chemistry, my body measurements (weight and tape measure) and my physical ability.
The third part was about changing my environment, my patterns, and my relationships. It's not fun to take a look at your life and realize all the places that are pitfalls. I had to own all the places in my life where I was able to make better choices but didn't -- because it was easy, it was what I always did, or what everyone was doing. I had to be selfish and say "If I want my life to change, I need to change these things in my life." And there was a lot of pain here as well as catharsis. Doing this created space in my life to add things that would not only benefit me but benefit the people I cared about.
And the fourth part (that used to be its own category) is what I like to call "recovery." I said that I integrated it into each category -- and it looks different in each category. Foundation recovery is giving yourself the permission to take care of yourself and to let go of the rest. Let go of the pain that disables you, let go of the grudge that eats away at you, let go of the people that bring you more sorrow than joy. And then let go of the guilt of letting go. Know that you can do these things and still survive.
I've been talking to my dad about his foundation, his path. I said this to him privately, but I'll say this to you all (and to him) right here -- "I want your heart and mind to embrace this process. Nothing to fear or avoid." If you lay the foundation right, everything else becomes a product of self-discovery, of joy, of pride. And none of it is because you're punishing yourself. And that's what makes this time different than all the other times.