Last week, I introduced the Whole Foods Ladder and asked you to simply think about the fact that you deserve to feel amazing, inside and out, and to envision a state of being where you are not only healthy, but happy and content with your lifestyle. I also emphasized that this is not a radical overnight change but a commitment that requires patience, self-forgiveness, and a good dose of perspective and humor. So, in the spirit of tiny moments, choices, and steps that will add up to a giant success, this week we start with….Step 0!
Don’t get on my case about zero being an oxymoron as a step and all that…what you should focus on is shifting away from your negative, I’m not worth it, I can’t do it, I’ve tried and failed and it will never work way of thinking to a more positive, uplifting one. Focus on your strengths. Celebrate all the good things you do. Savor the little victories. Look for support and little moments of light when you feel like you’re drowning in the dark.
Step 0: Shift Your Perspective
The Takeaway: Find a new, positive way to narrate your daily life.
I. Change the story you tell yourself from one that focuses on deprivation and negativity to one that focuses on new benefits and positivity. Instead of saying “I can’t have a, b, c, defghij…z”, tell yourself something like this:
- I’m choosing not to eat these foods because I want to have more energy.
- My health and happiness is worth more than eating or doing this right now.
- I’m not eating this, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world. I’m opening myself up to discovering new foods and a more fulfilling lifestyle.
I’m not asking you to “give up” any foods right now. In fact, I will never ask you to do that. That must be a choice you make – to decide that you are worthy of feeling alive and engaging with the world in a state of joy by making lifestyle choices that support your vision. I know you deserve that – but I am not the one doing this for you. You must know & feel that you deserve to eat healthier, live happier, and enjoy it all. Right now, it’s about creating the right mindset, one conducive to change & positive growth. But you, you my dear friend, will instigate that change, not me. You will let go of the things that are making you sick, tired, or unhappy and embrace the things that will uplift you and reinforce positivity and action in your life. You will do that when you are ready.
II. Practice awareness of what you are eating.
This is different from judgement. Just become more aware of what you eat. When do you eat it? What is your emotion before and after you eat? Do you pay attention to the process of enjoying, chewing & swallowing your food, or are you multitasking or distracted? Are you relaxed and sitting down, or anxious and moving about or standing up? Remember – this is not a judgement. There is no good or bad labels to be put on any behavior. Just become more aware of what is happening inside your body and outside when you are eating.
Kate’s Perspective: Many steps will feature a “back-story” with my personal experiences. I share because I want you to know that I was not and will never be a perfect poster child for any of these steps. That isn’t the point. The point is that I am happier, more relaxed, and more content than ever before. To see where I started and what lows I’ve hit, you can read My Story here. That post is almost a year old, but it still resonates:
My body, however, let me know that it wasn’t good for me to eat it, and now I can’t imagine going back. I believe that we think too much and consequently don’t feel enough. We think we need sugar, rather than noticing how we crash after having it or have mood swings, increased irritability, and just feel terrible. We think life without bread and pasta must be barren and hopeless, without realizing that feeling healthy and alive is worth more than any baked good.
More on changing your narrative mindset in my post Don’t Let Your Brain Beat Down Your Heart
Inspiration – this week from Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating