07 Feb Why is getting healthy so hard?
When I first decided to get healthy, I promptly marched into my kitchen, declared war on processed and sugary foods and ordered the immediate removal of all such items from our pantry. The cookies I was enjoying on the couch last night were the first to be banished to the rubbish bin. Those poor cookies must’ve been so confused. “But yesterday you loved us”. Shut up and be gone you sugarous scum! I went to the supermarket and stacked up on nothing but vegetables. All the colours of the rainbow (except purple, nobody likes eggplant). A large stalk of celery was included that was so tall I couldn’t zip up the top of my backpack. I was late for work so I decided to jog home. When I arrived home and took my back pack off, I was horrified to discover that Monsieur Broccoli had been having such a rollicking good time in my backpack that he had jimmied the top of the back pack wide open and there was not one item of produce left in my bag. As I was late for work, I had no time to backtrack and retrieve the lost legumes (RIP). The thought of those vegetables scattered across the small town in Japan where I live still makes me laugh to this day. It is also conclusive evidence that getting healthy is really, really hard.
For most of us, there is a moment in our lives when we make the decision to get healthy. We immediately do exactly as I did and throw out every bread and sugar related product in the house. We daren’t even look at anything with sugar in it lest it poison us by osmosis. And don’t even get me started on alcohol, the demon drink. We make a loud proclamation to our best friends that “this time it will be different, for this time it is for good”. Then, smash cut to one week later when you’re passed out in the corner of McDonalds at 2.17am Saturday morning, drunk as a skunk and propping yourself up on your best friends shoulder uttering those immortal words “well I guess the diet is over”.
What we often fail to realise is that being healthy is really, really fucking hard. We assume that because we know the formula (Eat salad + jog a bit = Perfect health) that somehow getting healthy is going to be super easy and as a result we tend to beat ourselves up over and over again for not doing it. We call ourselves lazy and we get embarrassed when we have a few days of bad eating. But if we truly accepted how hard it is to get healthy and stay healthy, I think we would go a lot easier on ourselves and on others. If you look at anyone that lives a healthy lifestyle, they don’t eat perfectly all the time but they quickly get back to eating well if they slip for a few days. They forgive themselves and recommit. It’s not what we do sometimes that makes a difference, it’s what we do all of the time.
Because we think getting healthy is simple we don’t dedicate a lot of will power to it. The reality is, we only have a very limited amount of will power to use every day and changing to a healthier lifestyle takes a huge amount of willpower to be successful. The modern world is so busy and stressful that by the time the decision comes to find all of the ingredients to make a healthy dinner or just phone in another large meat lovers pizza, most of us are so exhausted that we often just take the easy option. You have to have enough will power in the tank to allow yourself to push through the tiredness, push through the excuses and make yourself eat healthy. You can do this by making your health a number one priority for at least one month. Put everything else on hold that doesn’t directly relate to you leading a more healthy lifestyle. Dedicate the majority of your willpower every day to getting healthy and keep doing that until it becomes a habit.
Getting fit and healthy is a really big challenge so don’t be so hard on yourself! Free yourself up to so you can throw everything at your health. You can do that by making it your number one priority for at least a month. That means dedicating enough will power to making healthy meals and exercising so you set yourself up for maximum success. Once you’re in the habit of being healthy, you’ll be unstoppable. Make 2016 the year you set the foundation for the rest of your life.
Do you want 2016 to be the year you become healthy for good? The best way to get fit and healthy is having someone giving you personalised advice and tips and keeping you accountable every week. Having a private coach is a great way to do this. Contact me now to book in a free, 2 hour confidence boosting call and see if coaching is a good fit for you.