This Is Holding You Back From Eating Better

This Is Holding You Back From Eating Better

April is National Stress Awareness Month and it raises an interesting question:

Do we really need an entire month to become aware of the stress we’re already swimming in?

There’s deep psychology that goes along with any weight loss, get-in-shape, eat better journey. And it can add more stress simply because it’s not an easy fix. In this piece, you can see how stress can limit the conscious control we have over our choices:

“What drives our behavior is not logic but brain biochemistry, habits and addiction, states of consciousness and what we see people around us doing. We are emotional beings with the ability to rationalize — not rational beings with emotions. If we are stressed, depressed or addicted, no matter how good the advice we are given, chances are that we will not be able to act on it.”

So it doesn’t matter if you have a perfectly laid out weekly meal plan, meet with an RD once a week, do 5 days of cardio and swear off carbs, if you leave your emotions unchecked, you’re playing a game you can’t win.  Even your childhood memories of PE can prompt sedentary behaviors as adults:

 “Recurring instances of children being made to feel embarrassed about their performance could have deleterious consequences for self-efficacy, an important predictor of both adoption and adherence to exercise and [physical activity].”

It’s been confirmed that the fear of judgement deters Americans from exercising
“Nearly two-third of Americans say they must already appear fit before joining a health club, while almost half of Americans are deterred from ever entering a health club for fear of judgment.”

If you need any recommendations, let me know. 

What you can do:

Instead of stressing about stress, distracting yourself by working out more or tackling some extreme crazy diet, invest time understanding what’s truly driving your choices. There are plenty of options with coaching, executive coaching, performance coaching, counseling, therapy, or whatever you need to call it.

If you skip over this because it’s not the cool thing to do, or nobody is posting on Instagram about it, or you just don’t want to stir up the past because you’ve put that chapter to rest, realize that you’ll continue being frustrated that every new workout program and diet doesn’t last.

My own personal experience:

I invested in an intensive week of coaching to wrestle with the drivers of my choices. Once I was able to connect the dots between my drivers and how they’re sabotaging my healthy pursuits, I was finally able to make sustainable progress. Yes, I still have hiccups, but my encouragement to you is this: 

  1. Be patient.
    • If a sustainable and healthy lifestyle is the goal, time is your best friend. 
  2. Be repetitive.
    • It’s like brushing your teeth: Twice daily for two minutes does wonders. Skip it and you’ll have some stinky breath. 
  3. Be understanding.
    • Give yourself permission to journey through this process with the understanding that it might take 3, 6 and even 12 months before things finally stick.  
The smaller the steps and the longer you can make them last in your daily practice, the more impact they’ll have on your health, waistline and life. 
Brent Gallagher

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