The amount in which we need to work on our personal health habits differs greatly from person to person. For some of us, a small adjustment may be needed, while others urgently require a change. It can feel as as we are hopelessly attached to our bad habits, making it seem impossible to change. We see ourselves as “unhealthy” and believe we are incapable of change. However, that is not correct. I can attest to the truth that it is possible to transform health radically. No matter how many mistakes you’ve made, you can always correct them. I’m going to offer you a few strategies that worked for me and I know they’ll help you, too.
What Drives You?
There is probably something, or many things, driving your desire to change your habits. “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I do this?” are excellent motivators, and clearly articulating your “why” is essential for establishing a new lifestyle. If that’s what you really want, I’m willing to be an example for you and your children. Perhaps you are a grandparent newly arrived on the spot and intend to remain for as long as possible. Perhaps you were recently diagnosed with a disease that is largely the result of lifestyle, and you are therefore trying to turn things around and minimize the opportunities for further health decline. Know why you want to change, and really give it some thought. Find the true motivations behind things and keep digging until you’ve found them. Keep asking questions until you reach a point where you cannot answer any more.
Start Small to Build Up Confidence
When you consider your current health status and the position where you know you need to be, you may feel intimidated. With so many bad habits to break, and so many changes that need to be made, it can feel overwhelming. When we feel this way, we tend to act in an unconventional manner. Instead of dealing with a problem piece by piece, we ignore it altogether. Having to do something and not doing it can cause us to suffer from guilt, frustration, and other negative emotions. Confidence grows as you are able to implement smaller changes. In addition, you will realize how capable you are of changing, and it will drive you to greater achievements. Do not overeat even if you feel full even if you are eating out. If you really like the meal, you can refuse the bread that comes out, and leave dessert if you prefer. For just a few nights this week, replace the usual cake or ice cream with fruit instead.
Don’t Try to Be Perfect
There are some people, however, who have avoided all sugar and refined carbohydrate foods for a considerable amount of time. To be honest, I really don’t know if I’m capable of demonstrating that level of commitment. I’m very healthy, but from time to time I enjoy a dish of ravioli or Almond Joy. Many people believe that because eating can bring them great pleasure, it is okay to choose food because it tastes good even if it is not the healthiest food. Don’t try to exaggerate the challenge; if you go all out, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Going from a junk food junkie to quitting eating sugar completely overnight is an extremely drastic change, and I wouldn’t hold my breath on it working out. It’s important to realize that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t always mean foregoing everything good in life.