Why Kale + Quinoa Won’t Save The World

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I used to be a nutritionist. I’d write lengthy protocols for clients, listing supplements and foods they could eat to help heal their high blood pressure, or their diabetes, or their depression.

What they didn’t know, was that what needed healing was their happiness.

They could live on a diet of seeds and organic spinach and drop the weight, clear up their skin, and have more energy. But when it came down to it, those results usually weren’t enough. They were left still feeling a hunger for something more, and often diets (even whole foods non-diet diets) fail because people reach their goal, and they  still have a deep wound within them. They figure if they’re gonna be unhappy either way, they may as well be allowed to stuff their faces with Oreos, so they turn to food again.

There’s this thing called the arrival fallacy, a belief that once you reach a certain destination or goal, you’ll be happy. Once you lose that last 20 pounds, or quit the job you hate, or find a boyfriend, you’ll be totally blissed out and will stay that way for the rest of your days.

FALSE.

It’s been called a fallacy because it’s not true (duh). Life’s a journey, not a destination, and all that jazz.

If you don’t do the work to get to the core of what’s bringing you down, you’ll always be searching, searching, searching without  a flashlight for the next goal, the next achievement, to fill the gaping hole that you’re neglecting, somewhere deeper inside you.

As a nutritionist, I learned that a diet of kale + quinoa will not solve all of your problems. 

And as a coach, I’ve learned that it’s not often the outcome of a choice  itself that brings a person happiness. Rather, it’s who they become in the process of living life by choice that leads to the deeper changes necessary to bring sustainable happiness.

What I always loved about nutrition was that it was a way for people to consciously choose how they wanted to live their lives. More than the wacky new health foods or the long list of vitamins and minerals, what makes the biggest impact is the CHOICE you are making to step up and live your life the way you want it to be lived. Without this conviction, kale + quinoa are going to taste bitter (No seriously. Have you had kale lately? Though let’s face it, it’s not nearly as bas as arugula. Ugh)

Do the work to figure your shit out, and I promise, the weight will melt off, the perfect partner will show up, and you won’t be doomed to a life of  always looking for your next sugar hit.

My version of “figuring your shit out” is helping people figure out their perfect Uncaged career – the one that lets them live on their own terms. Hit me up here to figure out yours.

xx becca

Read 18 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. Mike

    great post Becca! I find the whole idea of the arrival fallacy so interesting. When I first read that sentence, my immediate thought was “yup, you have to enjoy the journey as you make changes”. I totally saw this fallacy take shape in my climbing, as I endeavored to climb a certain grade. When I reached that arbitrary number, I didn’t feel like I had accomplished much. I felt like I had so much more to do! Feeling this arrival fallacy has really helped me understand that, in so many parts of my life, the journey is something to be savoured, not tolerated.

  2. Angela

    Hi Becca,

    I love your posts. I consider them my fresh, weekly wake-up calls. I also completely agree with this one. While eating healthy is super important, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
    Do you know of any examples of people who have “figured out their shit”? (besides yourself i suppose :)
    I guess I’m looking for stories of inspiration, of how others did it. Or maybe a post on how to get to the core of your issues so you can start living (you have definitely posted on this many times but I can never get enough).
    ox

  3. Where’s the “like” button? :)

  4. I don’t have any good thoughts to add to this, but just wanted to say I really enjoyed this article. Thanks Becca.

  5. Rebecca

    Thanks Ange!

    As for examples of people who have moved beyond their circumstances and created their own happiness – yes, I know many. And I can see that you’re hungry for proof, for inspiration… and until YOU believe it can happen and want it for yourself, no amount of names I could list would suffice.

    I’ll think about how I can write about this in a post. And the best advice I have right now is to work with a coach! Not me, as I think you’d do better with someone you don’t know… if you’re interested send me an email and I can refer you to a few options :)

  6. Rebecca

    Thanks Karol :)

  7. Peter

    Hi Rebecca :)

    I think so much of our society is built up on this notion of “comparisons” and the only way that we hold something up to be great is that if we compare it to something else. When we monopolize something, all we are doing is removing any chance of comparisons – imagine there only being one light bulb for sale from one brand, sure as hell it might make life simple!

    Same thing goes with the “Life’s a Journey, not a destination” argument – people spend too much time doing the comparisons. “If only my life was like this persons.” I’m sure a lot of people would find much more happiness avoiding the comparisons and simply focusing on what you CAN do. Your right, a healthy diet won’t save the world. Sure it will allow people to have a better life but as long as we keep on comparing, it’s never going to be good enough.

  8. Love this article.
    I just started a little “Un-Diet Movement”;) because I’m so tired of the belief that deprivation and hating your body and beating yourself up is the key to happiness! I’m a health coach and psychotherapist, and I am 100% certain that there is no perfect diet that will save the world (or any one person for that matter). You said it so beautifully, and I am sharing this over on my FB page;)

  9. Rebecca

    Karen, thanks for sharing! I love the concept of your website – especially since my mother suffered chronic anorexia from the time I was in grade 3 until she eventually died from it in 2008. The work you’re doing is important on so many levels.

    And that elusive ‘perfect diet’ – it exists. It’s called love. (mixed with chocolate) : )

  10. Rebecca

    Love that you brought up comparison. Often we just want what we can’t have. So we go to any means to get it, only to realize that we were better off where we were. Thanks for the insight.

  11. Tad

    better beer and franks
    with cheer and thanks
    than sprouts and bread
    with doubt and dread

  12. Rebecca

    Amen.

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