Sometimes I forget I’ve only been on this journey for a few months. It feels like it’s been forever and how could I possibly go back to old habits. But that’s just not practical. Success is not a linear path; there are setbacks, but those setbacks don’t automatically equate to failure.
While I don’t necessarily follow a Whole30 diet at the moment, I appreciate the logic behind it and I have a lot of respect and admiration for it’s co-founder, Melissa Hartwig. Her book, Food Freedom Forever is one of my favorites. Regardless of whether or not you plan on following a Whole30 you should pick up this book; there is plenty of great advice on overcoming emotional eating habits. One part in particular comes to mind when I think about “failing” that helps put it into perspective:
“Your Food Freedom car will, at some point, meander off the road and slowly roll – or plunge headfirst – into a ravine of comfort foods: chocolate, donuts (chocolate donuts), ice cream, chips, bread, wine, cheese. This is likely to happen even if your reset was insanely successful… Why? Because changing your habits is hard, you’re still new at this, and you haven’t completely established healthy habits in place of all the old ones.”
What I’m trying to say is, it’s ok to not be perfect – if you couldn’t tell by my blog’s title I’m obviously not perfect! It’s totally normal to have setbacks; hell, it should be expected. I’ve found myself falling back into old (binge-y) habits this past week, and I have two options: I can give up and fall deeper into those bad habits again, or I can learn from those decisions and move on. I know, it’s easier said than done, and you’re right. It’s not easy to change habits, especially habits that have solidified over several years, but it’s not impossible. And aren’t the harder, less obtainable goals so much more worth it in the end?
So how am I going to move forward? Well, there are a couple steps to my plan:
- Food: I’m going re-focus on eating whole foods that make me feel good and also taste good, because it helps when I enjoy and look forward to my meals.
- Movement: I’m going to schedule movement into my week, honestly because I’m going to be super busy when my NTC program starts, but it will still be a helpful tool
- Triggers: The most important step is identifying triggers and coming up with a plan to avoid them in the future. This part takes quite a bit of self reflection that I don’t necessarily feel like posting for public consumption, but know that I’m working on this as well.
If you’re struggling with changing habits, know that you’re not alone. There’s no magic formula that lets us change overnight. It takes work, and patience, and a lot of grace, but I have to believe it will be worth it in the end.