As human beings (yes you are only human), we have a tendency to have a goal, move toward it, and then stumble. Here’s where we are really tested.
I say this because, it is inevitable that you will stumble. The true test is whether or not we can bounce back and continue to move forward despite setbacks.Three steps forward, one step back, three MORE steps forward, one back…
Here’s how this can apply to food:
Oftentimes we commit to a certain diet or way of eating, and we’re doing so WELL that we decide to “reward” ourselves in the form of a snack– maybe it’s a little piece of chocolate or a little bag of potato chips. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while! The problem arises the next day when we crave that food again… and we indulge… again. Maybe that day we add in another treat. At some point we’re not really eating that well, so we figure we may as well just KEEP indulging. The “Well… I already ate a bagel this morning, might as well eat pizza for dinner– this day is shot… and it IS the weekend– I’ll just be “good” again tomorrow” mentality. Sound familiar?
I want to introduce some concepts to help you when you feel yourself falling off track:
- Rewards don’t have to take the form of food: For some reason when we’re eating well, many of us “reward” ourselves with an indulgent food. The problem with this, among a million things, is it implies that the food you’re eating otherwise is punishment. In reality the best kind of “diet” is when we’re enjoying the food we’re eating and it just…. happens to be healthy. For instance, if you don’t like brussel sprouts, don’t eat them. There are a ton of other great veggies. If you DO like brussel sprouts then love them up! When you feel that need for “indulging” ask yourself what you’re really craving. Are you craving comfort? Maybe call a loved one or make yourself a cup of tea and listen to music. Are you anxious and just want something to do? Then get up and go for a walk, instead of gnoshing on the nearest crunchy goodness.
- Look at it with curiosity not judgement: A good portion of our health is our mentality. We know from study after study that stress not only manifests in our heads– it also manifests in our bodies (in the form of poor digestion, colds, acne, eye twitches, tight muscles, headaches, etc). When we beat ourselves up for “falling off track” we set ourselves up for further self-sabotage and perpetuate negative thoughts. We say something like, “Man why did I eat that?” and the internal dialogue that follows is, “Why do I have no self-control? Why do I keep messing up?” etc, which feeds into doubt in other areas of your life. What if instead you said, “Hmmm… I ate [_____], and now I’m feeling [_tired/bloated/etc_]. Isn’t that interesting? Is that how I want to feel? How do I want to feel? And why is that important to me?”
- Get accountability: Sometimes when we’re falling off track, it helps to outsource that power to someone else. It can be to a coach, a trusted friend, or family member. By saying your goal out loud and proclaiming it, we make it that much more real and tangible. When we say, “I want ____,” out loud and it’s heard we are planting a seed for what we want so the why falls into place. It’s similar to the old, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” question. If you are making a commitment and no one is around to hear it, is it a real proclamation? Another element of this is, many of us are people-pleasers– we’re better at committing to a meeting with someone else than a meeting with ourselves. If you know this about yourself, then take advantage of it in a positive way!
And when you fall off track, look at it with curiosity, acknowledge what you really need and why that’s important to you, and move forward!! I believe in you!
Love, kale, and kisses,
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