Lifestyle Change | 3 Steps To Breaking Bad Habits
Making a healthy lifestyle change isn’t easy and let’s face it, we all like easy. Especially when it comes to our poor eating habits. We’d love to be able to just magically wish the weight away. Just wizard those pounds off. Lord knows I would be the first one with a wand.
Unfortunately, to truly embark on a healthy lifestyle change we need to act as well.
The problem is, many people see change as the enemy. Change is not the enemy. It’s actually your best friend. Change ushers in the new era of you. The healthier, better, and more fit version of the you that you are seeking.
So, we must muster up the willpower to force change. No matter how much it hurts. That means taking extreme action. The kind of action that no one likes. A firm commitment to getting rid of all the bad food in your life. Trust me, it’s necessary because you can not start a new path on an old trail.
The FOOD must go!
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “but changing the way I eat is really hard.” Yes, it is hard. I struggled with this myself and still do. Heck, just looking at a donut puts ten pounds on my hips. So, I totally feel your pain. And I know that no one wants to feel pain.
Especially where weight loss is concerned. But all kidding aside. There will probably be a modicum of pain involved. It’s unavoidable. Without pain, there is no gain.
I know that sounds a little cliche’ but, once you accept it, doing it will be easier for you. So, reach into the pantry and start getting rid of all the bad junk food or donate it.
Whatever is best for you. It’s your choice. Just as long as you eventually clean house of the bad foods.
What the fudge, right? I’m supposed to be helping you, not depressing you. I know that hearing there’s a bit of pain involved isn’t what you want to hear. Still, it’s important to know because losing weight is hard work. It requires a lot of mental fortitude and resounding will to pull it off. So, to tell you it will be easy would be a grave injustice to you.
Particularly since there are thousands of articles, blog post, YouTube channels, and landing pages claiming it. It’s everywhere you look. Someone always has some, “How I lost weight fast,” story to tell. Explaining how quick and easy it is to drop pounds.
They never show the real struggle or the returned weight. Some keep it off but many regain it all back.
Those stories can really suck especially when you’re still on the hunt for solutions. I too searched forever for a solution without luck. Something to get rid of my weight for good. I finally found the solution while watching a documentary.
You can read all about it in why food doesn’t make you fat. The point is this, it can be done.
It requires a big commitment on your part. And even though it’s slower and less glamorous than those fad diets (which suck), it works. It’s called a healthy lifestyle change. Switching from unhealthy eating behaviors to new healthier ones.
An, unlike diets, when you change your lifestyle, the change is for life. At least it should be for life. It all depends on your level of commitment.
So Why Do Diets Stink?
Diets stink because they don’t really work. That’s due to two main reasosn; one is two main reasosnall the restrictions and the other is time. Diets restrict at least one or the other. It’s either calories, food choices, or amounts which can lead to extreme cravings and hunger.
Diets are for a set amount of time. Once that time is up, the eating frenzy begins. Everything you’ve been craving is on the table. Before long you are back to all your old eating habits.
Plus diets are riddled with lies. Lose weight easily, burn fat fast, drop 20 lbs in one-week easily. The weight loss industry makes all kinds of claims to get you to buy. You and I both know there is nothing easy about weight loss. Fast weight loss really means quick regain.
Enough is Enough!
Don’t lie to me. Don’t tell me how easy it is, or how quickly the weight will come off. Don’t fill my head with dreams of the perfect body. And please don’t hit me with high priced weight loss plans that don’t work for long.
Why do we fall for it anyway? Usually, it’s because it’s what we want to hear. Whenever people hear the word hard, they immediately run for the hills. Hard equals pain. It also means that it doesn’t last very long. Don’t believe me, well just pick any diet you want.
The water, 3 day, grapefruit, cabbage soup, or cayenne pepper diet, it doesn’t matter. That’s because they all have one thing in common, they’re restrictive. One thing or another is forbidden. If could be carbs, meat, or food altogether. It doesn’t matter.
There’s something you can’t have, period. I don’t know about you, but most humans are very stubborn creatures.
The moment you say the words “can’t have” to us, we immediately want it. That is why when we start a new diet we are focused solely on what we can’t have.
Even when we successfully finish a diet, it still doesn’t work. Odds are we’ll regain the weight plus more. In fact, 95% of people who lost weight on a diet gained it all back.
