The iconic Beatle’s singer and songwriter, John Lennon once succinctly penned for his song Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” And so it is. Recently I found that despite my well laid plans to start the year with a cleaner than a whistle nutritional bang, life simply happened. A series of events fired continuously at me and to put it quite mildly, I felt like I was caught in the middle of enemy zone in a paintball fight without protective gear. “OUCH!”
I had big plans but life had its own. I was supposed to be strict about my food intake but (confession is good for the soul) I have been struggling. This is the case of the quintessential “curved ball”- the thing that you expect to come one way, for which you are sufficiently prepared, that comes in whole other dimension. It is the root of every health/fitness-related New Year’s resolution to do with food. The pie in the sky dreams of “finally getting it right this year” appears for what it is- a pie in the sky. But there is hope, yet.
It is much easier to achieve goals when you are removed from daily stressors but life does not exist in a vacuum and when you are indeed exposed to daily unpredictability, give yourself permission to take a few blows but at some point, run like mad for cover, recalibrate, don your armour and get out and fight back.
It is not the circumstances themselves that are the issue, it is our sustained response to them. Note to self, eating copious amounts of chocolates everyday is not a sustainable response to being overwhelmed.
Here are & tips for us to get a grip before the month ends:
- Shop weekly for food, buying mostly vegetables and fruit. Do not buy the things that tempt you.
- When people offer you sweets at work, respectfully decline with “ I cannot take another morsel or a I will explode.” If that is not working, say “I’m sorry, I have developed food intolerances, so I am forbidden from partaking but that looks absolutely divine.”
- Keep healthy snacks with you at all times so that you will never be ravenous, which erodes any bit of restraint. Snacks should contain a protein item.
- Go to bed by 10. Wake up an hour earlier to workout, pray and meditate to find your centre before you start your day. Think about the great food you will eat. This is your golden hour for you and even though the bed may be tempting in this cold winter, you really deserve this conscious devotional time.
- Eat breakfast. No excuses. No exceptions.
- Avoid sugar like a plague. Stay away from sweets, starchy foods and even fruit for at least two weeks to cut your sweet tooth addiction. Top on on your sodium to avoid headaches this time as your body will start getting rid of excess water.
- When you are stressed and feel the need for chocolate (or any high carb “fix”) make a cup of green tea or herbal infusion. Chammomile is brilliant to calm the nerves, as is lavender. Then go for a walk.
- Pack your lunch from home everyday and eat it early. Late lunches are a recipe for all sorts of pick-me-up snacking in between.
- Eat dinner before 6:00 p.m. and absolutely nothing after. You are allowed to drink copious amounts of sugar free tea. If you must have the taste of sweetness, use natural stevia sweetener.
- Find a food buddy to keep you accountable, preferably one you work with or live with.
Do you find yourself struggling with eating healthfully when under lots of stress? What are you doing to take back control?