Letting Go and Looking Forward
As we look forward to a new year and a new decade, our founder, Jeni Hall, shares her thoughts on letting go and looking forward to a new a brighter future.
A few years ago, I made a major move, from a big, spacious house, to a small apartment. It wasn’t just a move, it was a serious down-sizing. I had to let go of a lot. Much of it, to be honest, had a use or meaning in the past, but had become just “stuff” and the letting go of it all became necessary.
Everything I let go of had meaning to one degree or another. Some things were sentimental from an earlier time, some things had become just “part of the scenery.” Some was easy to let go of (“what was I thinking?!”) Other things stirred up tears, sorrow, laughter… memories.
One of the many lessons I learned (or re-learned) during that experience was that letting go can be very hard. It isn’t inherently so, but because of the emotional attachment we have to our stuff (for good or bad), it can be a challenge. When I focused on what I had to let go of, it was harder. When I shifted my focus to what I had to look forward to, it became easier. Knowing that I couldn’t bring it all with me forced me to make some tough choices yet it made those choices easier to make. In the end, I ended up with me things that I truly used, loved and needed. There was no extra “stuff” and it honestly felt so liberating to not be burdened and surrounded by any of that.
“ When I focused on what I had to let go of, it was harder. When I shifted my focus to what I had to look forward to, it became easier.”
This whole experience made me think of how challenging it can be to change the way we eat in order to help our bodies feel better. If we have a true allergy to a food, it is a no-brainer to let go of that food in order to stay safe and healthy. For most of us, though, the idea of letting go of a food can be a real struggle. Eating processed foods has become the norm. Real food (the kind that has no labels, that you get at a farm or garden, etc.) is eaten less and less in place of processed foods that are more convenient. Since processed foods often contain so many man-made substances which are designed to taste good, but are not necessarily good for you, we get in the habit of eating them regularly, and without a lot of thought. It tastes good, it’s cheap, and it’s convenient. This is a big part of what leads to everything from those aches and pains, to excess weight, lack of energy, etc.
The idea of letting go of foods can feel daunting. We focus on NOT eating something and that makes it a whole lot harder to do. If we switch our focus to what we CAN eat, and how much BETTER we feel, it becomes easier. But, for many, the struggle to get through the letting go process stops the progress before it really begins. Sometimes we don’t even know, or believe, that we can feel better, so we don’t even try. In the process of decluttering my old home, there would often be piles everywhere and it would be very chaotic. That really is an unavoidable part of the process. It is the same with switching from processed to whole, real foods and letting go of foods that make you feel poorly.
“If we switch our focus to what we CAN eat, and how much BETTER we feel, it becomes easier.”
It is important to remember that it is a PROCESS. You can’t really skip that chaotic step. If you know that that it is only temporary, and what comes next is the reward of a clean, clear, healthy body, it really does become easier.
Here’s an experiment you can try: Choose one processed food (or drink) that you consume regularly. See if you can replace it with a real food (or just water) for 1 week. You may or may not notice a difference in your body in that short time, but it is the PRACTICE of letting go of something that is not serving you that is important here.
As I discovered after letting go of so much stuff, I don’t miss anything that isn’t with me now. Maybe you will find that you don’t really miss that processed food, either!
If you’re looking for support in making changes, and want to really understand the what’s and why’s of how the food you eat affects you, consider joining a RESTART® class. There are many classes starting soon, in-person and online! Check out our Instructor Directory for upcoming classes. You’ve got this, and we’re here to support you!