We find today’s society in a rough place health-wise. We have high obesity rates, joint and back pain, and more diseases than we can shake a stick at. So what is going on and how do we fix it? The real answer is poor food quality, too much stress, and too much sitting/inactivity. We all know the issues, but changing these issues always seems impossible. The truth is failure to change is not always your fault. We are just wired to continue operating in our comfort zones. Unfortunately our current comfort zone tends to be overstressed, eating nutrient poor chemically modified foods, and sitting down all the time.
So how do we change this; unfortunately there is no magic pill or medication (if there was we wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway). We need to change our mindset. Right now we are looking for convenience and comfort. We give in to temptation and constantly eat things that aren’t healthy, sit and watch Netflix instead of exercising, and worry about things we have no control over. When we are following these habits we are in a reactive mind set. Everything we do is in response to outside stressors and geared towards immediate satisfaction.
So how do you change this? You need to adopt the mindset of someone you has already reached your ultimate health goal. You may be asking yourself what I mean by this. What I am talking about is simple in theory and difficult in practice; anytime you are given a choice between a healthy option and an unhealthy option you need to stop and think what would a healthy person choose? Start patterning your life based on choices the person you want to be would make and you will slowly start to transform into that person.
So what is one habit a healthy person is doing and you are not that can be changed today? You are probably living reactively. This means something happens, you stress out, and react with overeating, skipping workouts, not eating, or however you react to stress. You decide what to eat after you are hungry, and you probably go to the store, buy what looks good, and then cook based on what you have. What does a healthy person do? They live life proactively; meaning they plan ahead.
You need to become proactive! Pick one day a week, for me it is Sunday, to plan your week. You want your plan to be as specific as possible. Include meals and exercise in your plan. The most important part in planning is to be realistic. Make sure you know what days are going to be hectic and plan easier meals to prepare and lighter workouts for those days. The last thing you want to do is have a difficult plan for a stressful day turn into bad choices.
Now that you have your plan you need stick to it. The first step is to go shopping with a list of ingredients for the meals you have chosen and buy only those ingredients. Then you need to place your workouts in your schedules and treat them as important meetings that you cannot reschedule or skip. Finally you need to prepare everything you can for your meals ahead of time. The easier it is to put together meals the less likely you are to scrap your plan and go out to eat.
Changing your mind-set is not easy. You will fail a few times, you will struggle at first; but with practice and consistency it will become routine. If you really struggle reach out to someone for support. This could be family, friends, coworkers, or a professional like me. Just remember this change is worth it and your future self will thank you for it!