I’ve really enjoyed the comments and messages from you out there about your experiences and the various ways you’re changing eating habits to make 2014 a healthier year. It’s those comments that inspire me today to write about a strategy I think really works for keeping me on track.
Common problems I hear from clients and readers are:
‘I have no willpower.’
‘I’m just lazy, I guess.’
‘I can’t say no to _________ .’ or ‘I can’t say no when ___________ .’
It’s a misconception that people who are eating clean and staying off sugar are stronger or better in some way. Even people with enviable bodies are engaged in everyday mini-battles between what they want now and what they want long term. And sometimes, everybody loses. Again, what I advocate for is more than a limited time detox, but a lifestyle change to a less toxin-filled, sugar-dependant eating style.
Knowing that mistakes happen is not an excuse, if used correctly. Instead, seeing them as opportunities to learn, improve and problem solve is a great strategy. When we are critical of ourselves, we can’t problem solve very well. So develop an acceptance that you will slip, but promise yourself to analyse your mistakes so that you can keep moving towards your goal. Don’t throw out all your good work by saying, ‘It doesn’t matter now, I’ve blown it!’. Just accept, analyse and make a plan for next time.
Bearing that in mind, here’s what I do when I’m stuck in a potential moment of weakness. I say to myself, ‘Not today, maybe tomorrow.’. I learned that most times, all I need to do is buy time. Another day in the bag, and maybe tomorrow, if I can’t resist, I’ll cheat. Most of the time, I’m able to put myself off until my scheduled cheat day. But even if I can’t, at least I bought myself one more day. As an example, there has been a recent trigger point for me – Friday night. A big week is done, I get in late from work and I want to slip into slippers and sip wine. Instead, I used ‘maybe tomorrow’ and enjoyed a cup of herbal tea, thinking how much I’d enjoy the wine tomorrow. As it happened, I got distracted, a few more days have passed and I wonder if I might just save the wine for another weekend. Let yesterday go, and keep your energy focused on today. Everyday is a new opportunity.