We all know the benefits of being ‘healthy’. But if living a healthy lifestyle was easy, then everyone would be doing it, right? On paper, eating nutritious food and taking regular exercise is a no brainer. So what’s the problem?
I hate the thought of food being categorised as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. I believe no food should be demonised, however it’s an unavoidable fact that some foods nourish our bodies more than others. Nobody is obliged to be healthy all the time. We all have unhealthy habits, and these are up to us as individuals with minds of our own. Happiness is what matters, not a social standard of what is deemed as healthy.
If you really do feel content with your diet, whether you live on burgers and chips or have a nutritionally brilliant diet, then that’s nobody’s business but your own. If you feel that you would be happier by making changes to what you eat, but find it difficult, then here are some motivation ideas that you might find helpful…..
- You’ll never regret choosing the more positive option eg. yoghurt and strawberries over a bar of chocolate. Before making a choice, ask how you will feel in an hour. Think of how great you will feel psychologically and physically after a whole week or month of making daily positive choices.
- “I deserve this, I’ve had a hard day”. Try not to use food as a reward, to relieve stress or to make you happy. Food is primarily fuel for our bodies. Once again think longer term….how will you feel in an hour after eating half (or a whole) tub of ice cream? How much better would you feel rewarding yourself in other ways eg. walk to the shop after dinner to buy yourself a magazine or a tub of cherries to munch on the way home.
- We often tell ourselves that we can’t do without something that we have regularly. A common thing to hear is “I’m addicted to chocolate” or “I’m addicted to bread”. Your mind is powerful in both positive and negative ways. If you want to change your habit, turn the negative in to the positive. By saying: “I’m addicted, therefore I can’t do anything about it”, you are essentially removing your responsibility for what you feed yourself. Tell yourself, “I am in control of my thoughts, I am in control of what I buy, and I am in control of what I feed my body.”
- Sometimes, it’s as if the biscuit tin is calling you, drawing your hand towards it like a magnet. If it helps, imagine a little demon on your shoulder. It is telling you to have another biscuit and, go on just one more, and, well, you may as well finish the lot. Tell it in the strongest possible way (!) to bog off and to stop sabotaging your efforts.
- If you can’t resist temptation, then make things easier on yourself by not having the foods you are trying to avoid in the cupboard or fridge. Get. Rid. Of. It. People often tell me, ‘but it’s for the kids/ visitors’. Too much of it is not good for you and it’s not good for them either. Replace with healthier alternatives.
Ultimately, we have to take responsibility for ourselves. Isn’t it a great thing that we can!?