Fresh starts, clean slates, new beginnings and do overs: these are powerful things. Whether it’s a move, a break up, a brand new morning, or a vow renewal. We all need a cleansing Fresh Start sometimes.
I’m at the starting over place. The need for starting over has been a few months in the making- the slippery slope of poor choices: eating whatever I wanted, smoking too much and generally not taking care of myself. I’ve tried a few times to start over by quitting smoking and making better choices with food and every time I’ve ended up right where I began: full of self loathing and making the same shitty choices. I’ll be honest, it’s been a pretty disappointing time, but not disappointing enough for me to quit starting over. The thing about this disappointing time is that I determined that one of my Fresh Starts was eventually going to stick. So I didn’t quit trying and I gave every attempt at a Fresh Start all I had.
So, I started over. Again.
Last week I quit smoking cigarettes (I can hear the angels singing the hallelujah chorus. Never mind, that’s just the sound of my mom not nagging me) which was the first thing I needed to do in order to get to the true Fresh Start. And a few days ago, I started (for the 10th time) a Whole30. I’ve only actually completed only one Whole30, even though I’ve started 10 of them, but I started my second (11th?) Whole30.
This particular Fresh Start is actually about returning to the place where I felt the best about myself in the past couple of years and the best I’ve felt about myself is during and immediately after my (only) Whole30 in March 2013. Whole30 was so powerful for me because I had to have a set apart time where I could not use food (sweets especially) as a coping mechanism. I’ve come to the place where I realize all the sneaky things that I use to cope with my emotions- instead of actually coping with my emotions. Food and cigarettes are two of those things, so starting over this time looked like me not using either of those things to manage my emotions.
I humbly start again believing with everything in me that the power of a Fresh Start is that there’s new power every single time I try. Whether I’ve failed at 2000 Whole30’s or I’ve quit smoking 790 times, there’s new power every. single.time. And today, I’ll take the power of that and use it to get through today. I’ll keep believing in myself even when my history doesn’t reflect perfection. I’ll keep trying to succeed even when I fall flat.
For my birthday, my BFF got me
an item almost everything from my wishlist. My favorite gift from her though, was this giving key. The word she chose was “BELIEVE” and her amazing card explained why (which I have kept in the spirit of keeping only things that bring me joy). Anyway, one line of the card said, “and believing that you will win whatever battle you are currently facing”. I wear that key almost everyday as a reminder that I need to believe in myself and keep trying.
My Fresh Start has brought lovely things already. I’m reading my new best friend Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong (how, seriously HOW did I live without Brene?) and in it she mentions Paulo Coelho who says in his book The Alchemist, “when you are on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.” In the mail on the day I started my Whole30 we received our favorite Whole30 snack from my friend Pam. And I just smiled and thought to myself, “I’m on my path. Fresh Start and all. I’m on my path.”