Lifestyle Changes Require Starting Over

Updated: Jul 18


Eating healthy is not about being perfect 100% of the time, it is more about getting back to it, even after setbacks. When I made a commitment to eating healthy, I did not expect to have to identify and deal with personal addiction. In our society, the word addiction is itself weakening to the character and I find myself seldom willing to accept such a label when talking in the first person. From sugar to caffeine, salt, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol, there are so many ingredients that can keep us psychologically, and in some cases physically, dependent on our indulgences; especially when eating becomes a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, or depression.


The truth is many of us live with addictions; they are all serious, they are all difficult to overcome. Most addictions, if they don't require medical attention when being treated, can be faced time and time again. I had to accept that it is an addiction. It's not that I was not trying hard enough, I was and yet, I kept giving in. If I couldn't stick to it, I assumed that I failed and will probably fail again, so why bother. I had to find a drive to do it again and again and to keep trying no matter what.


I knew I had to face my food addictions and call them by a proper name. That realization took time to settle in and it was not an easy pill to swallow. Holding myself to a high standard was always a grueling part of me, thus admitting to myself that I was not in charge made me feel weak and powerless. I started closing up inside myself. I saw fitness memes that friends posted as a personal attack, whether they were directed at me or not. I saw healthy people as preachy and insensitive. So now, years later, nothing has changed except my state of mind. Instead of a million excuses for my food addiction, there is feeling of readiness and acceptance that this is no longer a part of me that I am willing to continue to foster. Though this might seem like a small feat to some, it was important for me to take this step. It was important because instead of giving up at the first sign of failure, I've given myself a reason to start over right again and again.


If you too have fallen into the endless in and outs of old habits, always remember that it is not too late to to start over. Taking a few steps back does not mean you stop moving forward. Like a good friend told me: "Failure is part of the process."


By Dasha Smirnova