“Talking about nutrition is like talking about religion or politics! We are all in a different place in what we know and believe.” This is my lead in for nearly every health focused presentation, and in my book and promo video. And because this is my line of work, it is people’s stories and beliefs around nutrition and diet that intrigue me. I have heard these words in the last week:
Over the past year, I have heard everything from, “I am not eating any sugar at all”, “I am not eating any bread”, “I am on a cleanse”, “I am gluten-free” and on down the line. Even in a world that is moving away from “dieting” (yea!!!), “diets” are still haunting us and the mental game of weight loss ensues. All or nothing approaches are not sustainable. They may work for a while, but you know that life will always throw you a curve. Ready to stop spending time and energy getting your brain wrapped around all or nothing diet approaches once and for all?
First things first. Decide what you are willing to change and start with that. I can’t tell you what that is, but you know.
Let’s brainstorm: Is it to go for a walk before or after work? Bring and apple for a snack instead of going to the snack bar? Drink 2 extra cups of water each day? Is it cognitive goals that you use to reframe every negative thought with a positive one? Less sugar in your coffee, more movement in your day, kinder words to others…Now—you add a few that you are willing to do.
Secondly, write down what you are willing to do in a S.M.A.R.T. goal format That is—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound.
Third, start a consistent ritual around what you are willing to do, and stick to your plan with strategies in place to overcome inevitable obstacles.
For example, if your S.M.A.R.T. goal is to walk with your friend after work on Mondays and Wednesdays and you must work late or kid duty calls on Wednesday, then what will you do? Your strategy could be to reschedule with your friend for Thursday, or if that doesn’t work, you walk solo Wednesday later that evening or you go Thursday solo or find another friend to walk with. It is a present moment—plan for the future game. The game is not all or nothing. It is not thinking, “Oh well, I guess I have to wait until next Monday to walk.” A healthier way to think, is “I can walk later tonight,” or “I will wake up earlier and walk in the morning, “or “I will go tomorrow after work.”
Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Author of Health Inspires™: Your Way to Sustainable Weight Loss
My passion and purpose is helping people reach their full potential and master their wellbeing.
Disclosure: Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise program and ask whether you are healthy enough to engage in a diet and exercise program. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider concerning your overall health and wellness, including your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. It is your choice to follow the suggestions, opinions and advice given by a Health Inspires wellness coach.