Have you ever noticed your weeks fall into themes?
Does the same concept, idea or struggle repeat itself to you over and over until you finally pay some attention to it? I see these subtle themes form often, but by the end of this week, the theme has been glaringly obvious. I’ve had more people than ever reach the (pardon my french) “screw it” phase of their relationship with nutrition.
Can you relate? You’ve been making good choices, even seeing progress and results (maybe not fast enough for your preference, but they’re coming). Then, you have a bad day and you’re in the carbs like Buddy the Elf.
I’ve read every book I can get my hands on about this phenomena. Food is surely the most popular (legal) substance used for coping. Scientifically, it actually makes sense. We are ruled by our hormones. It’s one of the fastest (again, legal) ways to change our hormones. Most books you read on the subject will tell you to focus on self-love, self-acceptance, self-respect. I think that’s all a big load of hooey. I bet most of you are just as well adjusted and self respecting as any of us. The key to breaking this cycle is to find other ways to regulate your hormones. Before you go seeking the nearest prescription pad, consider this:
If you don’t love & respect yourself, surely work on that. But I am not going to sit here and preach about something that is clearly not a problem that can be resolved via a blog post. I can, however, offer you some alternate ways to check yourself before you wreck yourself because eating a box of donuts is, indeed, bad for your health…
(If that’s the case, move one. Tomorrow is a new day)
So you’re about to chow down:
If you know you’re about to dig in to something that doesn’t support your goals, you’re probably hosting a hormone war in your body. Previously, I’ve suggested that you should first perform one or more of the following tasks:
Take a walk
Call a friend
Read for 10-20 min
Then, if you still want something, take 10 deep breaths and re-decide how you feel about it.
While that is still excellent advice that I stand behind, let me offer you something new.
You know how many experts say it’s about loving yourself? And remember how I said that was hooey like 2 minutes ago? Well, the solution is about love…but not about loving yourself. The more practical advice is to love to do something. When I write custom meal plans for people, I often assign them to send me a list of 10 things that they love to do that isn’t eating. These lists are priceless. I say to stick notes all over your house, in your purse, car, desk, fridge, make-up bag, etc, as a constant reminder that you have things to do that aren’t sabotaging your nutrition. But, beyond that, having a hobby or activity that brings you joy helps reduce cortisol (stress hormone), helps to increase serotonin (mood balancing hormone), and helps increase dopamine production (pleasure hormone).
Do yourself and me a favor. Make the list! How about I assign you just 5 things you love to do. Keep them simple, accessible and inexpensive. Share them as a comment on this post as a public service to your friends and co-readers. I’ll share some of mine as well 🙂
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean no treats for you ever. You know I love a good cookie, cake, pizza, etc. But let’s have them in moderation and for the right reasons. Most of the time, nutrient dense, properly portioned meals are going to be the best way to feed our bodies and souls.
***Please note that if you do experience symptoms of depression or other mental illness, you should seek help from a doctor/specialist. I am not a doctor and this post is not a medical diagnosis***