19 Jan 2012
Let’s be honest. Changing your life- real, long-term change- is hard. It seems that everywhere we turn, our culture and our corporations are working against us. American food is about convenience and indulgence: Getting what we want, when we want it. (And that usually means something loaded with sugar, salt, and bad fats!)
Breaking this mold requires a total change in mindset. It requires you to stand apart from the pack, determined in your resolve and in your new-found priorities. It’s not about being holier-than-thou (a quick way to lose friends!); it’s about having your priorities straight and having a clear understanding about what matters most.
Instead of thinking about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do, it’s far more productive to look at your everyday choices in the context of the bigger picture. When confronted with a decision, consider how your choice will affect you and your body. Not just in that moment, but for that week, that year, or even the rest of your life. When that giant slice of cheesecake (or whatever your “kryptonite” may be) is calling your name, it’s helpful to ask yourself: “Is this what I really want? Sure, it may taste great, but is it truly the best thing for me? Or is feeling better physically and being healthier more important to me than the short-lived indulgence of that dessert?”
Existing in a constant state of denial is no way to live either, of course; always depriving yourself of that slice of cheesecake will doom you to frustration and eventual failure (whatever “failure” may mean). It’s critical to maintain balance. It really is okay to enjoy that cheesecake every once in awhile–if it’s truly an uncommon treat. (And when you do have it on that rare occasion, it’s that much more enjoyable, because it’s actually a treat!)
Even more important than saying “no” to that cheesecake is saying “yes” to healthful, life-affirming foods that you truly enjoy. Finding new foods that are good for you- and tasty too!- is what it’s really all about. Focusing on what you can have instead of what you can’t will make all the difference. In the long run, positivity will always trump negativity.
Real change takes time. Living a healthy lifestyle is a journey of self-discovery, and a journey by its very nature will take awhile. Your first steps start when you have your “ah-ha!” moment and realize something’s got to change. After that, the path in front of you may twist and turn a bit, but as long as you keep headed in the right direction, you’ll come out ahead.
Has a change in your mindset helped you make lasting changes in your life? Tell us what worked for you!
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