Setting Goals, Not Outcomes

How’s 2021 been so far? My first video was exciting and all though it’s a lot of work, it is fun to do and a whole different form of art that I get to learn.

Let’s take a moment and build on my blog post a few weeks ago about A Healthy Mindset for 2021. I had mentioned about why remembering the reasons you’ve set a goal and writing those reasons down is important. Progression has many different faces and might not look like the way you thought it would. And that we need to be realistic in the goals we set for ourselves. No one, including our bodies, thrives in an environment of unrealistic expectations.

So what does setting goals actually looks like?

Goals Are What You Can Control

So many people set goals that are actually outcomes of goals. So what’s the difference?

  • Goals: what we can control
  • Outcomes: results of those goals

I know I’ve talked about this a lot before, but it’s something we find ourselves in the bad habit of doing a lot. We are fed pictures, articles, advertisements that show an outcome of something we want.

The number one goal at the beginning of the year is weight management, right? So a lot of times I hear “I want to lose weight” or “I want to gain muscle”. That’s great, but those aren’t actually goals.

Goals are things we have control over on a daily or weekly basis. The goal of losing, gaining, getting fit, etc. is an outcome of daily and weekly goals like, drinking more water, being consistent with an exercise program, eating more vegetables, etc. Goals are what support an outcome.

Example

Let’s say you want to lower and maintain a healthy blood cholesterol level. You can’t control when, or how low your cholesterol will be by a certain day on the calendar. What you CAN do is change things in your daily and weekly routine that will support having a lower and more maintained blood cholesterol level on a consistent basis, and this is how you will be able to accomplish that outcome.

So your goals might be having fresh fruit or vegetables with every meal. Eating more whole foods and less processed foods. Having an exercise routine that you can stick with, even just 20 minutes for a few days a week.

By breaking down how you get to that outcome, then you can start to be realistic with yourself and see what it is that you can consistently do. For goals to show in a desired outcome, you need to consistently adhere to those goals. Ask yourself if you can see yourself doing this every week for years? If it seems overwhelming, then find a lesser version that is comfortable to start. Then every few weeks or months, add to it. That way changing your usual normal to a healthier version, will then be your new normal and it not be exhausting, or something that you unrealistically can’t keep up with.

Recipe Tomorrow

I’ll be posting on my YouTube Channel tomorrow some of the information I shared here, but also a new chickpea salad recipe!

My initial goal this year is to get back to eating less processed, but also getting back to being better about my food allergies and that includes staying away from soy. At Whole Foods I love their processed soy-based “Chicken” Sonoma Salad. It’s so good! But not for my body. So I decided to make an “Amanda-friendly” version instead and share it with you all! The recipe will be posted on the blog tomorrow, and then the video will be uploaded on YouTube!

Keep finding your “beet”! I’ll talk to you all soon.

Healthy Mindset for 2021

Are you ready to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021?

To be honest 2020 definitely had it’s negatives, but it taught me a lot about myself and also helped me to slow down and change up my routine. If it wasn’t for 2020, I wouldn’t of set the different goals I did, and probably would have not been able to go about them the same way as I did this year. But I’m also about moving on and going forward, so let’s start 2021 with a healthy mindset when it comes to making and accomplishing goals.

These are somethings I’ve learned myself, but also somethings I have to remind myself of. We can be so goal, deadline, and numbers driven that we forget why we are setting the goals to begin with.

#1 – Write down WHY you have a certain goal.

We might have a goal in mind and even write down what that goal is, but it’s important to remember WHY we want to accomplish or work towards that goal. If there is not a clear reason behind why we want to accomplish a goal, there’s nothing to keep motivating us, and eventually it’s not “worth it”.

You might want to have the goal of exercising 3 times a week. Why? Is it to become stronger? To get tone, or stay toned? Is it for overall health? Sleeping better? Stress management? How will doing this improve your quality of life, and how will you see yourself progressing?

Which brings us to the next point…

#2 – Realize what progression looks like.

