Why Freelee's Challenge?
I started Freelee's Challenge 100 days ago because I was inspired by Freelee and Rawfruitygoddess to focus on long-term commitment. At that time, there were tons of threads started by young women freaking out because they had been on the diet a few weeks and they were gaining weight. These discussions really helped me see how pervasive the disordered eating mindset is in our culture. Many of us unquestioningly believe that our self-worth is determined by how we look above all, and that health is secondary to "beauty."
I knew that I had honestly been there myself. I had resisted the idea that I needed to eat more fruit for years, because secretly I wanted to lose weight as fast as possible. Ironically, calorie-restriction (even moderate calorie-restriction) led me to have massive cravings and I would then binge on SAD foods. So I never lost weight, anyway.
I decided to commit to this lifestyle 100% for a whole year. And 100% means always doing my best, even if it is not perfect.
What have been some successes of Freelee's Challenge?
1) 22 days out of 100 have been fully raw. That is more raw days than I have had in the last 5 years put together.
2) I have gotten tons of e-mails, comments, and new friends out of this. Not a day goes by when someone offers me support, encouragement, and good suggestions. Many have let me know that I have inspired them in some way, and that means so much to me! I feel like I have a purpose to help others and that makes my journey so meaningful and powerful. There have been days when I felt like giving up, but the community here brought me back with their love.
What are some lessons from the past 100 days?
1) Never give up. If you have a bad meal or a bad day, dust yourself off and move on to the next positive step. If you did 90 things right and 10 things wrong today, why focus on the 10 things you did wrong and beat yourself up? Resistance and negative energy makes it more difficult to shift bad habits. Pay more attention to the things you are doing right than the things you are doing wrong.
2) Be grateful and enjoy what you can in your life. I used to be a person who was always fantasizing about the life I was going to have when I had more money or my children were grown or when I could move. Now I enjoy the things I have in this present moment. It's a lot more fun. My daily pleasures list helps me remember how much I have to be grateful for.
3) Eat enough calories. Eat enough calories. Eat enough calories.
4) Find a higher power and ask for guidance. If you are like me, and the idea of prayer brings up childhood trauma or feelings of revulsion, then go for a hike in the woods or sit by a body of water. Focus on the beauty of the natural world. Before long, you will feel the connection to that higher power. You will begin to trust your intuition and feel safe.
What is coming up in the next 100 days?
I am committing to 21 days salt-free. Normally I shy away from making long commitments like this, because of my track record of falling down. I don't want to give myself another opportunity to feel like a failure.
But at this point, I have a track record of 100 days of successes. I have had no binges and no animal products in the last 100 days. I feel guided to release my salt addiction and am going to do whatever it takes with the help of my Higher Power to do the next 21 days without salt.