The decision to be healthy and eat clean must be a conscious one, one that you make every day. In order to keep your commitment to this decision, you need to do some self-analysis to identify what your weaknesses are and what the underlying causes are of any destructive behaviors. Doing so will help you understand why you do what you do—and when you do it—and can help you avoid those pitfalls as you journey toward better health. There is an undeniable connection between how your mind feels and how your body feels, and understanding your unique link may be the difference between a successful move to healthy living and another version of yo-yo dieting.
Here are a few things to help prepare your mind and body for the commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
Food is not your enemy, but food should not be a reward; food is fuel. It is either effective in reaching your goal or ineffective. When you start on your journey of clean eating, you have certain dreams and goals of what you want to achieve. Before binging on a treat for “being good,” ask yourself if the food will help you reach where you want to be or keep you stuck where you do not want to be.
- Create Awareness
You may be engaging in destructive behaviors and not even know it. Many of us make it through life not even recognizing the root of our problems, and you cannot change your habits unless you are aware of them. Analyze your rituals and try to understand if you are creating habits that will keep you from attaining your wellness goal. Do you stay awake late binging TV shows? Do you eat when you are bored or stressed? Do you lie in bed scrolling on your phone instead of turning in early? Understand what it is that makes you feel the way you do so that you can avoid it in the future. Try keeping a written account of your patterns to understand them better. When you take a look at how you spend your day, you may be able to figure out what it is that you like about it and what it is that you do not.
- Reach Out to Your Consciousness
We all have instincts that tell us one thing while we may be feeling another. This results from mixed up signals that confuse what we really want with a substitute that seems more achievable. We may be avoiding our emotions or relaxing in ways that have short-term benefits, but hold us back in the long term. Before you give into that next impulse that may not be completely in line with your new goals, try asking yourself if food is what you really want right now, or if the unhealthy behavior you are motivated to do will actually help you be who you want to be.
- Perfection is Too Far
Do not concern yourself with superhuman standards – perfection is not what matters. What matters is the little victories. If we ignore all the little stages of life in which we do manage to succeed, we will always be dissatisfied with ourselves. Give yourself a break. Everyone has flaws and perfection is an exhausting, unfulfilling quest.
- Know Your Plan, Know Your Meal
This does not mean plan weeks ahead for dinner; just know what your next meal will be. This will help you plan for what you want to have instead of grabbing a meal of convenience that you will regret later.
If you need help in this area and need to get back on track with eating to fuel your body, check out my new 21 Day Nourish Your Body Program.