By Jennifer Lesyna Anthony, Positivity Charge Community Manager
Here at The Positivity Charge, we are all about infusing positivity into everything we do, but we totally get that fostering a positive relationship with our eating habits is an area that can feel really tough sometimes.
If you find yourself working so hard to try to cultivate more positive vibes in your life, but also find yourself in an unhealthy tailspin of majorly negative vibes every time you eat a cookie, or, let’s be honest, a whole box of cookies, I hope you’ll consider trying the following strategy to help nudge yourself back towards more healthful eating while keeping your positive vibes going strong, too.
As a Health Coach who has gone through her own weight loss journey, I love using the strategy of “crowding out” unhealthful foods with healthy ones personally and with clients who are feeling majorly bummed out by their recent lifestyle choices. It’s a great way to take back your power and your positive vibes in a simple way.
Crowding Out: Try these super simple trick to healthify your diet without going into deprivation mode
#1) FIRST: STOP AND BREATHE.
When your mind is spiraling out of control and in a thousand different directions, give yourself a mental time out to reconnect and ground yourself. This can look like a formal meditation practice, but really can be just as simple as a 30 second mental break. Personally, I keep it informal to avoid it feeling like another “task” and just like to close my eyes and put my hands over my heart and stomach and focus on my breathing until I feel myself relax and connect with my higher self. Once I feel my negative chatter quiet down, I then open my eyes.
#2) TAKE A TRUE ASSESSMENT OF WHERE YOU ARE AT WITH YOUR EATING HABITS.
When I talk with clients that are having a hard day and feel completely off track, I always ask them to walk me through the actual details of their lifestyle habits over the past 48 hours and to share not only the “bad” but also to reflect on what they did WELL over that period. More often than not, they realize that they have been doing many things well, but have catastrophized their situation over 1 – or a box – of cookies. If you find yourself struggling with putting everything into perspective, get it out of your head and write down the real deal details of the past 48 hours. Try underlining the positive habits you engaged in and circle the items that represent areas you’d like to improve.
#3) PICK (JUST) ONE PART OF YOUR LIFESTYLE ROUTINE TO WORK ON & FOCUS ON WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO ADD TO IT RATHER THAN WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE AWAY.
Rather than coming down hard on yourself with strict rules, focus on what healthful replacements you would like to introduce to your diet or exercise routine. For example, if you have been reaching for doughnuts for breakfast every morning at the office think of 1-2 healthful breakfast options you’d like to integrate into your routine for a set time period (Example: I am going to make a veggie scramble or green smoothie for breakfast everyday this work week. Be sure to be specific. Write out a list of ingredients your will need and make plans to get the groceries in the house for these new and delicious breakfasts that you will be excited for AND will leave you feeling great all day long that you are going to add to your routine. By focusing on what you are adding in to your routine, rather than focusing on what you are taking away, you will naturally “crowd out” less healthful foods and add a positive habit to your daily routine.
#4) FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE ONE PART OF YOUR ROUTINE YOU’D LIKE TO IMPROVE + COMMEND YOURSELF FOR YOUR EFFORTS.
Building self-trust in your ability to follow through on commitments that you make to yourself is an integral piece of the puzzle in creating a positive and healthy relationship with your nutrition + fitness goals.
At the same time, be sure to set yourself up for success: don’t over commit to goals that you won’t be able to follow through with and try to make thoughtful and practical commitments that inspire you and will impact you the most profoundly. Don’t forget to truly celebrate your successes rather than dismissing the changes you’ve made as “not enough.”
You can always continue to up-level your routine, but be sure to recognize the steps you are taking along the way!