Let’s face it – personal goals, especially with health is an ongoing progression, not a one and done goal. Just because you might not have reached a certain goal, doesn’t mean you haven’t progressed to accomplishing your goal. Here is some questions you can ask yourself.

  • Do I have more energy than before?
  • Am I sleeping better on a regular basis?
  • Are everyday chores easier?
  • Am I able to handle more stress (physical or emotional) than before?
  • Are the changes in my eating patterns easier for me to stick to?

Any progression is progress. If you are making changes for your overall health, then health progression can show itself in a lot of smaller ways that might not be the way you’re looking for it to change. But acknowledging a seemingly small progressions is important.

#3 – Be realistic.

I’m positive that this will be on any “goal” list. It’s important to be honest with yourself and what you will do. I know for me, I’d love to say that I’ll workout and keep to a vigorous schedule each week… but that’s not me.

I love walking, hiking, pilates, and some weights here and there, even jogging…but pushing myself to get “my pump on”, running each week, or something that requires a lot of explosive energy… I’m not going to consistently do because I don’t enjoy it. I’ll do it here and there to change things up a bit. It has it’s place. If I do it, then that’s a bonus to the regular schedule I know I can keep up.

Be realistic with yourself. And if you work on what you know you can accomplish and you can consistently keep it up, then challenge yourself to see if you can set records, or lift a little more, or run a little further, or take your workouts to the next level, or having fruits and vegetables be a part of every meal and not just one or two. You know you. You know what you are comfortable with and when you’re ready to challenge yourself to take it a step further.

Hope you are all staying safe! I’ll talk to you all in a few weeks with some exciting news!

Portion Control

One of the common things I’ve noticed people wanting to know is about portion size. I’m not a stickler about portion sizes. I “eyeball” a lot of things. Especially since counting and measuring food just makes eating stressful when it should be enjoyable. I’m already stressed enough with everyday life, I don’t need to be stressed about if whether I have a cup of rice on my plate or if it’s more.

Photo by Edward Guk on Unsplash

However – being mindful of your portions is beneficial. It’s something I had to learn. Especially when you plates seem to keep getting larger, small size cups seemed to have doubled in size over night. (Don’t get me started on the small 8 ounce clear cup they give you at pay-before-you-eat places for water, but if you get a soda, it starts at 20 ounces.) Different restaurants and especially fast food venues give you more than is needed.

I was shocked one day when I drove through somewhere while I was running errands to grab a medium iced tea, thinking it would be 16-20 oz., and it came out and was 32 oz. It reminded me of a Parks and Recreation episode. There was a 512 oz. soda called “Child Size”. “Well, it’s is roughly the size of a 2 year old child, if the child was liquefied.” I mean, for real! But because of this, and the reasons I mentioned before, most people don’t know how to gauge what a normal portion would be just by “eyeballing” it. Let’s first talk about the benefits of portion control.

How It’s Beneficial
Weight Loss

I know for me, this was one of my biggest changes and the best thing that helped me to loose weight and continue to do so. Of course eating the right foods is definitely the top thing, knowing how much to eat is the next. Once you start seeing how much should be enough, portion control really isn’t the headache it seems to be. And you won’t be hungry all the time if you’re eating the right foods. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

Digestion

If you don’t like working overtime without any compensation, why make your body do it? If it’s overloaded and overworked, then you can have some serious issues because it can’t keep up. Stomach pains, cramping, weight gain, unhealthy blood sugar levels, etc. Give your digestive system what it needs in decent amounts throughout the day so that it can handle it.

Stops Over Eating

Once you start to eat the right amount of portions, you stomach will be satisfied sooner and will be used to lighter meals and knowing it’s not starving if you don’t weigh it down. You’ll get fuller faster. If your stomach is the appropriate size then you will have less of a chance of overeating. It will start to feel uncomfortable.

How to Measure without Going Crazy

If measuring seems like it’s going to stress you out like it does with me, do what I do and I use my hand to measure. Once I know how much my serving will be I use my hand to roughly guess. If you have never used the hand method, check out this article ab out it on Runtastic.com. It’s a great first step if you don’t want to count calories but know you need to watch what you eat.

