Here’s the thing - I hear the same few excuses as to why people are not meeting with success in their health and fitness journeys. This is what it usually boils down to:
A) “I just really hate vegetables.” Oh, really? All of them? You’ve eaten every vegetable known to man, cooked every conceivable way and you hate them all? Interesting.
B) “I can’t say no to junk. I have no self-control.” Hmmm, did you rear end anyone in traffic who cut you off or was driving 15 miles under the speed limit? So you do have some self-control.
C) "I don’t have time to cook all that healthy stuff." But you’ve spent the last 2 hrs sending me funny pictures with animal face filters?
D) "I’ve tried so many diets and they just don’t work for me." The diet mindset rarely works so I can kinda get on board with you there.
Okay, so, now that we know the players in this game, let’s talk about how we dispel the mystery about how to eat better, how we change our mindset about fueling this amazing machine that is our body, and what to do next. Here are my top 5 tips on How to Eat Like You Love Yourself.
#1 - Stop calling it a diet. You aren’t on a diet because that means you could, at some point, be off of your diet. Not only that, it means that when you eat something no in line with your new intake that you are “cheating” or “backsliding” or “wrecking your diet.” Geez, who WOULD want to go on a diet if it meant that they had all of this negative talk happening each time they did anything, I don’t know, human? Yeah, no, I’m not about that life.
Oh, and if you decide that it’s a pizza kind of night or that you are going to enjoy your 3 day cruise and not focus on calories, colors, or micros, that’s okay! Don’t worry about being so overly strict with your food that you can’t even take some time to enjoy a special occasion every now and again.
#2 - Take time to look things up. So, you hate kale. Fine. I hate kale. Do you know what that means? I don’t eat kale. It’s that simple. I don’t try to “trick” myself into eating kale, I don’t make excuses for kale, I don’t try 50 ways to cook kale and love it, and I don’t seek out ways to grow my own kale. I just avoid kale. Is it going to kill me? No. Do I need kale in my life? Likely not.
Instead, I think of things I like that are in line with my dietary restrictions and my new healthy eating lifestyle. Sugar snap peas? Yes. Green beans? Check. Squash? Bring it. And on and on. Oh, and if you aren’t quite sure how to make something well but you want to make it (like my inexplicable knack for screwing up hard boiled eggs), look up the best ways to cook that thing. You’ll find that you like more things out there than you knew you did just because you now know how to cook them properly.
#3 - Find new ways to cook old things. No, I don’t mean grab old moldy things out of the fridge and find new ways to cook them. Stop it right now. I mean, if you are eating chicken every….single….day, stop that. Stop making bland, boiled chicken. Surprise yourself with some grilled chicken. Then, slice up some of the grilled chicken to add to a salad. Wait, you still have some left? Chop it up and make some healthy chicken salad and eat it with crackers or on a wrap or sandwich. Man alive, this whole chicken game sounds like I can keep it up without hating the idea of approaching, rubbery, chicken dinner.
Remember, there is more than one way to cook just about anything so experiment with grilling, sautéing, broiling, baking, using new appliances like egg steamers, air fryers, etc. Boom, you are going to be a cooking machine!
#4 - Find healthy people to swap (or steal) recipes with (from). Let’s just have some real talk. There are a batrillion gajillion and 7 different social media groups, social media pages, social media hashtags, websites, boards, and more than have catchy titles and are just what you need. You haven’t found them because you haven’t looked for them. Or, more likely, you got really inspired last year in December (and the year before, and the year before) and you made a New Year’s Resolution and you searched for low carb or high protein or sugar free or only things that are green diet recipes and you found a bunch of them….but you didn’t attempt to cook a single one.
Why? Why would you do that? You can’t sit here and complain that you can’t find a decent and healthy recipe for chili if you have 13 of them saved on your laptop, more recipes pinned to a board, and 3 more printed out and stuck to your fridge next to your niece’s school photo and the reminder card from you dentist. Get in the game and start trying some of these recipes or you will forever be making excuses for that muffin top, grandma-bye-bye arm jiggle, or 2nd chin.
#5 - Be prepared. The holidays are upon us and some of you are kicking yourselves because you haven’t shopped, you haven’t exchanged Secret Santa names, you don’t know where you’re going, you haven’t purchased airline tickets, and you may even have forgotten to ask for time off work. It’s coming down to the wire and you are not prepared. If you do things to avoid the stress of last minute holiday shopping, planning, and travel, why wouldn’t you take action to prevent the same time of stress in your nutrition? Oh, I know, because there are cheap and quick fast food restaurants on every corner and because you have accepted all of the excuses that add up to you unpreparedness.
Why not try this - for one week, plan ahead. Plan your meals, plan your snacks, purchase a fun water bottle that you’ll want to use, and stay on track for 7 days. Once you prove to yourself that it really isn’t that hard or time consuming and that being prepared has reduced much of your stress around eating better, getting healthier, and doing something good for your body, you will want to keep going.
Trust me, planning your menu will give you a feeling far better than greasy food guilt (which is just as bad as that last minute, middle seat on the plane between the mom with the new baby and the larger, hairy gentleman who falls asleep immediately and proceeds to snore loudly and repeatedly rest his head on your shoulder no matter how many times you push it off).
Alright, you have the tips. What’s next? Pick one. That’s right - one. This is not the time to go crazy and go through your kitchen and local grocery store in a frenzy, determined to change everything all at once. More often than not, this is met with failure and frustration and then you hate me because I made you waste 2 weeks worth of grocery money, a couple hours of prep time, and the $30 you spent on pizza and ice cream while you were on the rebound. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. That’s why I suggest you pick one of my 5 tips and try it for a week. In a small notebook or as a note on your digital device, write down on day one what you are going to commit to and then finish your day be reflecting on how it went.
Do the same thing for all 7 days. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised to see how well this little experiment will go for you and that you will be racking up wins (or non-scale victories) faster and more frequently than you ever have before.
Want more tips on how to stay on track with your new, healthy lifestyle? Looking for someone to walk this journey with you and show you some delicious alternatives to things that may sidetrack (or completely hijack) your healthy efforts? Ready to make a serious change but just not sure how to get into gear? Let’s do this together.
I’ve been down this road and I’ve continued to work to tweak my intake to meet my body’s ever changing needs (including the hard stop and stubborn changes my metabolism and reaction to nutrition & fitness that my system made once I hit 30) and I would love to share some tips and tricks with you. You are not alone in this so let’s talk about getting you started today! But there will be no kale. Seriously.
Want to learn more about me, how I got here, how I gained and then lost almost 100lbs, how to do it with a gluten intolerance, how a low FODMAP diet might help you, what my favorite recipes are, why I am obsessed with Nathan Fillion, or what are the most important things in my bug out bag (for when the zombie apocalypse hits, because it will happen)? Hit me up by clicking the link here or filling out the contact me form located here.
I am Christian Straightedge Christ follower, an Army Brat, an ex-milso, founder and CEO of FitnessAnyaMind, a sofa CEO, a nomad, a fur baby mom, and a mindset builder. I enjoy nature, reading, music, cooking, and taking care of those whom I love.