I have been chatting with many women over the last week about their desires for their health and frustrations with their current diets. I have discovered that many moms out there struggle with making the healthier choice. Everybody knows what the healthier choice is, but there seems to be some hesitation about actually choosing it to eat.
I often struggle with the desire to be healthy vs the convenience of choosing seemingly "easier" or "faster" solutions to this problem. I started taking a different approach to choosing my food. I know that we need to eat to live, but sometimes we don't make choices that way. Are we really eating to live when we are finishing off those last french fries at the bottom of the grease-stained drive-thru bag?
I strive to eat things that are fuel for my body and that will nourish the organs, muscles and bones that carry me through my days. I need to strengthen these in order to be able to handle the stresses and imbalances in life. When I don't eat real foods, my body has to work overtime to get rid of them, sucking the good nutrients and energy that was previously derived from other good foods I've eaten. This is why I feel lethargic, bloated and uncomfortable after eating things that are not fuel, let alone food.
Once I clarified the choice that I was making between eating "for fun" (which led to not-so-fun consequences) and eating for life, things began to make more sense to me. When I eat fueling foods, I feel better, can perform better, am in a better mood, treat my kids better, sleep better, workout harder and am way more creative than when I eat not-foods. So why would I want to do anything other than eat healthy foods??
The problem is, fueling isn't always the goal. Sometimes the goal is comfort. Sometimes the goal is socializing, and sometimes it is to stop boredom. Achieving these goals are the areas that I have been noticing are the most challenging to master, without eating not-foods. Exploring other options for comfort, socializing or stopping boredom can be the key to shifting your reactions to perceived cravings for junk food. Breaking habits that involve mindless eating and drinking and being mindful of the choices you make will improve your health, right now, today!
Can you commit to starting to notice your patterns and habits, creating a mental "red flag" for you about why you make unhealthy choices vs healthy ones? If you want to improve your health, stop gaining weight, keep wearing your favorite shirt and learn how to eat well, then you will commit to making better choices.
We all know how to eat healthy, we now need to explore why we are not doing it.