Tips on Portion Control
Average Measurements to Keep in Mind for 1 Serving
  • 1-2 Tablespoons for any fattening spread – butter, nut butters, avocado, etc.
  • 2 Tablespoons for any dried fruit
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1/4 cup (roughly) for raw nuts
  • 1/2 cup for whole grains – rice, cereals, pasta, oats, etc.
  • 1/2 cup for fresh fruits, or 1 small piece of fruit
  • 1/2 cup for beans, legumes, etc.
  • 1 cup for vegetables
  • 2 cups for raw leafy greens
  • 3 oz of meat – red meat, chicken, or fish (palm of your hand)
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk or yogurt
  • 1 oz of cheese (about 1 domino size)

It all depends on your diet and goals, but this will at least show how much 1 serving is no matter the diet you might be on.

For example, for breakfast you might have:

  • 1 slice of whole grain toast with 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
    • 1 serving of grains, and 1 serving of fat
  • 1 small apple
    • 1 serving of fruit
  • 1 boiled egg
    • 1 serving of protein

Nutritional Information: 

365 calories | 18 g total fat | 2 g polyunsaturated fat | 5 g monounsaturated fat | 9 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 217 mg cholesterol | 221 mg sodium | 39 g carbohydrates | 7 g fiber | 19 g sugar | 12 g protein

Use Smaller Plates and Bowls

One thing I started doing was using smaller dishes. Even if you go back for seconds, it’s still better. It can give you a reason to wait a few minutes before getting more and giving your stomach some time to respond to what you just ate. So if you are not all about the measuring or eyeballing and wanting to just listen to whether your stomach is satisfied or not, start with this. Wait 10 minutes after finishing your food before going back for another plate.

Photo by James Harris on Unsplash

Eat Fiber Rich Foods

Fiber keeps you fuller longer and also helps with digestion and blood sugar. So when you are sitting down for a meal, see how many vegetables, whole grains, or beans you have on your plate. Usually dinner is my heaviest meal. Breakfast and lunch are lighter or quickly digestible foods because I don’t stop moving until after dinner. Keeping things lighter helps to keep me from being sluggish because my digestive system doesn’t have to take a “time out” to digest what I just gave it. Since dinner is heavier I usually try to have a salad with it. If I’m starving when I get home from having light meals earlier, I go ahead and eat my side salad while I’m cooking dinner. It holds off the hunger and when my heavier, richer foods come I don’t over indulge, and eating slower isn’t a problem.

Bottom Line
  1. Be mindful.
    • I’ll be saying this a lot with my posts. Your body will thank you! When you keep your portions in mind, then splurging on some queso on girls night out won’t completely wreck what you’ve been working towards all week and your body will be equipped to deal with it.
  2. Don’t make it stressful.
    • Do what works for you. The first week or two of keeping it in mind might seem a little much since it will be an added step to your routine and something else you have to think about. But afterwards it will start to become second nature and not a burden at all.
  3. Depends on your goals.
    • Serving sizes and how many servings to have a day might differ from person to person, but knowing what a portion size actually looks like will help keep your goals on track.

 

Goals vs Desired Outcomes

I wanted to take this blog post this week and talk about something important. It’s how to change your mindset of goals. I had talked about it in a previous Instagram post a few weeks back, but decided it was something to write about here on the blog. First let’s talk a little about the difference between goals and desired outcomes and then we’ll look at an example.

Goals vs Desired Outcomes

  • A goal is something to achieve. Whether it’s a goal for a day, week, month or years, it’s something you can control and can accomplish.
  • A desired outcome is the result of those goals that you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you can achieve them, other times you might have to change your desired outcome to be more realistic.

Photo by Agence Producteurs Locaux Damien Kühn on Unsplash

Goals

Let’s use the example of weight loss. To achieve weight loss there are many goals that have to be made for it to happen.

