Im writing about this specific topic…well, because I love you! Too often we allow our environments directly affect our choices. Ask anyone and they’ll agree that I have a hard time saying no (helping my family, teaching classes, picking my brain in emails, in person)… but when it comes to food- Im bonafide resilient. Whether its a super obvious obstacle to my health or something I simply didn’t intend to eat for the day- I know how to “just say no”. My 30 day challengers have also become stronger in prioritizing their “why’s” and “wants” over temptations they used to continually give into- they can now “pass” on specific “naughty’s” they never thought theyd be able to. Im right there with them! I NEVER thought a day would go by where I wouldnt have splenda in my coffee. I’ve been off the shiz now for 2 whole months!
What works? Discipline and focus of course will help, but we can’t rely on willpower because if thats the case, we’re bound to fail. Just think of an average day and ask yourself what you need willpower for. (Work, working out, working on your business, kids, cooking, cleaning, your relationship, and so on and so forth). By the end of the day and by the end of the week often our will power is GONE. Ive been reading a lot on this philosophy which definitely rings true and Jill Coleman of JillFit Physiques often hits the nail on the head! Obviously its different for everyone and finding what works for YOU specifically is a process. But in case you dont want to start getting viciously sick, tip the scale, and go into a self loathing hibernation this winter… here are a few actionable steps that work for myself, my challengers, and the writers that I constantly read up on!
1. Know your WHY: This may seem obvious but youve got to have a very strong WHY to not only get you started, but keep you motivated, and pull you up from your slumps. Write it down- really get to the roots. In fact, I urge you to be that silly child and ask “why” until you cant anymore. Example:
Me: I want to lose 5 lbs
Inner child: But why?
Me: So I can have a rocking body!
Inner child: But why?
Me: So I can walk into a room and feel proud of the way I treat my body and know Im taking steps to get there
Inner child: But why?
Me: So that no matter what anyone thinks, at the end of the day, I can look in the mirror and love myself. I can finally believe the compliments people send me, I can feel grateful for what Ive been given, and I can make the most of my world because I love myself and want to treat myself with that love.
Inner child: Oh okay, well I love you!
Me: Thank you…I do too! Lets do this!
2. Create a philosophy to live by for 14-30 days: After my 28 day clean slate (no dairy, no wheat, no alcohol, no processed food, no triggers)- I created my philosophy of staying with the same principles 6-7 days of the week. I have one day where I pick and choose (wisely) where I forget about it all and throw the rules out the window- with my health still in mind. This is a philosophy Ive stuck by for as best I could and after a month I see whats working and whats not and adjust from there. When temptations arise (work pitch ins, holidays, friend get togethers) you can decide if this falls within your plan- knowing you can say no…but that its always an option in the future, will help you avoid desperation and deprivation because you’re in charge of when and what you eat- nothings off the table forever- so ultimately you can feel empowered to be in charge.
3. Keep it simple: Going along with picking a philosophy and standing by it, the simpler the plan the more successful you will be. Ive been reading more and more about how we truly have limited willpower- so the less we rely on it, the better we can reach our goals. Plan what you will eat for the day/week, and just know that everything outside of those options are merely illusions. I definitely dont pack my lunch every day nor do I plan my meals for the week, but I know what I aim for for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Anything outside of that WILL directly affect my progress/maintenance and lord knows how hard we all have to work to progress/maintain. I always do much better if I stop to think and ask myself :is this option worth it?
4. Social accountability: Its proven that keeping promises to others holds you more accountable than just yourself. We are hardest on ourselves but we also hide from ourselves for that very reason. Knowing that someone else, or a group of people, will only be rooting you on and arent there to hurt you but only help you, might force you to be even more sincere and thorough in your attempts. I can hide from myself like the playground bully, where as if I surround myself with compassionate coaches and friends, I often impress myself because I refused to hide, knowing I couldnt, and faced exactly what I wanted to accomplish. I currently lead 30 day health challenges every month to not only help people reach their goals, but to truly help them with the process! I even added a little incentive of winning money to November’s 30 day challenge! Winning around $1000 could give you the fun you’re seeking in addition to pursuing your health. Check it out here: www.dietbet.com/Likethelettuce or feel free to message me at anytime about joining one of our lettuce-head monthly challenges.
5. Be kind, rewind: When you do get off track, as the saying goes, do not let bully voices beat you up. You’re human and theres a reason you reached for that late night snack or mindlessly ate a whole bag of chips. Stop yourself from listening to those voices and journal out what happened. Whats been going on that day, that week, what were you doing at the time that this happened. Normally its never the food thats the problem, its everything leading up to that. If you dont reflect, you’ll encounter this same situation. I personally struggle when Im EXHAUSTED (no will power) so a great thing I can do is to focus on getting to sleep earlier- or to possibly not expect so much out of myself everyday. I know my clients and challengers do this too. Instead of thinking “I need to be LESS weak”…realize “Hey Im human and whatever the heck was going on that day didnt work- what do I need to do more of or less of to make sure this doesnt happen again?”. Example if you eat too much at night, find more satisfying foods throughout the day and make dinner a more mindful experience. If youre always dipping into the pantry at wee hours, eliminate anything that would taste good/delicious. People rarely crave quinoa or almond milk at 2am- doritos and doughnuts holes? A whole other story! Realize that youre in charge of your STEPS not just your mind. Certain steps in your day will help take the load off your mind- in which it will thank you!
Now these tips work for me and many of my challengers- but Id LOVE to hear what helps you stay away from office and late night temptations. What helps you get away from eating everything your friends urge you to? How do you stay away from the decadent options on the menu and create your own healthy concoction a la carte? Comment below so we can share our tips here! Make sure to “Like” if this article helped you!