This is a longish post.
Maybe the longest I've ever posted.
It's long because I'm really passionate about 'mindset' and food, which is what I wanted to talk to you about today. It's something I've personally struggled with, on and off, for the majority of my life and I've had to work hard to find the right mindset with food and eating.
Yes, I'm a nutritionists I'm meant to eat all the right things and these days, most of the time, I do. It hasn't always been that way but that's a story for another day.
Many people right now are working towards new health goals as we start a new fresh year. Having the right mindset when you’re about to embark on forming new habits is really important. Probably the MOST important part of making changes. It’s easy to plan, buy and make the food but eating it, exploring new foods, resisting foods that are not healthful are the hard part, and that’s all about having the right mindset.
Here are a few tips on working towards a having a really positive, strong mindset when it comes to food and eating habits.
1. Firstly, you want to remove emotion from food as much as possible. If you see a cake (for example) you’d like, it will feel like a ‘temptation’. Temptation means - the inclination to sin. I don’t want you to view food like that anymore, any food. Let’s get this straight, if you do or don’t eat that cake you’re not a bad person, you haven’t been ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’, you haven’t failed. I don’t want you to look at cake with that emotion.
I want you to see the cake for what it really is. Food.
When you see something you want to eat ask yourself a few questions…
- What kind of ingredients are probably in it?
- Are those ingredients what’s best for my body to thrive?
- How will I feel physically after I eat it?
- Am I hungry?
Maybe it’s for a friend’s birthday, or you’re the only person not ordering cake and you feel embarrassed to recline the cake. This is where self empowerment and self love is really important. You just keep it simple, “no thanks, I’m full” - if you’re not hungry, or just “no thanks” - if it’s not a healthful choice. If it’s a ‘healthy’ cake and you feel like some then have a small piece if you want.
If you still struggle with ‘saying no’ say to yourself...
“I love myself, I deserve better”
Because you should and you do. Every time you have the choice to eat something that isn’t good for you, saying that small affirmation will help you to be stronger to make a better choice.
2. Be accountable. You are completely responsible for what you put into your body and the choices you make.
Although it’s good to have support through times of change (like adopting a new attitude towards food and setting new habits), you won’t always have it. Even your dearest loved ones can not be relied on, you can't expect them to always understand how you feel. Know that they do love you and try to explain where you can.
If they still want to live making unhealthy choices that’s their prerogative, they will change in their own time if they want to. Just focus on yourself, be a good influence and don’t let them stray you from your path.
3. There will be times, due to many reasons that you will feel ‘weak’ in your convictions to make good choices. Some of those times include:
- The week before you’re period and the first day or two that it starts.
- When you’re under emotional stress
- When you don’t manage your time well
- When you’re away (on holidays, for work etc) and you’re not in your routine or environment.
Where you can, plan ahead. Your period comes every month so know that you’ll be more vulnerable to making poor food choices at that time. Accepting this and being well prepared is important. If you know that chocolate cravings are a big issue for you around this time, make yourself a batch of chocolate bliss balls to have on hand.
If you’re having a difficult week at work or with the kids allocate 30 minutes of ‘you’ time to calm your mind, reaffirm your goals and strategise how you can manage what’s stressing you and keep on track with your food choices.
Time management is a HUGE factor to achieving your health goals and making them stick. You will need to assess how you are using your time and shuffle things to make more time to plan and preparing food. This might involve making sacrifices on other things like evening TV time (for example) or making larger meals so you have leftovers.
When you’re heading out of town, again, be prepared! Pack snacks, research good places to eat, book accommodation that has a small kitchen so you can prepare you’re own food. You won’t have to eat out for every meal and you’ll save yourself a lot of money!
I want you to know, I believe everyone has it in them to completely turn their life around if that’s what it takes for them to be healthy.
By healthy I mean, have a good relationship with food, free from guilt and emotional eating plus have a body that functions to the very best of its ability.
If this was easy there wouldn’t be so many diets, health coaches, nutritionists, personal trainers, supplements and other health food products etc to help people achieve their goals. It’s HARD.
There are both psychological and physiological barriers to over come, some that have been ingrained since childhood. I’m not trying to sound like a grinch but I want you to have real expectations of what you’re transformation journey is going to feel like.
So get out that pen and paper and get organised.
Practice your affirmations.
Get pumped and believe in yourself!