- Don’t be Ashamed! This way of life is definitely not popular in today’s world. But, eating this way is what makes me happy, overall, and feel the best … bottom line. It’s my thing. The social aspect of this journey has always been the most difficult, for me. I (usually) do not let others’ comments make me feel ashamed of what I’ve learned and overcome. Just because my way hasn’t worked for others, doesn’t take away from what works for me and who I’ve chosen to be. The more I worry about what others may think/say/do, the less time I have to learn for and improve myself.
- Focus on progress, not perfection! The hardest days are the ones where I focus on the worst part of a meal or snack, or emphasize a really bad day of the week. Just stop. Sure – I ate some Cheetos last week – but I can count on one hand the number of times I have eaten white sugar in the last year! I have come a very long way, and I will never return to my worst days; my food consumption is definitely not perfect, but it is definitely much better.
- Celebrate the little victories! Last night I watched my two oldest daughters pack their lunches for school. They included whole grains, fruits and vegetables, all on their own. Recently, I ate and truly enjoyed all the healthy foods from a buffet filled with LOTS of foods. I hardly felt tempted and felt very satisfied after the meal. I treasure up these moments, for they encourage me to press on.
- Choose faith over fear! It’s true, my 6-year-old often tells me dinner isn’t his favorite (“Gross, Mom! I’m not eating that!”) and I often sigh, a little in defeat. It’s true, I sometimes hold a pity-party and count all the ways life is hard or unfair. There will always be moments of doubt and there will always be times when I wonder if it’s all worth it. But the most rewarding aspects of life always require sacrifice. Elder Holland has said, “You can have what you want, or you can have something better.” The “better” I hope for includes: a clear mind, disease prevention/control, optimal weight/muscle gain, temperance, pleasing God, choice and accountability, treasures of knowledge and self-esteem.
- Rely on a Higher Power! This has been a spiritual, as well as physical, journey for me. Prayer, fasting and Priesthood blessings have been essential for change and progress. I have to continually come to the Lord in my weakness. He continually and lovingly cheers me on. Many times I have been relieved of temptation. Many times I have fallen, but have found strength beyond my own to continue. I confess my Heavenly Father’s hand in all things through sincere and grateful prayer. The sacrifice of His son makes change and growth possible. I could never do this on my own!
- Get it Out and Get to Work! This lifestyle isn’t always easy (although, it is becoming easier every day). I realized I was making it harder by continuing to buy and indulge in foods that created uncontrollable cravings and made trying to change unbearable. With some focus, restraint and planning, it is possible to make healthy eating a habit – a lifestyle. I have to make time and put forth effort toward those things that are most important: my relationship with God and my husband and family members. It is no different with healthy eating. It is a journey that requires real sweat and tears with continual trial and error. Throw out the junk food. Talk with others who are of a like-mindset. Study and pray (every day, every day, every day). Go to bed early and rise early. Exercise and stretch regularly to elevate your mood, increase energy and de-stress. Plan meals for the week ahead. Shop with a list with control and purpose. Try new recipes and adapt the ones you already have. Keep a record of the ones that work and refer to them often. Quit whining and just do it! (I have to tell myself that all the time.)
- Keep Food Choices in Perspective! Fortunately, I view my relationship with food as an avenue to more fully serve God and my family. I feel more patient and loving when I am bridling my passions and limiting foods that exacerbate my brain chemistry. This is very motivating on a day-to-day basis. However, sometimes I have to check myself and make sure I am not using food as my Savior. In the end, my food choices do not determine my worth, nor will they be the means to my eternal salvation. Eating perfectly does not equal a perfect life. There is only One who carries me through this mortal existence, and only He will make all things right some day! Food is not my religion and should never get in the way of relationships. It is easy to recognize when it does. Besides those obviously contraindicated in the scriptures, food choices are not intended to be a means to judge ourselves or others. Period.
- Consider the Source! There are SO MANY voices (whether you want to hear them or not) when it comes to healthy eating. Although I still consider, and have been greatly blessed by the research and insights of others, I have learned to strictly compare and heed the counsel found in the scriptures and words of our latter-day prophets. We were created by and in the image of God, and I believe He knows the best way to take care of our bodies. In the Doctrine and Covenants we learn that whole grains (wheat, oats, quinoa, barley, brown rice, beans, corn, lentils, etc.) are to be the staff of life! Fruits, vegetables and herbs and all things that grow from the earth are ordained for our use. Meat is to be used sparingly and with thanksgiving in our hearts.
- Keep Recipe Choices Visible! I have lists of go-to snacks, recipes and (healthy) treats hanging on the fridge and handy on the counter. I always want to eat healthy – but sometimes I just can’t think of “what.” Having a list of tried and true recipes I can easily and continually refer to has been key. Doubling and/or making recipes in “bulk” is also very convenient.
- Date Night! This is so huge for me. Time away from the house, the kids, the dog, the chores, the neighbors, the bills, the homemade meals, the grocery shopping and just the general “routine” combined with alone-time with my love is everything. It keeps me going as I look forward to it all week! I also regularly enjoy pedicures, Epsom salt baths, lifting weights, creating (through writing and cooking) and reading. Unfortunately, I had used some foods to entertain and comfort myself. So, as my eating habits improved, I had to find and make time for other things to find fulfillment.
- Never Give Up! I often have to remind myself I am not a failure if I don’t quit trying. When I get discouraged and find myself slipping into old habits, I fast for strength and/or ask for a Priesthood blessing. For a long time I worried I was chasing an unachievable dream and questioned whether the person I wanted to become was even possible. Through a blessing I was specifically told my long term goals were attainable; not only attainable – but that my efforts were pleasing to my family and my Heavenly Father. That gave me so much hope and was just what I needed to preserver. Don’t give up … YOU CAN DO IT!
11 Ways I've Made Healthy Eating a Habit
Posted by TuCk N JuLeS