“We all can’t help everyone, but we can all help someone” is a phrase that I came across recently that really rings true for me.
I know that I can’t change the world or get everyone eating I talk to eating healthy, but I feel it’s really important to share knowledge and help others. I’ve always been an extremely inquisitive and curious person, and whenever I learn something new I just feel the need to share it.
So if I can make a difference for just one of you today with this post, I’m going to do it.
First, I’m going to start off with a basic assumption: I know you want to be fit and healthy. Who doesn’t? But it’s not very easy to be once you’ve learned some bad habits is it?
We really want to change and have more energy, lose the weight and feel great. But something happens along the way…
You may or may not know what it is, but I think I know.
We tend to get in our own way and kind of sabotage ourselves, whether it’s subconsciously or not.
Let’s take a look at the some the top reasons we prevent ourselves from reaching our goals when it comes to achieving health and weight loss.
-Bad Attitude & Negative Perspective
-How You Talk To Yourself
-Wanting to Look Good To Impress Others
-Lack of Preparation and Planning
-Lack of Motivation
Bad Attitude & Negative Perspective
Your attitude about diet and lifestyle can stop you from succeeding before you even get started.
What not to do:
As dieters, we can have this attitude that eating healthy isn’t attractive. That the food doesn’t taste “good enough” as what we’re used to, that we’re deprived from our favorite treats, and somehow we’re being punished for our sins until we can drop the weight or gain our health back.
Then once we’ve achieved our goal we hope we can have a few treats again and relax a little.
You might even be telling yourself or others “Oh I can’t have that any more, I’m on a diet!!!”
Let me tell you from personal experience, this approach does NOT work.When we look at our new food as “the enemy” or not as good as what we used to have, we start to feel upset and stressed and resent it. And this can leave you seeking solace in your old favorites, trying to comfort yourself to feel better or feeling depressed and frustrated day after day.
What to do instead:
Change that attitude into a positive one.
Say to yourself something like, “I want to turn over a new leaf and start choosing foods that are not only delicious but are good for me and make me feel good.”
You know some of your past food choices haven’t been ideal. That’s ok. Today is a new day and try to have a positive attitude just to try it out. If you have to, fake it til you make it.
Try to look at your situation as wanting to be kind to yourself in a different way, a better way that not only keeps you healthy but brings more to your life like energy, happiness and longevity.
Try saying to yourself “I can eat whatever I want, but I want to choose foods that are healthful instead”.
Turn the negative into a positive. You make the decisions for you. You decide what you eat, and you choose different foods that are healthy, they are not forced upon you. Keep it positive and avoid any negative talk or attitude about your plant based meals.
By the time you get used to eating new healthier foods, your tastebuds will have caught up with you and you’ll realize these foods do actually taste pretty good, better than you thought they would.
Wanting to Look Good To Impress Others
Let’s face it, sometimes we can be a little insecure and vain.
We look at pretty and attractive people on tv and in the magazines and we can start to envy them.
Surely we would be happier if only we looked like them right?
What not to do:
You try to convince yourself to eat better and start exercising so you can dress to impress and look good for your spouse or flaunt it in front of friends and acquaintances.You think having people envy you will make you feel better about yourself and that should be motivation enough to stick to a new plan.
The truth is you’re actually sending a really bad message to your subconscious.
That somehow because you’re not currently getting praised for your looks or health that you aren’t worth it and if you were that would mean you were a success and make you feel better about yourself.
This is a bad situation.
The person who should care the most about your health is yourself. No one can force you or motivate you better to get healthy than yourself. Trying to diet or lose weight for someone else will not work for very long and soon you’ll be back to square one and still feel pretty crappy about yourself.
What to do instead:
Realize that you are the best motivator for getting healthy. Tell yourself that you want to get fit and feel great because of what a positive effect it will have on your life.
Get excited about all the benefits you will have by getting in shape and eatingbetter.
-clothes fitting better
-being more outgoing
-feeling confident about your body
-wanting to dress up and go out
-not feeling guilty about food
All of these things will be a much better at motivating you to get healthy than just to look good for someone else or impress acquaintances and strangers.
Feed your soul and not your ego and you’ll naturally feel this positive shift in your perspective and behavior.
How You Talk To Yourself
This will predominantly concern women as we tend to be very critical of ourselves and expect perfection.
What not to do:
You look at yourself in the mirror and feel hopeless and depressed. “How did I let it get this far?” you might ask yourself. You don’t feel worthy, you feel ashamed and suddenly you just want to sit around and open up a tub of ice-cream to console yourself.
