‘Tis the season. Where do you lack the motivation? Is it a battle with your weight? Are you tired all the time? Do you want to feel better and prevent disease?
Somehow, no matter what the goal is, we find it SO difficult to prioritize our health and give ourselves the chance to FEEL GOOD. What is getting in the way?
1. NOTHING IS WRONG, YET
You haven’t had a heart attack or huge medical scare. Everything must be fine, and if something happens there will hopefully be a cure. Unless some big health crisis occurs, you have no motivation to be healthy. Some of us are fine and will always be fine. Others may have a scary wake up call when they least expect it. Unfortunately, those disease resistant genes we all wish we for are not that common.
It is too expensive to live a healthy lifestyle, right? It’s interesting how we don’t blink an eye at all the luxuries we insist on having in life. The pretty SUV, latest iPhone, and even the daily beverage fix we require. You can’t buy fresh vegetables and healthy protein, but pizza night every weekend and Starbucks five days a week is completely manageable. As long as they are small purchases here and there, they aren’t substantial. Trust me, they add up more than you think.
3. YOU KNOW IT ALL
You know exactly what to eat and what to do, you just aren’t doing it. No person will be able to help you because you know nutrition front and back. I hear this ALL the time. I assure you, there are things that you don’t know. There are things I don’t know. Often when we think we know it all, it’s really that we’re scared to learn that what we’re doing may not be the ideal approach for our individual body. If all that you know is working so well, why are you struggling? It may be that you just don’t want to admit that something has to change. After all, that could mean breaking an addiction that you think you don’t have.
This is a big one. We have been taught for so long by the media and health professionals that we need to eat less and exercise more. If we reduce our calories and get a gym membership, we will be invincible. The reality is, it isn’t calories that are making us fat, sick and tired. It is what makes up those calories, and some of the most unhealthy food choices are in fact, “low calorie” options. Those strict 1500-calorie counters continue to struggle, and in some cases, are the most unhealthy people.
5. IT’S HARD
If anyone says it is easy, they are lying. There are strategies to makes things easier, but it still doesn’t make it easy. Some people have it really hard – beyond your imagination hard! They can’t be in a room where there are nuts, or can never enjoy a meal out because of such severe allergies, or maybe need to take insulin multiple times a day. Believe me, we all have it hard to a degree, but you probably don’t have it that hard right now.
6. YOU ONLY BUY HEALTHY FOOD
“I don’t understand why I am not feeling better. I never buy cookies, Coke or chips. We never bring that junk in the house!”
Many clients and other people I know face the majority of their food battles outside the home. Just because you don’t bring it in the house doesn’t mean the temptations are there every hour you aren’t in the house. Every single day you can find an opportunity to celebrate or cope: birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, promotions, STRESS, company over, graduation, Sally’s homemade cookies, luncheons, a student made you brownies, STRESS, the week is over, your child received a good report card, Christmas party, STRESS — should I continue? You get the drift. The “no junk in the house” crowd sometimes have the most difficult time because they feel deprived and look for an excuse anytime, anywhere – even if it means loading up at Costco on Halloween candy when you know you only get four trick-or-treaters at the door every year. There are SO many exceptions to your no junk rule.
Bottom line is that we all struggle to some degree. Not one nutrition expert, gluten-free blogger, or health professional has it easy. Don’t wait for the perfect time financially, or the next lightning bolt health scare. Recognize where you are struggling and address one thing at a time. Also, realize there is no perfect time.
My genes are not that strong and my battles exceed what many would assume. I remain in this field because I see how powerful food can be, not only for my clients, but for my own health as well.
I don’t get paid by anyone to tell you to nourish your body, or that sugar has the potential to kill you. What I enjoy about my job is finding ways to make these struggles easier for people because I understand.
What is your main struggle? What can you do TODAY to make a change that will benefit your health? Maybe you need to take a closer look at your budget and expenses? Perhaps it’s recognizing that you aren’t invincible and there are people that love you and need you to be healthy. There are a lot of people out there that can help with that first step.