  • Changing the way you eat
  • Changing how much you eat
  • Changing the places you go to eat
  • Changing your grocery list
  • Changing what you snack on
  • Changing how you view food
  • Changing your routine and having more time to exercise
  • Changing your routine to have time to prepare healthy food
  • Changing the foods you’d normally order
  • Changing how many vegetables you eat per day
  • Choosing different foods you might have been scared to try
  • The list goes on…

Those are all goals you have control over and can conquer one by one and accomplish. These are the parts to focus on and rejoice when they are met! Changing your lifestyle, your choices, your routine, your habits – it is no small thing. So noticing that just because weight loss might be your desired outcome, it doesn’t mean that on the way there you are not reaching goals and accomplishing something. You are overcoming huge obstacles physically and mentally. That’s something to be proud of!

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Minor Desired Outcomes or Small Victories

The other thing to remember, is that you might have an overall desired outcome to lose, let’s say 50 pounds. There are minor desired outcomes or small victories that are showing you that you are reaching your overall desired outcome.

  • Your clothes fit different
  • You have more energy throughout the day
  • You’re sleeping better
  • Your skin and hair look healthier
  • You’re able to see your knuckles and wrists a little more
  • Your knees are starting to look like knees again
  • Your ankles don’t bloat as much
  • You’re able to go down a notch in your belt loop
  • You’re able to walk a little further
  • You’re able to run a little faster
  • And the list goes on…

Although it might take you longer to reach your overall desired outcome, never pass up the small victories you are reaching to get there. Those are huge steps and something that should be noticed! Give yourself credit and work with your body. Notice that it’s changing because of the original goals you had control over and your body is responding to it. Those small things to notice are huge!

Weight Loss Note

Your body loses weight starting from your extremities (feet and hands) to your middle (men – stomach, women – hips/thighs) and then starts all over again at the feet and hands. When you start losing weight if you are staring to see your feet and hands a little more, or your elbows and knees become more pronounced, or your face is a little thinner, it’s working. You might not see it in your desired places like your belly or hips, but it’s on it’s way there. Your body is doing its thing.

Photo by petra cigale on Unsplash

Be Balanced

We live in a world that is fast and goal oriented. You want to get something done, you do it and it’s accomplished. You want to know the answer to something, you look it up and within seconds have the answer with a video to go with it. With nutrition and especially with weight loss we think we can do the same. “I want to lose 10 lbs this week, I’ll do whatever I have to do to get there!” Our mindset and the will to accomplish our goals isn’t the only thing that will get it done. Working hard and having a strong will is important, but our body has it’s pace and is working as hard as it can. Just because you don’t see things right away, doesn’t mean nothing is happening. Although you didn’t reach your desired outcome in the time frame you wanted it to happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen or that you failed in some way.

You have to be balanced in knowing what you can do, what you have control over and let your body do the rest. When you feel discouraged remember the goals you’ve already achieved and the small victories you might already be seeing. Just because you don’t reach your desired outcome in your desired time, doesn’t mean you’ll never get there or that you’ve failed. Just because you might have been trying to reach a desired outcome and are exhausted trying to get there, you might need to ask yourself if it’s realistic. If the desired outcome is a source of stress or irritation for you – change it.

Bottom Line

Don’t forget, the things to focus on are the goals – what you can control. Then giving attention and acknowledging the small victories that come with it that you notice as a result. Give credit to yourself for the things you personally accomplish. And keep things realistic. If you don’t meet a specific time and date, it doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish anything. Instead of having a date in mind to reach a specific desired outcome, how about have that as a “check in” with yourself to see where you are and to remember where you were before. Either way – whatever goal you have, don’t give up!

 

 

Steps to Behavior Change

How are you doing on your goals so far? No doubt there is a change you have been trying to make, whether that’s with your health and nutrition or not. At the beginning of the year there is huge motivation to start fresh and new and begin being a better you. Sometimes that motivation can wear off after a good few weeks and our focus can be blurred. So let’s keep it going!

Picture Cred: Stefan Cosma uploaded from Unsplash

I wanted to share with you the steps of behavior change. It’s important to know what’s normal and where you might be in the process of a change you are wanting to make.

