Because of the ginormous amount of very attractive diets and other health-oriented quick fixes, it’s easy for us to buy into the idea that it’s possible to very quickly change our habits and behaviors.
But, remember this…
No matter how old you are, chances are good that your current eating and/or exercise habits were established a long time ago.
Like, years ago.
First there were the habits that were passed down to us by our parents.
And then? The habits that got put into place when we first got out on our own.
Remember the infamous, immortal, late teens, early twenties?
This was when, probably not super consciously by the way, habits we still battle with today were formed.
So, why on earth do we think we ought to be able to change these years-in-the-making habits in a 7-day cleanse or 21-day diet?
Chances are, we can’t.
And, how about this….
When our eating/exercise habits were formed, we were maybe, well, perhaps not super concerned with healthy living. Let’s just say that at 18 I wasn’t hyper focused on preventing heart disease.
In other words, kind of a bummer that we established eating habits when we didn’t have to care as much about what or how we ate.
At 18 I’d eat, no joke, a Big Mac, six-piece chicken McNugget, large fry and a coke without so much as a single thought about inflammation, weight gain, or anything else of that sort. And that cute little 1594 calorie meal (yeah, I did the math) was just one of the meals I’d eat on that day.
And yet, I was thin, had energy, with no real digestive issues to speak of (though, in the interest of transparency, I was an asthmatic and did have pretty bad allergies…so, thank goodness for inhalers and Sudafed).
Fact is, I didn’t really think too much about food one way of the other. No interest. Didn’t have to.
Turns out, years later, my body essentially said “yeah, I can’t keep this crap up any longer, so hey, just an idea, but how about no more Mc-Frickin’-Donalds?” Weight was going up, energy was going down.
I decided it was time for a change.
Understatement of the century: It wasn’t easy.
So I did what many do…this plan, that plan, this book, that book. Tons of information and knowledge about healthy behaviors, but no sustainable plan of attack.
As a result, couple points here:
- When you expect to change habits that were literally years in the making in a fraction of that time, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- Get very clear (journaling is super helpful here) on why you want to make the change in the first place. Trust me, it ain’t weight loss, diabetes or anything that specific. Chances are you want to feel better. You want to have more energy and vibrancy. In other words, you might be at an age where you actually want to think about food one way or another. Is it possible that food has a deeper purpose than just what tastes best in the moment? Hmmm….
This, like many other things I write and talk about, is easier said than done, but…Slow down a bit and ease your way in to whatever changes you want to make.
Take a moment to think about where these habits started and how long they’ve been around in your life.
This may be just the information you need to avoid taking on too much too soon and burning out.
This may be just the information you need to begin the process of real change.