A lot of people ask me what nutrition program I follow. And while I’m happy to share (current: https://strongeru.com/ and 2014-2016 http://livelightclinic.com/) the truth is most any program works. Choose it.
Nutri-System, Low Carb, Whole 30, Paleo, Weight Watchers, The Zone…
Seriously, insert any diet here.
And while I have found two great programs that have enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams, I was successful because they put the emphasis on me to figure out HOW I was going to get this done. They worked with me as much on my emotions, habits, fears and sabotages as they did on my nutrition.
|Left: Me in 2014. Top right: CrossFit Open 2017 Bottom right: CrossFit Open 2018|
These programs have told me I’m OK. I’m normal. What I feel is normal They confirmed I wasn’t crazy for feeling all this emotion. Then, they gave me tools for MY success.
We hear a lot these days about finding your WHY. And that IS extremely important. However, in health and wellness there has to be a HUGE HOW FACTOR. The how brings in those action steps that are the in between of all the fluff, the nutrition, the noise of fatty, tempting foods.
HOW in the heck does one get past the temptation to veer off, day after day after relentless day?
Am I right?
The HOW speaks to your habits. And as I reflect on the biggest differences since losing 98 pounds since 2014 (and yes, I’m still at 98 pounds), its that my life looks absolutely nothing like my life was in my obese days.
That isn’t a coincidence. Every habit I have surrounding what I put in my mouth is different and it wasn’t easy.
My point is that its all the in-between when it comes to nutrition that we ignore. I’ve read a gazillion diet books. I had plenty of instructions on WHAT to do. But HOW in the heck does anyone resist temptation for any real considerable amount of time? That is what we grossly ignore! And here is the thing, about all of these diets work as most of them are geared to put you in some form of calorie or fat loss deficit.
I don’t have this figured out by a long shot, but here are four tips for a good HOW –
To Change Habits, You First Have to Be Open to Change: Some of us are more open to change than others. We often go in to any form of “diet” with the attitude that we are giving up everything we love in exchange for kale and celery. But we have to realistically accept that daily Big Macs do not equal six pack abs – those are not going to be a part of a regular meal plan. But rather than give up yummy food, you need to send yourself on a quest to find healthy things that you love and look forward to. THAT is sustainable.
Accountability: And by this, I not only mean having a nutrition coach, doctor or accountability partner, but actually being truthful with yourself. I realized during my latest attempt that I couldn’t rely on my coach or doctor to do this stuff for me. I had to face things. Do things. Plan things. Invest in my freaking-self for once. Be kind to myself. No more putting my head in the sand. (I still do this from time to time – ask my StrongerU nutrition coach).
Planning: There is a lot of prep and anticipation in eating well, but maybe not how you think. For me as the former Drive Thru Queen, convenience is a big part of the equation for me. I not only have to eat easy things, but delicious things. And with Pinterest and other awesome stuff in the Google-verse, there are amazing alternatives for everything these days. I have to find the time for that planning and coming up with solutions not sabotage or it doesn’t work. Its as simple as that.
Healthy Head Talk: I was my own worst sabotaging enemy most of the time. I wanted to fail because I wanted back in my safe zone with my large chocolate frosty and french fries. To change, I had to have end goals (my WHY) be more enticing than Culver’s flavor of the day. Looking back, I was SO mean to myself. Constantly beating myself up for failing time and time again. Today, when I’m tempted, I force myself to say my goals out load. If that doesn’t work, I say them again. If that doesn’t work, I get up and take my dogs outside or do something to distract myself. I keep saying the goals until its drilled through my thick skull. I tell myself to look for solutions not sabotage. It doesn’t work every time, but the more I do it, the more it works.
On your next nutrition adventure, think about your HOW and be honest with yourself about what you really truly need to be successful. The small steps add up to the big ones and become new behaviors that will ultimately lead to long-term healthy eating habits…
…until the flavor of the day at Culver’s is Coconut Cream Pie. When that happens, all bets are off.