The standard “I’m going to eat healthy after the holidays” line is a bunch of bullshit.
Believe me, I’ve sworn up and down I wasn’t going to eat any more chips or order that pizza, and I was going to stick to my healthy food stuffs until this specific date or after this specific event.
Most recently, I swore off processed food for the remainder of the year. And then my stomach and I were at odds and I shrugged and said, “Fuck it. What difference does it make now?”
The problem with this? Besides it being complete and utter bullshit?
There’s always going to be something else. Some other reason you can’t start now (or that you have to stop). Some other excuse to keep putting it off. Some other emotional meltdown that begs for comfort food.
So if you think you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution to finally eat healthy?
Okay, you might actually make it. And you might tell a handful of people about said resolution.
But are you going to stick to it?
You’re going to weasel out of it. You’re going to barter with yourself. You’re going to start thinking about how the New Year is always really busy at work. And how you’re so tired from the holidays and how all you really want to do is relax. How you’ve had enough cooking and cleaning and chatting up the boss’ wife to last a lifetime.
You’re going to pat yourself on the back for your good intentions. And you’re going to cave in. You’re going to huff and puff about how busy you are and how it’s so much easier to just hit up the drive through or the delivery or the donuts for dinner.
This line of thinking is keeping you stuck, my friend. And I don’t want you to be stuck.
I know eating healthier can be hard. I still struggle with it.
And putting it off and pushing it back and to the side is so much easier.
Setting a date in the future and making a New Year’s resolution gives you time to forget about it. Time to formulate your excuses. (And we all know no one really keeps those resolutions anyway.)
These kind of thoughts allow you to eat your way through the next couple of months (or any time of year, really, as long as you’re giving yourself a future date when you’re magically going to stop a habit and start a new one and everything’s going to be hunky dory).
And, let’s be honest, it’s really hard to say no to all the special holiday dishes you only get once a year.
(Side note: Do you really only get them once a year? I mean, you can totally make yourself a pumpkin pie or some gingerbread cookies any day if you really wanted to. And there’s probably places online that sell that stuff year round. So, yeah, you’re lying to yourself.)
You’re steering clear of any guilt you might be having. Because you totally said you were going to start eating healthier once summer was over, once the kids went back to school, once that deadline passed…
Waiting on the what ifs, the whens, the shoulds…that’s the stuff that’s keeping you stuck.
So what can you do about this? How can you stop sabotaging yourself?
First, take a deep breath. Woosah.
Now, let’s all acknowledge that eating healthier when you haven’t been eating so healthy can be hard.
Hell, making any change can be hard.
You need to accept that you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone. Maybe pretty far outside it. You might even have to move into a different zip code than your comfort zone.
And that’s scary.
Embrace the scariness. Embrace the uncertainty.
Sure, there might be a learning curve. Yes, you might make a few “mistakes” here and there. You might have a bad day.
But perfection is a myth.
No one and no thing is perfect.
Stop believing in that. Stop striving for it.
There is no perfect time, no perfect place, no perfect person, no perfect day, no perfect anything.
If you keep waiting for the perfect time or the perfect place or expecting to have the perfect day, you’re going to have a long wait.
So start now. Start small. Start slow.
Know that this whole health thing…it’s a dance with a lot of complicated steps. It’s a healthy hustle, if you will.
One that you’ll have to constantly learn and relearn the steps to. And practice. And feel the rhythm. (…feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time!)
Listen, you don’t need a holiday or an event to make a change. It’s convenient, but it’s not necessary.
All you need to do is decide. And then take action.
One small action. And then another. And then one more.
You can do it. I know you can.
I’m rooting for you.
And, in lieu of getting quotes of motivational tattoos (although I’m definitely down for that), I’ve got a motivational poster for you this week. Just to remind you and be there when I can’t.