In another life it seems, when I was a telephonic health coach, I helped clients set goals in an average of twelve minutes. I had to speak intelligently on a variety of topics, not just nutrition. I would help clients set goals around improving their sleep, blood pressure, stress management, weight loss, nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation. At the time, I had a career around helping people who worked a variety of jobs around the United States get healthier to lower the health cost to their employers and themselves. Healthier employees miss less work from illness-related situations; less-stressed employees are more efficient and focused at work. It was so interesting to listen to such a diversity of people open up about their relationship struggles with food.
When trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it is important to ask yourself what your struggles are with food. Is it that you’re rushed out the door in the morning, barely grabbing that coffee in time? Maybe you’re a late night snacker? Have a sweet tooth that can’t be satisfied? Portions are out of control? Kids don’t like to eat anything but pizza and hot dogs?
The trick is to know yourself and your weaknesses and to plan for them instead of leaving it up to chance. We are creatures of habit and often take the easy route when we feel even the slightest bit stressed. Set your goals with the knowledge of how you will combat your pitfalls.
Most importantly, don’t get down on yourself if you do slip up. You’re only human! When you do choose to eat contrarily to how you believe you should, get back on track by remembering why you want to eat the way you are. Focusing on your why helps guide you back to the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Wake up every morning and remind yourself that you are worth taking care of and you are the only one responsible to ensure that you do.
Pictured above is acknowledgment that an occasional treat is just fine!