Overcoming YOUR Obstacles
Written by Jenn Ryan
It may sound cliche to talk about writing down your ‘why’ for wanting to develop a healthy relationship with food and learning to fuel your body correctly for whatever your goal is. Here’s the thing: have you ever really done this?
Time and time again we ‘start over’ or ‘are ready to be disciplined’ with our nutrition. But if you can identify the reason you want to be learning what to incorporate on a daily basis, you’ll have a much better chance at not stopping and starting when another ‘obstacle’ that life throws at you comes your way.
Some common reasons people identify as wanting to ‘dial in their nutrition’ or ‘go on a diet’ are: “to lose weight”, “to feel better”, “to have a better relationship with food”, or “to perform better”.
What’s Your Nutrition “Why”?
Now to go further in-depth, ask yourself WHY you want these things – what impact with that have on your life? After you’ve identified that, ask yourself, “what would happen if I didn’t achieve those things?” This can be your motivation for finding ways to overcome the obstacles that have gotten in the way in the past – travel, vacation, kids, work, school, etc. Which of those ‘obstacles’ should keep you from eating whole food sources 80% of time, drinking a glass of water when you wake up, or taking a 10-minute walk?
So let’s take a look at some of the obstacles that may have kept you from feeling successful in your previous attempts at maintaining an optimal nutritional intake and lifestyle. Sustainability and implementation are two areas where people tend to find obstacles.
Was it Sustainable?
Sure, it’s nice to be told exactly what to do with a meal plan and regimen to follow according to your everyday routine. Exclusionary diets that tell you not to have any carbohydrates, fats, sugars, dairy or gluten, only eat at this time of day, etc. become less and less sustainable when you’re out of your normal daily routine.
If you have a family, is it sustainable to continue making completely separate meals from what the kids may be having because you can’t have carbohydrates or eat until a certain time of day? If you’re on vacation and there’s not enough choices to fill you up on only specific foods you can have, what do you do – starve yourself? That’s when we see/hear people go ‘off’ their diets…when they don’t know another way, because the eating plan is ‘all or nothing.’
Many people believe it’s just about willpower – but you will never win the battle between willpower and what the body wants over an extended period of time. That’s why there are studies showing that people who lose weight will end up gaining it back over the course of 1-3 years. Want to know if the nutritional philosophy you’re following works? Reassess to see where you’re at 1-3 years down the road.
How to Implement this into Your Life
After you’ve identified your obstacles in the past, now you can assess how to navigate your way around them. If you are someone who runs out of food at the house so you eat out often or just ‘wing it’, start with the basics like creating a grocery list for the week, cooking foods in bulk, and planning 2-3 meals a day plus some snacks. It doesn’t have to be perfect – but you do have to start somewhere.
Maybe you’re someone that says, “I just don’t have time”. There are plenty of ways to implement good nutrition habits efficiently. Buying premade food, enlisting in a meal prep service, or simply having a few larger meals so you aren’t making 5-6 meals a day. Time block. What does each day of your week consist of? List all of this in order of priorities, then see where you can fit in your trip to the grocery store and time for food prepping.
In order to truly understand your ‘why’ and realize your obstacles, write them down. It’s one thing to think about them or say them out loud, but there’s so much more power in writing this down. Place these thoughts somewhere that you can revisit down the road when you need them.
For more ideas on simplifying your life so you can focus on what’s important to you, check out…What Can You Have in Common with Steve Jobs?
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