CREATE YOUR OWN DEFINITION OF HEALTHY

I’ve been having lots of conversations lately about eating and how to stay healthy and what I have noticed is that many people have rather extreme definitions around what ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ is and as a result their behaviours and habits around food tend to be extreme too, which makes achieving a healthy balance harder than it needs to be! So……

I invite you to explore your own definition of healthy and make changes at a pace that YOU can handle because declaring all out war on your body from the get go rarely works!

Here’s some tips that work for me and also the clients that I work with:

Learn To Trust Yourself

There’s nothing worse than planning out your meals for the week and as your about to tuck into your lunch,what you really fancy is something entirely different!

Learn to listen to your natural tendencies when it comes eating and instead of resisting any food, give yourself permission to have a bit of what you fancy because resisting for too long only leads to overindulgence somewhere down the line.

Ever fancied some chocolate only to resist, then a few days later you give in, only to demolish a bar bigger then you would have gotten originally!? I know I have and it took me a while to ‘get it’ – but instead of making ourselves feel like a failure we can build and practice our own best way to eat and that is for you to decide!

All or nothing rarely works in the long term. As soon as I started to practice self trust around food rather than over-thinking it and controlling it I not only stayed lean but I was much happier in the process.

Don’t Be Scared Of Food….Experiment!

Many of us fall into the same eating patterns and choosing the same foods out of convenience or because we say we don’t know what else to cook, which leads us to feeling bored and even deficient in certain nutrients!

If you don’t know where to start then just start slowly and maybe try one new recipe per week, or one new vegetable per week, we all have it in us to try something new! Just at the weekend I made courgette fritters with a few friends, they didn’t turn out right, but we had a laugh in the process and I learnt what to do different the next time!

Make Food A Celebration And Opportunity To Play!

I understand we lead busy lives and maybe a dinner party every evening isn’t possible, but we can all learn to be more playful around food and you’ll soon see your relationship with food improve and realise it isn’t so scary after all!

A dinner party with friends is a great example of making food a celebration and play rather than something boring and unexciting, so rather than bringing out the sandwiches and quiche, be playful and creative, look up some tasty recipes with lots of colour, make an effort with the presentation, and show yourself and others that food can be a source of not only good nutrition, but of joy, playfulness and love!

Get To Know What Keeps You On An Even Keel

By this I mean instead of going all out war on your body with dieting, take note of everything you still want in your diet and what the benefit is. As an example I know now and again I like to go to a coffee shop and have a nice mug of coffee and do some work on my laptop or read a book..

Why?

Because it is a sensory experience that brings me pleasure, right from the smells to the fancy tree they make on the froth…

…to the music playing…

… to the people chit chatting…

It engages me and is also a safe haven where I go to gather my thoughts…

I choose to have that coffee because the joy is in the experience.

Things that AREN’T on my list are things like cakes and biscuits, so they pretty much are out of my diet because they don’t bring me much pleasure…

You get the picture?

Activity

1) Make a list of the experiences which involve food/drinks that bring you joy and write down the benefit of keeping that in your life…. Are there any alternatives in this situation?

2) Make a list of the experiences which involve food/drinks that you currently partake in but you have flagged up as having a negative impact….. THEN you can set some simple guideline to work around so you get maximum benefit…

As an example, for me that would be alcohol. I enjoy a glass or two of wine and really appreciate it when it is part of an experience such as a meal with friends or even a cold beer on a hot sunny day, but if I have a few too many I end up feeling moody, dehydrated, low on energy, sleepy, un-focused, I crave foods I wouldn’t normally eat that don’t agree with me, I am less inclined to exercise, and I am less emotionally resilient, so I KNOW these things and make choices that are going to serve me not lead to these negative feelings and behaviours.

Take the coffee thing, I only have the 1 coffee per day, sometimes none, and I don’t continue to drink 3, 4 or 5 cups because it then starts to have a negative effect both physically and mentally and isn’t an experience then…its a force of habit that will overstimulate me and possibly wear down the adrenals if stress is already present.

So awareness of what will help YOU achieve longer term happiness and health from where you are at NOW is key here, and so I invite you to throw away the rule book and explore your own definition of healthy.

You with me?

I’d love to hear your thoughts

Stacey x

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