Do you embrace change or do you run and hide from it?
While it can be easier to keep doing the same things you’ve been doing day after day, year after year, opening yourself to small changes over time can really improve your health in the long run.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can make gradual changes to what you eat, drink, and do, and once you notice positive effects, it will make it easier to continue.
For example, if you eat two of your meals at fast food restaurants most days, you can start with eating one meal at a fast food restaurant, and make the other meal at home. This introduces many healthier meals during the week without making you feel deprived. We all know that when you feel deprived, you want what you’re missing out on even more! By not going cold turkey, you can adjust to this new habit while still having some of the old.
You Can Make Changes if You Want To
So if during the work week, you stop at a drive-thru for your morning coffee, bagel, egg sandwich or breakfast burrito, and then go out with co-workers for fries and a burger with a jumbo pop, maybe make an omelette or have a smoothie at home and then go out for lunch with co-workers. The next week, choose two days to brown bag your lunch along with eating breakfast at home. The week after, add another brown bag day to the mix.
Do you see how this is doable?
Continue on until you are rarely eating at fast food restaurants (and you realize you don’t even miss it!)
You can do this for other habits you want to change over time, such as:
• drinking several sugary (and expensive) lattes every day
• eating fried everything
• drinking regular and diet pop all day
• eating most of your meals out of a box
• giving in to your sweet tooth (and it’s demanding)
• skipping meals
• inhaling your food (only good during a pie eating contest)
• snacking all day
• avoiding vegetables (French fries and ketchup don’t count)
• mindless eating
• drinking energy drinks and coffee to try to make up for a lack of sleep
• eating oversized portions
• being sedentary (your couch has a mold of your body)
• not incorporating enough time for yourself
Surround Yourself with Healthier Options
Start by focusing on a habit you want to change, and set an achievable goal. A good way to cut down on certain things like drinking pop, eating processed food, and eating too much sugar is to avoid having them in your home. You will be less tempted if it’s not right there for the taking. Having to go out to buy them might cause you to reach for something healthier. That requires you to have healthier options at home.
Picture it Happening
Visualize yourself eating, feeling, looking, and being the way you want to. If you want to be less sedentary, visualize yourself enjoying a team sport, yoga, walking, cycling, Zumba, or strength training. Imagine feeling more energetic, happier, stronger or fitter after becoming more active as if you already do. Really feel it. Ask a friend to do it with you for support and more enjoyment if you are not motivated to do it alone.
You really can make changes if you want to. The main thing is to start small and to not give up. Before you know it, it will become a new, healthier habit.
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