If you ever feel like this please do not lose hope. The problem is not what you see in the mirror. The problem is what you are saying to yourself and how you are treating yourself. The mirror is only a reflection of your previous behavior. You’ve made yourself feel unworthy of health and success somehow turned to food to help fill the emptiness or sadness you feel.
What to do instead:
Realize that you are not the sum of what you see in the mirror. There is far more to you than what can be seen on the surface. But you need to look at that reflection of yourself as your friend, actually your best friend.
If you’re not your own best friend, don’t expect anyone else to be able to treat you better than yourself. Look at yourself and say “I accept myself unconditionally as I am right now.”
It helps if you can say this at least 5 times a day.
Even if you feel silly, even if you think it’s a lie, please just try it.
It helps to train your subconscious to associate your image with love and acceptance, instead of shame and guilt.
Visualization is highly beneficial for success. If you have any other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer you can use positive affirmations to help
your body heal as well. Envision yourself at your ideal body weight and in perfect health. Try to think about yourself like this throughout the day.
It will send signals to your body that will help you achieve your goals.
Lack of Preparation and Planning
What not to do:
You buy a bunch of recipe books or you spend hours online looking at recipes you want to make only to let them sit there in the back of your mind “to try one day”.
You don’t make a shopping list of items to buy, and you don’t really think about when you’ll go grocery shopping or when you’ll have time to make lunches or dinner.
So you come home from work, stressed out and feeling guilty and you order take out or pull out something unhealthy from the freezer to reheat.
You tell yourself “maybe next week I’ll do better… but I don’t know if I can do it.”
What to do instead:
This is something I really had to work on myself.
When I have been most successful in eating healthy I’ve prepared all of my meals at home, and brought food with me wherever I went.
1. Find some recipes that you want to make for the week. Plan out some simple meals like smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast, soup, stews, wraps or sandwiches for lunch and some casseroles or entrees for dinner.
2. Write down all the ingredients you need to buy and plan 1 or 2 times that you can shop for groceries. If you plan on making a lot of green smoothies or salad it helps to go twice a week as sometimes you can run out of fridge space for those bulky items.
3. The last step is to schedule some cooking/prep time for meals. If you don’t make time for this you really won’t be able to succeed and you risk having your produce go to waste.
Even if you have a busy work schedule or family life, try to find 1-2 hours at least 2-3 times a week that you can dedicate to creating healthy meals. Just take it slow, start out with a few recipes until you get the hang out if it.
If you make sure you have healthy meals already prepared in the fridge you are more likely to eat them whenever you get busy and stressed. Don’t let yourself get to the point where you’re starving, cranky and there’s nothing ready to eat in the fridge so you go out and get some fast food instead.
Anticipate those situations that make it easy for you to feel tempted to grab take out or fast food and be prepared.
Every time you have one of your healthy meals instead of something else, smile and praise yourself a little. You’re on your way to success!
Lack of Motivation
You may feel a lack of motivation towards many things, exercising, grocery shopping, preparing meals, eating healthy
Try to determine the root cause of your lack of motivation.
If you’re just too tired, try to go to bed a little earlier and get a little more sleep. If you feel uninspired or afraid of trying something new, ask your spouse or a friend to do it with you for moral support. (This could be exercising together, shopping together, cooking together etc).
You can also meet like minded people on websites such as www.meetup.com if you’re looking for some activity partners or veggie enthusiasts to talk to.
If you feel like you don’t have any time to work out, look at your schedule and plan all your other activities out and then see where you have some time. Even if you just
make time 30 minutes 3 times a week before work or after dinner to go for a walk or a light jog it will make a difference.
The key is to make realistic goals and start out with what you can manage and stick to it.
Studies have shown that once you have created a new habit and stuck to it for at least 21 days, it becomes almost second nature and is very easy to keep up.
The hardest part is going to be getting to that 21 days. But just take it one day at a time and praise yourself for the little victories along the way.
So now that we’ve covered some of the mental blocks that might be preventing you from being successful at a health new life style, I want to encourage you to remember the important things I’ve covered in this post.
-Start having a positive attitude with healthy food
-Don’t change for anyone else, change for yourself
-Accept yourself for who you are today
-Plan ahead for success
-Make time and get motivated with friends
or loved ones
While I can’t personally coach everyone on living a successful lifestyle (I’m still working on myself too!) I can help you when it comes to making meals with my mouth watering plant based dishes.
My Low Fat Vegan Starter Kit is the perfect way to get started in this journey.
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And I want to say thank you for all that you do by reading my emails and blog posts because without you I wouldn’t be able to reach out and help the world.
So in turn we are helping each other. 🙂
P.S. If you’ve already bought one of my ebooks in the package you can definitely upgrade to the whole package at a discount. Just contact me and I’ll give you the