Do you ever struggle with making healthy choices? Do you find it hard to keep to healthy habits, even when you know you’ll benefit from them in the long run?
I think we all do! But there is a way to make it easier for yourself – and that’s by reframing the narrative around what you consider ‘healthy’.
We’re all used to being told to eat our vegetables, get lots of exercise, avoid certain foods and drinks, spend our time wisely, etc, etc. But sometimes it seems like all those things are more like chores or things that require us to deprive ourselves of pleasure, rather than things to take joy in.
But, when it comes down to it – don’t you always feel good in your body when you’ve been for a walk, and don’t you feel better about yourself when you’ve enjoyed a healthy meal?
My human, Annie, struggles with this a lot. As she’s diabetic, it’s very important that she eats the right things and takes as much exercise as she can. And, intellectually, she knows she feels physically and mentally better when her glucose levels are well regulated. But she also has a lot of stories in her head (from decades of life experience) that tell her chocolate is the only answer when she’s feeling down, or that eating healthy alternatives is a restriction she should be annoyed by.
The answer here is to take those stories and replace them with others that help you keep to your good habits without resentment. What has helped Annie is to remind herself that being kind to herself is actually making the healthy choice. This is because eating the right thing and taking exercise actually help her feel better, in both her body and her mind. So, they aren’t things she should feel annoyed at having to do; they’re things she can take pleasure in because she knows they will make her life better overall.
This links back to my last blog post about making positive choices – if you can find way to experience joy in everyday, necessary tasks and choices, you can reframe them in your mind as positive, rather than obligations you resent.
With food, try to find healthy alternatives you really like, which you can savour as you eat them, getting pleasure from their taste and texture as well as the knowledge that you’re making a good choice. With exercise, find somewhere beautiful to walk in or someone you enjoy spending time with to go on your walk with. That way, you will look forward to getting out and about.
Why don’t you give it a try and let me know how you get on?
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