Stages of Change
  1. Precontemplation
    • At this stage a person has no intention of changing in the next 6 months and can resist any efforts to modify the certain behavior.
    • This can be because of lack of awareness, denial, unwillingness to change, or feeling hopeless after attempting to change.
  2. Contemplation
    • Recognize the need for change but are in between, weighing the reasons to change and the reasons not to change.
    • There are “perceived” barriers. For example with a diet change: the food won’t taste good, too expensive, too much time, etc.
    • People can be stuck in this stage for years. I know I was.
  3. Preparation
    • You believe the advantages outweigh any disadvantages or the perceived disadvantages and are committed to take action in the near future (within a month).
    • Start to inquire and plan. For health reasons, they might start too look at diet plans, talk with a nutritionist, try new foods, start a walk program, etc.
  4. Action
    • This is when you have altered your behavior for 1 day – 6 months and plan to continue to work at it.
    • This is the most common time for any relapse to happen, and even more so between the 3 months – 6 months part of the action stage.
  5. Maintenance
    • You have been engaging in the new behavior for over 6 months.
    • At this stage, it might be the hardest. You think you’ve made it, but now is the time to reflect on the benefits of your behavior change, work actively to modify your choices and environment to maintain the new behavior and to prevent relapse.
Can You Be At Different Stages?

You can be at different stages with different behaviors. For example, someone could have already cut out sugar in their drinks a long time ago. They would be in the maintenance stage for that behavior. Eating a nutrient dense diet might be something they have been doing for a few months, so they are in the action stage for that. However, exercising is not part of their lifestyle and they might know the benefits, but have no motivation to change because of the “perceived” barrier of it being too much time. For that behavior of having exercise as part of their routine, they would be at the contemplation stage.

Photo by Christian Chen on Unsplash

What About Relapses and Going Back A Stage or Two?

Although the stages are in a list, it doesn’t mean that it’s not common to go backward. It’s normal for people to go back one or a few stages, or even relapsing and starting the process over again. You have to have a realistic approach when it comes to your goals. No one is perfect and each person has their own triggers, barriers, and complications when it comes to change. Just because you might have started a healthy diet at the beginning of the year, but now have become less focused on it, doesn’t mean you can’t pick it back up. Or just because you had a good exercise routine, but then got sick and since then haven’t gotten back to it, doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

Plan for lapses and relapses. It’s how we learn and how we can better define our goals.

What The Difference Between A Lapse and A Relapse?
  1. Lapse: | Something that happens momentarily or for a day. For instance, if you were trying to change the behavior of not drinking soda during the week and you found yourself stressed at work and tired. You reached for the soda and now feel like you’ve completely undid everything you’ve been trying to do, so why keep trying?
    • This is a lapse. A one-day, one-moment situation that you might not have been perfect or reached the goal you had for that DAY. You did not fail. You can recover easily from a lapse, and more importantly, take time to see why you lapsed. Was it because it was there? Was it because of the people you were around? Were you stressed? After seeing the reasons why you might have lapsed, you can plan for the situation the next time around.
  2. Relapse | A relapse is when you have completely abandoned the new behavior and went back to stage one, precontemplation. Say you didn’t pick yourself back up from your lapse and felt why continue on your behavior change and started having sodas everyday again. That would be a complete relapse. Going back to the beginning.
    • This can and does happen with a lot of things. But again, just like a lapse, it’s something to learn from. You learn more about yourself and how to be more realistic with your goals and knowing you might need something extra, like support from others, the next time around.

Either one, a lapse or a relapse, does not mean you’ve failed. It does not mean you will never be able to reach your goal. It’s part of the behavior change process and it’s something to learn from.

Photo Cred: S O C I A L . C U T uploaded from Unsplash

Where Are You?

Where are you in your goals for this year? I’d love to hear from you! If there is something you are struggling with, a stage you can’t get past, or needing encouragement to keep going, please email me at amandaarroyonutrition@gmail.com or go to my Contact Page.

