How to get back on track when you've fallen off the wagon
Oh my God this is hard isn’t it! It really is a task and a half.
I don’t know about you but I do absolutely brilliantly during the day making wondrous healthy dishes for lunch and supper.
Take today for eg; smoked mackerel with an avocado and courgette salad topped with chopped spring onion and fresh dill accompanied with fresh beetroot hummus. It doesn’t get much better than that does it. ( sorry fish-haters!) From home-made spiced nutty quinoa porridge to fresh vegetable soup, I don’t find it difficult to eat well.
But when the tiredness of the day kicks in and I literally do not want to move off the sofa for at least an hour and a half, I absolutely long for something sweet to tantalise and tickle my taste buds. Always with a comforting cup of herb tea and the next episode in a gripping series ( recently The Durrells, currently Summer of Rockets). And sadly those fruit peelers (a stick of dried pureed fruit) alone won’t do the trick. It’s usually Chocolate. This would be fine if it didn’t have such dire consequences. (I’m seriously sensitive I tell you - a combination of making huge efforts to be healthy which means my body tells me in no uncertain terms when I sway and I suspect peri-menopause not to mention a few stressful events). The restless legs kick in, I don’t sleep as well, my skin gets spotty, I feel more tired, it’s not good.
What’s it like for you? Is everyone else in the family getting healthy packed lunches and you’re at the bottom of the list? Are you so overtired that you’re living on coffee to keep you going during the day and a glass of wine at night to wind down? Were you doing really well and suddenly had a bout of illness or a stressful period at work and it all went out of the window? Or other things took priority and gradually good habits slipped?
The most important thing is not to beat yourself up.
I would actually do the complete opposite and positively lavish yourself with compassion. You are a human being after all. And don’t panic, we do have a reset button. We just need to take a moment and make a decision to acknowledge where we’re going wrong and where we want to be. How do you want to look and feel? What will it give you to have more energy and look and feel better? Will you be signing up for those weekend surf lessons or going for evening walks? What do you need? What do you want? How do you want to feel? These are the important questions to ask yourself on the road to getting back on track!
Often we’re not hungry, but we crave certain foods to soothe ourselves. Known as emotional or comfort eating or drinking, we just want to feel good and food or drink is a super quick fix for that. It tastes good. We think it’s relaxing us so mentally it probably is since what we think influences how we feel.
The problem is it’s doing the opposite on a physical level and ultimately that will affect us on an emotional level. It’s a temporary fix so we either find ourselves jumping into the biscuit tin or wine fridge for another very temporary dose of feel good and we berate ourselves because 30 minutes later, we feel even more tired or anxious than we did before.
So we can use a two-pronged approach.
Physically, we can ensure we’re well hydrated for balanced blood sugar so food and drink cravings are less likely. Just a reminder here that it’s virtually impossible to stay hydrated in our current environment (pollution, wifi, 4g, 5G) with our current lifestyles and the typical 21st century diet. Unless we are seriously tuned in to our hydration from the start of the day to the end of the day, you will find that the time when you unwind and crave that biscuit or cup of tea or G&T is your most dehydrated point of the day (blood sugar drops) and therefore the point at which you will need to do something to effect a physical change via a drug such as alcohol or chocolate for eg, to feel better in the short term. The problem is the quick fixers are our undoing, pushing us deeper into our dehydrated acidic picture so we can only get away with our unhelpful habits for so long.
2. Emotionally, we can be kinder to ourselves. Traditional Chinese Medicine states that ‘disease is the sum total of blocked emotion.’ We may choose the strict diet approach alone but actually how effective is that long-term without addressing how we feel and getting more conscious/clear about what we need to feel good. We’re not robots! So as I hinted at before, we often use food/drink to soothe our inner child, the part of us that is the feeling part so checking in is really helpful as part of our two-pronged approach.
I find the easiest way is to tune into my breath and do some self-enquiry around what I really need right now. Is it a hug? Is it a bath? Is it a walk around the garden for some fresh air? Is it a much needed chat with a loved one? Is it preparing yourself a simple, delicious meal and savouring it? Or is it simply focusing on your own needs above everyone else’s for a change? Remember the oxygen mask analogy. Fit your own first.
Could you start by making a list of some changes you’d like to make, for eg; introducing daily meditation, switching from a chocolate bar to a bowl of fresh berries or a nut bar. Switching from gluten like bread and pasta to potatoes and rice instead which are less dehydrating.
Maybe you could choose chicken, fish or eggs instead of red meat. Have 1 or 2 veggie meals in the week. Or try eating at the optimum fasting times such as having your first meal at 11am and last meal at 6pm.
Whatever you do, it’s worth choosing 1 option and doing it daily for a minimum of 21 days, even better 40 days to make it a habit.
Perhaps you’d prefer to choose an option that has a positive tilt, for eg; eating mindfully without your phone or introduce a mindful 10 minute daily meditation before you get up to reduce stress plus checking in with yourself at different points throughout the day to get in touch with your inner needs. Maybe this will impact how you take care of yourself and your food choices especially when you get home and need to wind down.
Or maybe you’re the kind of person who prefers to focus on abstaining from something for a period of time, to kick the habit so to speak. Ultimately, it’s whatever feels right for you.
If you’d like to make a change and feel you need help to do it then get in touch.
I can help you get to the root of your health concerns, tune into your needs, identify the aspects of your life that are stopping you reach your potential and help you reach your goals and be accountable with the greatest of compassion so that you can live the wonderful, energised, healthy life you wish for.
You deserve it. You deserve to be well, living and enjoying your life to the full but sometimes life is overwhelming. Sometimes, we need to stop, assess and press the reset button.
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful. I’ve made a list of suggestions below to make it easier for you to choose just one perhaps to get started with and I’ve also included a recent success story if you need the motivation to get started with my help.
Sending you all my love,
Mindful eating without your phone
10 minute daily meditation to get in touch with your needs
Checking in several times a day for a minute to get in touch with your needs
Tune into your breath whenever the going gets tough and be compassionate to yourself as if you are a small child ( your inner child lives in you)
Have a glass of water every hour so approximately 2L water a day, never more than 1l in 1 hour
Switch from chocolate to a bowl of fresh berries or a dried fruit/nut bar
Switch from bread and pasta ( very dehydrating!) to rice and potatoes
Choose chicken, fish and eggs instead of red meat
Choose 2 veggie meals a week instead of meat
Try intermittent fasting where you fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8hr period ideally between 11 and 7pm ( Summer-time)
Whatever you choose, focus on 1 option and try to repeat it daily for a minimum of 21 days. The final option is excluded for obvious reasons.
A recent client was struggling with weight gain, acid reflux which required medication, joint pain with recommended surgery and poor quality sleep. Good news! No more medication and no surgery!
They bravely chose The Nutrition & Wellbeing package ( 4 sessions) and haven’t looked back.
‘...you have changed me completely… I owe you my life and you gave me back my life no understatement…thank you so so much for giving me the tools to be a true human being again.’