Pizza. Chocolate. Gummy bears. Sugar. Salt. Bolivian food. These were some of the answers I received when I asked around on social media about the obstacles people struggle with most when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. And it’s not just what you eat, but how much you eat that can be an obstacle.
As You Age
I am no stranger to food cravings or addictions. Pizza and wine, burgers and beer, cookies, brownies, ice cream, don’t get me started or I literally will not stop. While I may have been able to get away with eating like this on a regular basis in my teens and twenties, with every added decade I require a little more discipline. Add in surgical menopause, and my eating requires even stricter and consistent nutritional guidelines.
A Matter of Life and Death
A healthy lifestyle is all about feeling your best. But in some cases, it is also a matter of life and death. If you or someone in your family see a cardiologist or an oncologist, if you have diabetes, or if you suffer from illness or disease, food makes all the difference in the quantity and quality of your life.
Here are a few of the habits and rules you can incorporate into your healthy lifestyle to deal with food cravings and addictions:
Choose Between What You Want Now and What You Want Most
The best-laid plans can falter based on your emotions but “NO PLAN” leaves your decisions mostly to feelings and you all know this can be disastrous.
Is this Decision Helping or Hurting the Future Me?
Before every decision you make regarding food ask yourself, are my ACTIONS building HABITS that are moving me toward my GOALS to a BETTER Place or away from my GOALS to a WORSE place.
Eating Crappy Food Isn’t A Reward
Instead of rewarding yourself with food, especially the unhealthy kind, reward yourself with time off, a new book, or piece of clothing. Reward yourself with a non-food pleasure.
Building the Habit of “I Don’t Eat That”
When confronted with food items that do not serve you state out loud, I DON’T EAT THAT. When you think about food items that do not serve you state out loud, I DON’T EAT THAT. If you are offered food items that do not serve you and you feel yourself hesitate, RIGHT AWAY BEFORE YOU FALTER state out loud, I DON’T EAT THAT.
This is a mental muscle and the more you flex it the more powerful it will get. You will strengthen the HABIT of staying the course.
Define Healthy and Start with Why
It’s important to know what healthy means to you. What do YOU want as part of a healthy lifestyle and WHY do you want it?
Keep Your Promise
Every time you do something that is out of alignment with the goal you set for the promise you made, you make it easier to do again and again. When you keep your word, you build the mindset that you always keep your promises.
Occasionally, you may give in to a food craving or unhealthy food choice. Give yourself grace and kindness, and get back on track.
– Lori Ann
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