Here we are, over the hump. Three weeks down, yeehaw!! Way to go!
This week is intended to be a little bit of a chill-out week. That is, no new goals. Just refine the big three nutritional goals you’ve been working on, and really get strong about integrating them into your lifestyle. Here’s just a few reminders about things to focus on. I know it can be a little overwhelming, so we’re taking a week to really nail down our new gig and get good at it! Take a breath. I have easy instructions this week. Here’s a rundown on our nutritional focus up to this point.
- Plan your meals and snacks in advance.
- Eat at least three meals a day with healthy snacks in between.
- Avoid junk food at all costs.
- Avoid excess sugar.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Don’t confuse thirst for hunger.
- Drop the cheese.
- Focus on your successes. If you should find yourself at a group gathering and you forgot to bring your own healthy plate to share, do your best to choose from the options in front of you. Stick to the rules as much as you possibly can because this will aid your progress. However, if you have to ‘cheat’ or if you stray from the nutritional guidelines, get over it. Don’t dwell on it or beat yourself up. Just start up again with the next meal. Do NOT use a ‘mistake’ as an excuse to give up. There is no redemption in eating a whole sleeve of oreos just because you had pizza for lunch! It’ll only set you farther back, you’ll feel guilty about it, and you’ll just have to work even harder to get back to where you were. Sound familiar? It probably sounds like your old habits. You don’t have those habits any more. You have new ones! We ALL make mistakes. We can all get back on track. Just focus on your successes. Think how much better you ate at that gathering than you would have last year, or last month, or even last week. You’re a rockstar now – own it!
- Use the crowding principle. So, let’s assume for a minute that you were raised by a parent or two. And let’s assume that at some point in your teenage years they took something away from you. Told you that you couldn’t have it. Maybe it was a twinkie, maybe it was Nintendo, a Transformer, your new My Little Pony. Or maybe they told you that you shouldn’t do something. Maybe it was drugs and alcohol, staying out past your curfew. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend was a bad influence and they asked you to stop seeing him/her. YEAH, RIGHT!! The minute you tell a child (or really any of us) “no”, or “don’t touch that”, or “you really shouldn’t”…. what happens? You want it even more! I’m no psychologist, but we’ve all seen this and experienced it. Many many times. The restriction itself is enough to make you want that which you cannot have. Right? So how do we overcome that? Simply shift your focus. For the love of yourself, do not focus on what you ‘can’t’ have. Focus on what you can. Think about food as the life-giving, health promoting, flavorful and satisfying abundance of nutrition that it is. Think about all the good stuff that is going to help you toward your goals. When you plan your meals, start by picking out a few vegetables. Pick a sauce. Pick a grain. Repeat. Think about all the cool things you haven’t even tried yet! When you do this, you’ll fill up your plate with healthy food and before you know it, you’ve crowded out the junk. And best of all, you won’t even miss it. Honestly.
- Educate yourself. It’s one thing to start avoiding fast food, sugar, and cheese because someone that loves you (me!) says you should. It’s a whole other thing to educate yourself about food and nutrition so that you know WHY someone advises you a certain way. It’s an altogether enlightening experience to truly not want something that you’ve enjoyed your whole life. Again, I’ll liken it to smoking. This is perhaps the one and only time I’ll ever say, “It’s better to have smoked and quit than never to have smoked at all.” I say this because you more than anyone know what it’s like to have a paradigm shift. It’s amazing to shift from once deriving enjoyment and pleasure out of something to being totally disgusted and repulsed by the same thing. You know what it’s like to wonder what the hell you were thinking all those years! You know I feel about eating fast food, sugar, and cheese. And for myself I have to add all products derived from my furred, feathered, or scaled friends. This paradigm shift came about from two things. 1) Education. 2) A willingness to see and think for myself, and not to simply accept as truth the knowledge and advertising and marketing messages that had been crammed down my throat my whole life.
Can you hear me now? ~ Verizon