I wrote this blog about 3 hours prior to hearing the news about Steve Jobs – what timing. As sad as that news was, it definitely motivated me (even more) to move on to my ‘next phase’.
I have been thinking a lot about my goals lately – goals in relation to both my mission of helping people eat healthier and my own personal health & nutrition goals. When I started out, my main goal was basically to lose weight and feel good when I looked in the mirror.
Once I reached that goal, I reset my goal. The one thing I have learned is this – you always need to have a new goal. You see, once you reach your goal, there are only 2 ways to go from there. If you do not choose the goal of improvement, most likely, you will naturally go the other direction.
Thinking back to all the changes that I have made in my fitness and nutrition habits – if someone would have told me 4 years ago that I had to stop what I was eating and eat the way I do now, I would have politely proceeded to ask them what they had been smoking before they met with me.
As you know, my approach to weight loss (and improved nutrition, fitness and health), is small changes over time. For me, making large scale changes, in a short amount of time, is not a recipe for long lasting permanent change.
This is exactly why Diets Don’t Work! To me ‘diet’ has turned into a nasty word. Here is the definition of diet from Websters:
1di·et noun \ˈdī-ət\
a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b : habitual nourishment
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight <going on a diet>
When most people say ‘diet’, they assume the last definition ‘d’. The problem with this is, when you ‘go on a diet’ that implies you eventually will come ‘off’ the diet. Therein lies the problem.
The title of this blog is – ‘good news (and bad news) about your food’. So here it goes.
Let’s start with the bad news, so we can end on a positive note.
BAD NEWS: If you have a couple extra pounds (or more), you’re not happy with how you look in the mirror, or you are not happy with your health, or whatever – then…whatever you are doing is not working for you.
OK that was a little harsh, but wait…there’s more! Not only is it not working for you now, it will NEVER work for you! Not today, not yesterday, not next week, not next year, not in a gazillion years will it EVER work for you (can you tell I am standing on my chair jumping up and down right now).
And there is no magic pill or operation that will fix this for you. Your body is way too smart for that and it will just cause other problems for you down the road.
You have to fix the underlying problem.
OK don’t stop reading! I promise the good news will make you feel better.
This is exactly why I took so long to commit to making a change in my lifestyle. I was afraid. I was afraid that I would have to give up all the things I loved. I would have to give up pizza, chips, burgers,…<insert your favorite things here>. Plus eating healthy seemed way too difficult. It was much easier to grab something at the gas station, while I was filling up the car. I think this is what holds a lot of people back from eating healthy.
Another big reason why people choose not to eat healthy is the ol’ “well, I already eat pretty healthy.” Yes, that was my line, too. I thought I was eating healthy, but I wasn’t. How do you know whether you’re eating healthy or not? Well, if you do not have the body you want right now, then you are most likely not eating the best you can.
OK, I think you have a had enough bad news for today, now let’s try and cheer you up a bit.
THE GOOD NEWS: The good news is, you don’t have to give up the things you love! Today I can eat ANYTHING I want and stay in great shape. When I go to parties, or to someone’s house, or out with friends, if I want something, I eat it. I don’t give myself grief over it. Sure, other people may ooh and aah that I am eating something less healthy, but it is no big deal to me. My body can handle the occasional bad thing here and there because I don’t eat like that every single day.
Now that I have said this, the other bit of good news is, your cravings change over time.
My cravings today are much different today, than they were 4 years ago. What I ‘want’ now is much different than what it used to be.
When you nourish your body with what it truly needs, it heals itself and it is happy. You will no longer crave those things that you held so dear – the things that were holding you back from having the body you were designed to have. In fact, your body will actually start craving healthy foods and you will start feeling bad when you do not feed your body the healthy stuff.
OK I know what you are thinking, and no, I did not smoke anything before I wrote this. It is all true!
I started this blog talking about my personal goals and I think I am ready to reset my goals again. I have gone through what I am calling 3 phases:
Phase 0: Wanting to do something, but being overwhelmed, in denial, or waiting for that special event, or doctor visit to force me to move forward and make a change.
Phase 1: Being happy in my skin. This included weight loss and body fat goals.
Phase 2: Improved nutrition for the purpose of improved body composition and general health.
Phase 3: Which I am starting on now (today) – continued improvement body composition, general health and long term health. Meaning, what can I do today and going forward, to ensure my health 5, 10, 20, 40, 60 years from today?
Our environment is crazy right now, especially as it relates to food and our health. There is a ton of incredible research on all of the diseases we are suffering with in our society today. I can not blog about all of them because you would spam me. But what I can tell you is this, there is a theme – they ALL stem back to what we eat (or don’t eat).
Looking ahead at some changes I would like to make for my long term health, it seems overwhelming to me. Today, I feel much the way I felt when I started 4 years ago. But this time, I know not to let that hold me back! This time, I know that someday, maybe 1 mo, 6 mos, 1 year or 3 years from now, I will be looking back at today and saying the exact same thing as I am saying today about how I felt 4 years ago.
I am not sure what Phase 4 will be or look like, but I can’t wait to find out! So this is my goal, to keep figuring out easy, simple ways to improve myself for today and for the future and to help you do the same.
No matter what Phase you are in with your nutrition, start today to improve it. The sooner you start, the quicker you will get there and the longer you will get to enjoy the rewards!