Do you ever entertain that desire to be healthier, have more energy, feel more motivated? Do you realise how much your food choices impact these areas of your life? Even if you do, the prospect of changing your pantry, your cooking and eating habits can be very overwhelming. Throw the family in and it can feel near impossible!
The trick is to NOT TRY AND DO IT ALL AT ONCE. You may be eating mostly processed foods, no organic and lots of sugar but the important thing is your desire. That is the first step. Once you have that desire, the rest is a matter of creating change in a time period that is realistic for you and your family. Implement these 3 systems and you will find yourself well on your way to a healthier and more fulfililng life.
Habits vs Self-Discipline
There is this assumption out there that healthy people must have a lot of self-discipline. In most cases this is not true. Healthy people create healthy habits. To follow a regime every day that required effort would be exhausting! On going self-discipline is a myth! It took me years to develop the healthy habits we have in place in our household and I am sure I will continue to make changes into the future. This healthy, joyous lifestyle thing is a journey, not a destination. It is a journey that reaps rewards every step of the way.
Habits come naturally, they don’t require self-discipline because they are habits (actions we take without having to think about it or put in effort). So becoming that person with a healthy lifestyle is all about implementing healthy habits. A new habit does require some self-discipline when you are starting out, but it is short lived. Just long enough to re-wire your brain and put that new action in place. The next step is to change your habits one at a time…which brings me to my next tip.
Give yourself time.
Remember that every change you make is one step closer to your end goal. If you run out and re-stock your whole pantry, change all your recipes and cut out all processed foods and sugar right away, you will mostly likely throw the towel in after a short period because it is all too hard. And yes, it would be too hard to do it that way.
With this in mind, write yourself a list of things you want to change. They could include foods you want to introduce and foods you want to cut out. Maybe there is exercise and meditation in there and some new, healthy recipes. Maybe you need to cut down on your alcohol intake or come up with healthier snacks for your children. Once you have your list, focus on just one of those changes at a time. It may seem like a slow way to do it but because the change is more likely to last, you will experience long lasting benefits. Our bodies reward us when we make small changes. Most people will feel a difference within a short time. This is a great motivator to continue on the journey.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Above all, treat yourself as you would a valued and loved friend. If you are creating a new habit and you fall down a few times, or experience a lapse and have to start again, that’s ok. Beating up on ourselves is never productive. As long as you get back up every time you fall down, you will get there. Failure is not making a mistake, it is giving up. Each small step you take will give you momentum and get you one step closer to feeling better so encourage yourself. Reward yourself when you make small achievements (not with junk food :-). Before you know it, you will love that new habit and have the motivation to move on to the next one.
Something else to consider…
Changing over to a healthier lifestyle is not about deprivation. Over time, our bodies can become used to too much sugar and other processed foods. We can crave these destructive foods physically and emotionally. For that reason, when we cut some of those foods out, it may feel like deprivation – but only for a short time. Once you change that habit, those foods will lose their appeal.
There are also many wonderful and delicious whole foods and nourishing recipes you can introduce that will give you great pleasure.
This journey is about changing your palate and enjoying and connecting with real food to nourish every level of your being.