When I first switched to eating healthy I wasn’t sure where to start. I was unsure of what I would actually eat if I was avoiding processed foods (like gluten and dairy). I almost felt panicked. Seriously, what will I eat? I got that question a lot when I told people what I was doing. So, what do you eat? Is there anything to eat that doesn’t have gluten or dairy in it? I kept getting a picture of Wheat Thins in my head…..what will I do with out my Wheat Thins??
Eventually I figured it out; one meal at a time. And once I did and looked back on my panicked initial reaction,I realized that that is was my mindset that held me back, not the lack of abundance of food choices. I had it in my head that food came in boxes and bags. I believed that all good food should be quick and “grab and go”. I realized I was eating purely for taste and not the benefit of what I consumed. I thought that it was ludicrous to consider that I would have to cook all the time!! Who has time to chop vegetables?
These were my thoughts, thus my mindset. I truly believed that eating shouldn’t take any extra work on my end. I also believed that all the studies I kept seeing on sugar and highly processed foods didn’t really apply to me, did it? I mean, I am still kind of young and seem to be in decent shape! It was this mindset that delayed the full on plunge into a healthy lifestyle…..for years.
Now I look at food completely differently. I look at spinach and broccoli as my own personal cancer fighting allies. I look at my grilled chicken as fuel to give me the energy I need to get through my afternoon. I fully enjoy the beauty of a vegetable hash and love the satisfaction of chopping them all! I have rediscovered spices! This is my mindset because I chose it. It started with allowing myself to believe that eating this way is normal and satisfying. I allowed myself the time (which I had plenty of, I just needed to recognize it) to prepare food so when I was in a rush I was still able to make a choice that kept in line with my goals.
I personally don’t like it when I am told “it’s all in your head” when I have a complaint of some sort. I realize that there are many challenges in changing your lifestyle that are not addressed in this post. However, in this case, that statement was true for me. By changing my mind, committing to eating nutritious food and seeing sugar and highly processed food for what it really is, making healthy choices is much, much easier. If you start by changing your mind, the rest of the change will be much, much easier.
Start with thinking about why you want to have a healthy lifestyle. Do you want to have less aches and pains? Do you want to avoid disease? Do you want to feel strong? Do you want more energy? Do you want to be sure to be there when your youngest walks down the aisle? Whatever the reason is, recognize it and remember it. Next, realize the power of nutrition and how it impacts you and your quality of life. Think on that for a while. You will thank yourself in 5 years for any positive changes you make today. Lastly, realize sugar and highly processed foods for what they really are. These foods are making us sick with diabetes, obesity, cancer, and more. Once you allow yourself to see this, the easier it is to make better choices most of the time.
Will you change your mindset today? Need some help getting started? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick start.