That’s why I want to keep things genuine
I want to give you something that lasts. Something you can say changed your life for good. Not some lose weight fast fad to get all your money. Real lasting change, that doesn’t drain your pockets. Except for the money you already spend on food.
So as I was saying. A lifestyle change isn’t going to be easy. But you can do it. Here are three steps to give you a boost. Keep them close. Whenever you are struggling (and you will) just remember these steps to get yourself back on track.
Lifestyle Change Step 1
Stop Self Sabotage. The very first step to changing your life is by changing your inner voice. Begin by making a list of all the reasons why you need to lose weight and become healthier. Read that list out loud whenever you begin to make excuses for why you need to eat bad food again. Believe me, I know them all.
Here are just a few;
- I can always start again tomorrow.
- One bite won’t hurt.
- I can’t afford healthy food right now.
- I’m under a lot of stress so I need a break.
- I’ve eaten healthy all week so one donut won’t hurt.
- Just a taste to get me up and going.
- I know I should be eating better but I’m just too tired to cook.
This list could go on forever. Like I said, I’m very familiar with them all. Though, I’m more than sure you get the point. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. Just stop making excuses that sabotage your change. Don’t let you; stop you from fulfilling your wish.
Lifestyle Change Step 2
Develop an Action Plan. The very first day I decided I wasn’t going to eat fast food anymore, I developed my DREAM plan. DREAM stands for debate, relate, evaluate, actuate and meditate. Every time I drove past a fast food joint I debated with myself.
You see, I was a compelling debater. I could talk myself into doing anything. Except lose weight.
But now the debate switched from self-sabotaging excuses to compelling reasons to stay on track. I recognized the need to avoid bad foods and convinced myself that there were other options better suited for me. Then I’d recognize those bad feelings by relating to myself as just being human.
Forgiving myself and presenting myself with alternatives. Like grabbing a salad from the market deli instead of a large order of fries.
Later, I took the time to evaluate why I still wanted those foods even though I made a promised to never eat it again.
Relating was a way of empathizing with the old me.
The old me who still felt the desire to make bad food choices.
I understood those feelings without judgment or giving in. Then I’d moved quickly to actuating my goal of being healthy. I did that by taking a few seconds to meditate on the person I wanted to become, the slimmer, healthier version.
Believe it or not, all that occurred within 30 seconds of driving past the fast food place. Except for the salad part. I repeated the process each time I saw another restaurant. I did this until I no longer had the desire to stop. For me, that was about 10 days.
After that, I no longer craved bad fast food. Soon just the thought of bad fast food made me feel sick. I no longer wanted to eat there at all. Even their commercials held no appeal to me.
I was free!
In time, I observed that healthier food began to taste better. I could taste the true flavors of what I was eating. The muted taste buds were gone. And, whenever I would slip up and give in (which did happen) I could taste the difference. It was shocking. You should try it.
Eat an all whole real food meal plan for 10 + days then try to eat fast food again. It won’t taste the same to you anymore. You will notice a very slight chemical-like taste that you didn’t recognized before. It’s uncanny!
Lifestyle Change Step 3
Believe in Yourself. There is not a plan in the world that will work without first believing it will. Belief is the core to making it work. Planes would not fly, cars would not run, and people wouldn’t dream if belief was not present. In order for you to make a total lifestyle change, you must first believe you can do it.
Your plans will not succeed without it. Have faith in yourself. Know that no matter how many times you may fail, you’ll never give up.
See it happening, for you. Visualize that slim waist, the perfect abs, tone butt, and great health. See every change that you wish to make right now. Then believe beyond all reasons that you will make it happen. Start by blocking out all doubt, disbelief, and negative self-chatter.
Then replace it with affirmative thoughts like, “you got this, or if others can do it, then so can you.” Soon you will begin to shift those negative thoughts to positive ones and change your life.
The simple truth is this. Yes, a lifestyle change is hard. There is no escaping that fact. So don’t stress over it. You will have ups and downs over the course of your journey. Just take it in strives.
Be patient with yourself and give praise when praise is owed. Try to focus only on the new YOU, you are becoming.
The Skinny of It
Once you’ve made the decision to change. Use the above steps to help you navigate through that change. Remember pain can be mitigated by removing self-sabotaging behavior, having a strong belief in self, and a good plan of action.
You will have times when you are doing great and you will also have great failures. But, if you have a strong belief in your ability to accomplish a lifestyle change. You will have the necessary tools to fight the downs and win the war.