Step 3: Set yourself up for success
The Takeaway: Create a solid foundation of good health to support your dietary changes in the upcoming weeks.
III. Find a support network – online is great, but having a loving soul help you through it is so incredibly empowering
I’ll link some articles below for further reading and reference, but here is what you need to know. If you are tired – you will eat more. If you are dehydrated – you will eat more. If you feel deprived, alone, scared, frustrated, angry, stressed, anxious, feeling pulled in all directions, etc – you will eat more. And you probably aren’t even truly hungry!
Think of it this way. If you wanted to go skydiving, you wouldn’t just walk out the door as you are and jump. You’d want to be mentally prepared, have the necessary gear, hire a reliable instructor to guide you along the way, and probably hit the bathroom at least once. We’re whole foods skydiving, people, and it is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have – it gives you the thrill of simply being and the sense of accomplishment for living through your fears.
So this week, you want to create a loving base of support for yourself.
I. Sleep is freakin important – don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. All that “sleep when you’re dead” stuff people say? NOT TRUE. You won’t be sleeping, because you won’t be alive. You need to be alive to sleep! And death will come much sooner if you don’t take care of this fundamental function. Sleep is the most amazing gift you can give your body – it’s when you heal and repair and restore. Mark Sisson will drop a knowledge bomb on sleep for you here – prepare to have your mind. blown. Or rested.
The Definitive Guide to Sleep at Mark’s Daily Apple
17 Ways to Improve Your Sleep at Mark’s Daily Apple
Turn Down the Lights, Turn Up Your Metabolism at Balanced Bites
II. Hydrate. Many of us confuse thirst for being hungry. You need to drink more water. If you drink things that dehydrate you – coffee, tea, soda, and the like, you should drink twice as much water for every ounce of that stuff you consume. And if it has sugar in it? It doesn’t count! Sports drinks, sweet tea, whatever sugary beverage you like ~ it is not benefiting you. You need to hydrate, and you need to hydrate with water. Sometimes I mix it up with a little carbonated water, and you can get more ideas on how to hydrate without boredom from the Whole 9 folks here:
III. Going it alone is never as much fun as learning and growing with a friend. You may be making different food choices than others around you, but as you feel better and better, the internal motivation will soon outweigh the external temptation. Communicate with family and friends that you are making this change, and ask for support. Find someone else who is interested in switching to a whole foods diet and share thoughts, feelings, and resources. And, the most important thing is that you don’t have to pretend like everything is perfect. It is an adjustment – change can make people uncomfortable. Processed and packaged foods are highly addictive, and there is a billion dollar industry that focuses solely on making foods more “craveable”. If you’re struggling, talk about it with someone. It will make the transition much more positive. Talk with someone! In person is best, but there are many online forums. You could start with:
Let us know more suggestions for finding support in the comments!
IV. Practice meditation
As I mentioned in Step 1, meditation has been one of the greatest tools in buffering self-love and creating a positive space to make good choices. It has been a launchpad for me to jump into a way of eating that works best for my body, not my emotions. Meditating almost every day brings more gratitude, awareness, joy, hope, forgiveness, and ease of being into my life. It’s not like I sit and chant for 3 hours a day – I use guided meditations that are 5-25 minutes long, usually before bed.
Remember to breathe deeply and take care of yourself. Adding in these behaviors will make it seem less daunting to change other ones further down the line. But for now, all you have to do is sleep well, drink water, talk to you friends, and love yourself! Sounds like a good deal, right?
Next week I’ll be taking a week off of the WFL, because I think working on one or more of these parts requires a little more time. Enjoy!