2019 Healthy Habit 3: Adding More Whole Foods In Your Diet

I don’t know about you, but for me during the winter it’s easier for me to eat more processed, pick up and go type foods. I want more baked goods, more foods with refined flours and sugar and less of fruits and vegetables. There is a balance with everything, but at the beginning of the new year I like to try to get this part of my diet back in order. The reason?

Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

More Nutrient Value

As many of you may know, processing foods strips the food of vital nutrients and can lessen the nutritional value. This can be any type of food preparation. Exposing it to oxygen, light, heat or water during cooking will lessen the nutrient value. There is always some nutrient loss when preparing food in general.

However, HIGHLY processed foods are foods that contain:

  • Preservatives (to prevent rotting)
  • Colors
  • Added Flavors
  • Usually is high in added sugars (like high fructose corn syrup)
  • Usually high in refined grains (which is stripped of fiber and nutrients)

These foods add calories with little to no nutritional value. Because of the artificial ingredients, high in sugar, and using highly processed and refined ingredients, it’s lower in nutritional value. They are more calorie dense than nutrient dense.

Eating whole foods like raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, etc. starts getting your diet and nutrition level back to a healthier level. More nutritional value, the better your body will work with you. Then later on when you want to make a big change, your diet is already on the right path.

Photo by oldskool photography on Unsplash

Fiber

I talk about fiber a lot in my recipe and nutrition posts but it truly is an important part of your overall health. We already talked about how much water is an important part of health, nutrition, and your digestive process. Fiber is almost just as simple and covers a wide range of benefits as well. There are two types of fiber. Below is what they both help with and then later is where to find those types of fibers in foods.

Soluble Fiber

  • Increases the feeling of being full and satisfied
  • Lowers blood cholesterol by helping to bind with bile
  • Slows glucose absorption
  • Helps with weight management
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Improves blood glucose tolerance and lowers risk of diabetes
  • Lowers risk of colon and rectal cancer

Food Sources of Soluble Fiber

Barley, rye, oats, oat bran, apples, citrus fruit, legumes, seaweed, broccoli, carrots, corn, potatoes, seeds and more.

Insoluble Fiber

  • Softens stools and aids in intestinal motility
  • Increases feelings of fullness
  • Reduce risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, appendicitis, diverticulitis, etc.
  • Lowers rick of colon and rectal cancer
  • Helps with weight management

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber

Wheat bran, whole grains, brown rice, fruits, legumes, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, nuts, seeds, and more.

Bottom Line

Whole foods adds nutrients and fiber to your diet. Although processed foods are starting to add fiber more and more to their products, remember they will still have less nutritional value and usually more added sugars than eating whole foods. Not to mention process foods have food additives and that there is more of a chance it will contain allergens or be processed in a factory that also processes food allergens.

If you are wanting to start to change your diet for the healthier, start with introducing or getting back to eating mainly whole foods.

Easy Way to Start: 
  • Have a piece of fruit, not canned, with breakfast
  • Have at least 1/2, if not 1/3, of your plate consisting of vegetables and whole grains or natural starches with your protein of choice
    • Salad and a baked potato
    • Roasted carrots and brown rice
    • Broccoli and a baked sweet potato
  • Have 1 of your servings of protein a day be a plant based source for added fiber
    • Lentils
    • Beans
    • Nuts and Seeds
  • Keep in mind to have some sort of raw fruit or vegetable at every meal

Whatever might work for you, remember that having nutrient and fiber dense foods will help with your nutrition, digestive health and can help lower the risk of some major diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Getting your diet habits back on track with adding and increasing your whole foods will help when you are ready to make a full diet change later if you are not fully ready to do so. What are you waiting for?

Mistake #2: Thinking Short Term

We’ve all made mistakes and we’ve all had wrong thinking from time to time especially when it comes to our health, diet, and mindset. By accepting your mistakes you are able to move past them and change. So first and foremost, I want to talk about my thinking and what I needed to accept so I could change for the healthier.

Thinking short term was something that I thought was a reality.

