Often the most mountainous tasks in our lives can be surmounted with efficiency and ease when we have a proper perspective of the terrain. Likewise, transforming our eating habits is simplified when our perspective is properly aligned. Last week’s article discussed how to approach change as a lifestyle rather than a diet. Now we will add another key to unlock transformation: the mindset shift.
As I have navigated lifestyle change for myself and my clients, I have discovered consistent mindsets that limit success and others which encourage it. Here are three of specifically to embrace.
Food is a tool for self-care--just like washing your face or brushing your teeth. In your approach to food, the focus should be it’s function of nourishment. An additional, and secondary, purpose is for pleasure. Unhealthy food is not a reward, nor is healthy food a punishment. Do you see how as a culture, and often individually, we have adopted the flawed thought-process that food is primarily for pleasure? For example, at a celebration, you can cheat on your diet and have an unhealthy “treat.” Or if you are having a bad day, it’s okay to eat junk food. Eating healthy needs to be viewed as a daily routine.
Focus on what you CAN have rather than what you can’t. This can be nourishing foods that build our bodies vs. junk food, or it may be a strict protocol that cuts out even whole foods for the purpose of a season of therapeutic healing. Whatever the season, be excited for the foods you get to enjoy. Also, be intentional to always REPLACE an old habit with a new habit. For example, do not simply cut out sugar. Introduce new nourishing desserts made with fruit. By trying new foods and new ways of preparing them, you can be excited for the benefits received, and dismiss the limitations.
Eating healthy is NOT hard. Yes, you heard me right. It is commonly said that it takes less effort to smile than to frown. This is also true for your eating habits. To deprive yourself of the nutrients needed to thrive and then bear the daily daily consequences (fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, and many chronic conditions, etc.) is actually very hard. Change your perspective to view this transformation as a gift to yourself rather than an uphill battle.
The process of change reveals a lot about ourselves--our needs, thought-processes, addictions, insecurities, etc. First, allow the principles discussed here to shift your current perception. Second, be aware that additional growth may be necessary as you progress. The journey of transformation is an important process for you to lay hold of--not just for health, but for the freedom and balance that will come with a healthy mindset.