What could make meal time a peaceful time? Are you looking to food to energize yourself and care for your body? Or are you using food to soothe difficult emotions?
When you look at eating as a way of caring for yourself, your dietary habits begin to change. The vitamins and nutrients you choose to consume or not consume have real implications for your health, so consuming the right ones becomes an act of self-love. But where do you start? What actual steps can you take to begin seeing your relationship with food through a positive lens?
Adopt a positive mindset
Lack of knowledge is usually not the problem when it comes to diet and weight loss.
We’ve all heard the advice before. “Don’t eat junk food.” “Don’t eat late at night.” Dietary advice can often be framed in terms of what not to do rather than getting you to think about what you actually enjoy doing. If you took some time to think about self care practices you would love to implement on a daily basis, you might actually be excited to add them to your routine.
Be specific. Design the healthy life you want
Do you want to “eat vegetables” in general? Or might you want to eat boiled brussels sprouts with extra virgin olive oil and spicy red pepper as a side dish with your evening meal? Do you want to “go to the gym” in general? Or might you want to compile a musical playlist of your favourite songs, and go for a half hour jog by the lake at sunset?
When you begin to think specifically, you learn that healthy living opens up so many opportunities for you to design life routines that you personally enjoy. What you enjoy, you do consistently, and without hesitation. For healthy habits to last, it is productive for you to actually identify the ones you could see yourself doing forever. This eliminates inner resistance, which is a common barrier for most people. It will you excited about the idea of self care!
Discovering the healthy habits you can commit to is a rewarding process, so start today! Taking action makes you feel like you are in control. There is an old saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Once the first step is taken, everything gets easier. Take out a pen and a piece of paper, and answer the following questions:
What are three easy, healthy eating related changes that I could make to my routine today?
- replacing soda with carbonated water
- replacing a morning muffin with a banana dipped in peanut butter
- replacing my lunch sandwich with a lettuce wrap
Which fruits and vegetables could I see myself actually enjoying every day?
Think outside the box: do you like peaches, blueberries, artichokes, avocado? Let your mind drift beyond the obvious choices.
What frozen foods do I buy that I could instead buy fresh?
- ground beef patties