I hear it already. The radio, TV, conversations I overhear on the bus. I hear people say “I’m going on a diet in January – no more sweets, wine, <insert whatever here>”.
It’s great to be motivated. It’s great to have goals. But when the restriction becomes too much, you feel deprived, and you don’t feel joy in what you are doing, it’s more likely that you’ll abandon all the good changes you’re trying to implement in your life.
So what to do?
Well first, let’s take a look at the concept of being on a healthy “wagon”. Maybe you get on the “wagon” on a Monday, maybe last a few days, a week, a month, or even 6 months. The “wagon” can be a restrictive place where you can feel isolated or like you are going on your health journey alone.
What if I told you, there is no wagon.
What if you just worked on one or two things a month, then after a year, you’re not even thinking about the healthy things you are doing for yourself, and they become second nature?
That would be pretty neat, right?
Start to get comfortable with the idea that you don’t necessarily need a strict plan to follow. Plans do have their place to teach great lessons, gather great data about yourself, and take the things you’ve learned to implement long term. The thing I see most though, is that people jump from plan to plan, and miss that reflection part. Any time you make a change, tap into how it makes you feel, and what it’s worth to you.
This time of year can be tough food wise. (Note: I am included in this, and so are all other nutritionists out there!) Sometimes people think I eat perfectly all the time. Truth is: I don’t (and my husband can attest to this). But what I do aim for is that everyday, no matter what, I get in my leafy greens, a portion of an avocado, and some lean protein. I know that when I do this I feel good! Sure, sometimes the occasional poutine, pizza and pasta dish make their way into my diet, but I don’t stress about it like I used to. I know that when I get in the good stuff, I don’t feel bad about the “bad” stuff. I just make sure I really enjoy it, then move on!
What I’m trying to say here, is don’t try to be 100% perfect with your diet 100% of the time. (Unless you’re competing in a bodybuilding competition or something).
If you have a food that you know isn’t the best for you, don’t think you are “off” any wagon you think you may have been on! Remember, there is no wagon, there are only choices that affect how you will feel after you eat or do something.
I hope this will help set you up for a great 2017 where together, we will make some great long term changes.
Side note: My 4 week “plan” I’ll be posting in January are tips that you can implement any time throughout the year. If you have a goal, give yourself the entire year to get there (but don’t procrastinate and freak out next November!)