Oh, the battle of willpower can have a strong pull. Maybe it’s the after dinner treat, ‘just’ a handful crackers, or a can of soda… I mean you did have a rough day and you DESERVE it. Your priorities and goals say you should drink another glass of water or pull out the veggies, but…
This theme comes up again and again for many people, you’re definitely not alone. One failed battle after another can make anyone put up their white flag. What can you DO? How do people overcome this repetitive behavior. Try harder next time??…well… I’d have to ask, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” Instead of blaming yourself for being weak, try following these steps to set your self up for success.
Step One: Make a list. Pull out the pen and paper and divide it into three columns. Red=STOP, Yellow=slow/sometimes, Green=Go
Where does willpower go right out the window? What foods are simply irresistible and don’t align with your health goals? Put those under the red column. Yellow are foods that you can resist most of the time. Maybe the are moderately healthy in the proportions. Then green light- GO! These are the healthy foods you enjoy! The foods are nutrient dense and should be eaten regularly. These foods make your body run like a machine!
Step Two: Prepare the family/roommates for a kitchen overhaul. Let them know that you are making some changes. This may take some collaboration and compromising. The goal is to improve your environment in such a way that it is 100x more difficult to eat unhealthy and if you mindlessly went through your kitchen healthy options would scream out at you.
Step Three: Dump the crap. This may take 10 minutes or 10 days. This takes some mental prep. I mean, I’m asking you to literally throw away perfectly good food! Well it’s kinda food… have you read the label, do you even really know what’s in it? That topics for another day. If this feels like too much, start out by throwing away food that would actually harm you. The week-old-moldy leftovers, that’s a good start. Build yourself up, and make a plan. Make a change everyday. Attack different parts of your kitchen each day (ie Day 1-fridge, Day 2-cupboards, Day 3 pantry, etc).
Now you don’t have to go and throw away everything. Remember step two, when your respectfully approached the other members of your family??? If a compromise means chocolate is NOT leaving the house, then move it. Make it very hard to get to. Put it in the garage, a top cupboard, or freezer.
Step Four: Go shopping! This is the fun part. Now that you’ve created some space in your pantry and refrigerator fill it up! All those green light foods, go out and get ’em! Maybe you need a blender to make some super shakes or some containers for meal preparation. What do you need to be your healthiest self?
Step Five: It’s easier to say no in the grocery store than to say no in your kitchen after a long day, when you’re starving. Continue to buy foods that align with your priorities and values.
Changing your environment is a piece of the puzzle. It’s a piece that allows you to take a meaningful action. Taking action is what creates change. You can think it, you can want it, but you need to do something. Losing weight comes from taking small, progressive actions. Get out there and do something that helps you live a healthier life!
If you need some help and want some guidance, I’d love to be there. Check out my year long nutrition coaching: program:http://fitspokane.com/online-nutrition-program/