  • If I can loose the weight then I’ll be able to eat the foods I love later.
  • I just need to stay focused for 1 week and I’ll loose 5 lbs.
  • How can I loose the weight I need so I can feel comfortable in my swimsuit next month?

How wrong I was. I didn’t start to reach the goals I needed to meet until I started looking at my whole lifestyle. My everyday decisions. So why did I, and most people, think this way?

Why We Think Short Term

We all see the “Loose 10 Pounds in 10 Days!” taglines on magazines at the store, on internet adds, in our emails, and so on. Or we see the “Loose Weight Fast By…”, or “Get Healthy Skin by Doing This One Thing!” You get the picture. We see these things because that’s what we want to see and believe. So they are put in front of our face. Why?

  • People usually don’t like change
  • We are used to getting quick results with other things
  • We want to be able to eat and do whatever we want and when we want it
Reality Check!

We don’t live in that world. I wish we did! Truthfully, if we want to see results we have to change what we do. If we want to keep those results, that change has to be something that we adopt into our everyday life. If we want lasting results, we have to put in the time to truly change. It takes time and effort – something that we don’t really want to do at first.

Realize It’s Never Just One Change to Reach a Goal

There was a lot I needed to change and do, but one thing I had to realize is there is never just one change. Whatever the goal might be I guarantee you, it’s not going to be just one thing you need to add or do. There are little changes along the way that help make your goal not so daunting, which in turn makes it realistic and can fit into your life more easily. For example, for me to adopt a new way of eating and get my body to start shedding the excess weight, I had to change my habits. Your habits involve your lifestyle.

  • I had to change the places I would eat.
  • I started doing meal prep to stay on track and not be tempted.
  • I cut out part of my recreation/lazy time so I had time to exercise.
What Can You Do To Start Thinking Long Term?

One of the best things you can do now is to look at smaller healthier choices you can start to make one day at a time. Drink an extra glass of water each day. Add a salad as part of your dinners. Start going for a walk a few days a week after dinner. Go to bed earlier so you feel better about the day. Start testing out healthier places to eat. Whatever small step you want to start with to make your overall goal easier, start doing that today.

Any step toward a healthy goal is a good step!

Mistake #1: Thinking I Was Missing Out

If you are like me, it’s much easier to see the negative before the positive. Especially when it comes to change. Any change can be difficult when we are focused on what we won’t be able to have or do. When it comes to food and a new way of eating, there was a few things I needed to learn.

Things I Learned Early On

If you read my first blog post or My Story page, I was a kid with some severe allergies. I was not able to have the “normal” kid snacks. Instead of milk and cookies, I had apple juice and flavored rice cakes. Instead of popular cereals, I had oatmeal. Instead of ice cream, I had frozen blueberries with rice milk. You get the picture! I wanted to be able to eat the foods that were advertised between my favorite cartoons and to eat the same foods as my friends. It was frustrating especially being a kid and only seeing the “kid foods” being something I couldn’t eat. However, I realized on an every day basis, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

  • My life wasn’t all about eating
  • I liked the foods I could eat
  • I still enjoyed eating
  • I enjoyed being with my friends more than eating the same foods they were
  • I was able to learn things that others had not

It’s all in how you look at it. I’ve thought of these things whenever I’ve had to make changes to my diet since then. Whether trying to loose weight, or becoming plant-based, and so on. Whatever change you are doing now, focus on the new benefits you’ll be experiencing. You’ll realize that what you are giving up, isn’t really of any value compared to the benefits.

Think about:
  • New foods you’ll be trying
  • New places that will become your old places
  • How much energy you’re able to maintain
  • How your mental and emotional health will benefit
  • And I’m sure much more…

Life isn’t all about what you get to eat. After counting the pros, the cons don’t seem that tempting. Who am I kidding? It’s difficult to build good habits but focusing on the healthy, positive aspects of a new routine or diet instead of the negative “missing out” thinking, will help you and get you just that extra step further you might need to break the cycle. Realize what has value and will benefit your life.