So much of our journey to a healthier lifestyle comes down to our mindset. I can't tell you the amount of times that I have heard the words 'My head's just not in the right place!' This can be a very frustrating feeling as you have the desire to be eating well, often even the desire or need to lose weight and yet somehow a barrier keeps on reappearing.
We've all been there and we all know the feeling but how do we adjust this way of thinking and fight that barrier down for good?
We first need to work out our 'WHY' Why do we want to eat better? Why does this matter to me? Why am I doing this? This may all seem very broad at the moment but work on breaking it down. If weight loss is your WHY then take 10 minutes to work out your specific goal, try not to do this as a number on the scales as this can fluctuate so easily, instead have an image in your head that you would like to achieve. Really feel how good this would make you feel, what would you wear? How confident would this make you feel? How do you look in an outfit that you have always wanted to wear? What effect will this have on your relationship with your partner? What will you be able to do that you can't do now? Have a very clear image in your head, one that you can return to whenever you lose motivation. Be precise and study every part of you. Write all of your answers down in pen on paper and refer back to them whenever required, you can use our visualisation template for this.
Another example of your WHY may be that you want to thrive in life rather than simply survive, you may be tired of riding on the ups and downs of sugar and caffeine and want to feel more in control of your eating habits which will in turn lead you to be more in control of your moods. How does that feel? How will you feel with less brain fog? Will your children benefit from this?
There are so many reasons why people want to live a healthier lifestyle but the most important part is making it personal to YOU as your goals need to excite you and boldly propel you into this new healthy chapter.
Next, I want you to work out and write down HOW you will achieve these goals. This may include eating a balanced whole food diet, reducing sugar from my diet, allowing yourself one healthy treat per week, getting up earlier to make a good breakfast, taking 30 mins on a Sunday to prep some snacks for the week ahead, joining The Fresh Life for more support and accountability, increasing my step count daily etc. These are just some ideas of what it might require but only when you really believe and see your WHY will you be able to achieve your HOW.
Now I want you to assume success, you CAN do this and you absolutely WILL do this because you now understand and can taste your WHY and you can refer back to it whenever required.
So now that we have worked on your WHY and looked at your HOW, we need to put this all into practice in a way that is sustainable and achievable. You may feel like this plan all takes too much time that you simply don't have but in reality, this will set you up to save time in the future by having a system that works for you.
First, set aside some time to create a meal plan for the following week. It's a really good idea at this stage to keep it simple and manageable, create dinners that you can use the leftovers on the following day for lunch and have your snacks ready to go (I like to portion out my nuts etc so that I am not tempted to keep going in for more!)
Write your meal plan down and stick to it! Perhaps you are used to having a takeaway on a Friday night so have a quick easy option for that night that you will really enjoy. You may have to run your kids to clubs on a Wednesday so that may be the night to use the slow cooker to have it ready. Really think about your weekly routine to work out how this will work best for you as there is no point of sticking in a roast dinner on a Tuesday if you're not home till late etc.
It is worth keeping a food diary at this stage (check out our template here) as we often eat without even thinking about it but somehow putting pen to paper makes us more mindful about what we are eating. It is also worth keeping a 'Tracking Diary' to keep a note of how your body is responding. So often we don't listen to our bodies as we are used to feeling bloated or uncomfortable so this is a great way of listening in to our bodies tiny whispers. This also helps us understand our eating habits and we need to have a good understanding to have the ability to change them.
I want you to also learn to forgive yourself. Guilt is one emotion that should never be associated with food! If you do eat something that perhaps doesn't fit with your new principles then accept it and move on. Don't use this as an opportunity to wait until the next day to 'get back on track' as that often then moves to Monday and before you know it, you've lost sight of your goals entirely. Whereas, when we don't look at foods as 'good or bad' we can simply focus on what food make us truly feel good which will soon become part of you and the way you are.
Remember that these changes won't happen overnight so give your body the time it needs and deserves to benefit from this way of living and remember to be kind to yourself.
Our online monthly support groups, encourage you to make and sustain these changes as well as providing you with recipes and meal plan suggestions. To find out more, head over to Join Now.