Momentum Demands Movement
REAL TALK TIME.
I'd like to think that this is the bluntest I will ever be when it comes to my writing. This post is about discipline and finding ways to create momentum. This post is about learned helplessness, specifically when it comes to all things health related. Learned helplessness refers to a sense of being powerless or feeling as if one lacks control. At times, life does a good job of making you feel helpless, but there's a difference in feeling and being.
Life is by no means EASY.
I want to make it clear to you that I’m not saying it is, nor is this post a way to vocalize or pass judgment. However, I challenge you to ask yourself if you truly are helpless when it comes to bettering your health.
The nutritional consulting work that I do with my clients requires a great deal of communication on both my part and theirs. It’s imperative that I know about their lifestyle and almost everything that makes them tick in order for this process to be as effective as possible. I require honesty and openness. This allows me to get to know them very well, and I value this part of my job so, so much.
This journey calls for times when I must be stern about certain habits. Although the speed of progress might vary from one individual to another, each client has to shift away from feeling helpless and making excuses TO feeling in control and holding themselves accountable. The entire process is always eye-opening for the both of us.
However unfamiliar their issue may be to me, my goal is to be compassionate and I think I do a good job of that. I might have a client tell me something along the lines of “Well I can’t eat healthy because my husband doesn’t cook healthy.” As an outsider, free from any emotional investment, I want to roll my eyes, but I know this is very real for them. For almost every problem, there are solutions that have yet to be thought of on their behalf, and I. WILL. THINK. OF. THEM. After all, there's no point in me addressing a problem if I fail to present a solution with it.
So here’s how this sort of thing would go:
Problem- Client doesn't eat well because of spouse's cooking
A. Find a way to effectively communicate this issue with your spouse so he/she can change cooking habits. (This is the most ideal scenario as the couple can reinforce one another’s good eating habits.)
If (A) fails, you must then choose between the following:
B. Take control of your diet and start cooking for yourself. This can be so empowering and therapeutic!!
C. Find a meal prep service that you can order your meals from. Not quite ready to buy three prepped meals a day? Start with buying your dinners while you work on cooking your own breakfast and/or lunch. Maybe you want to start with buying your prepped dinner while you continue to eat what your spouse cooks for breakfast and lunch. This works, too! Baby steps. It’s often the small, gradual changes that are the most sustainable when going from one end of the spectrum to another.
(I am currently partnering with a wonderful meal prep service in New Orleans that will offer a Prime N+W approved menu. Super excited about this and will keep you guys posted!)
D. You continue as you have been.
You might be in the same boat. Maybe you don’t know what or how to cook. Maybe you don’t like cooking. Regardless of whatever excuse you might have, are you telling yourself that inaction is really your only choice? If so, is that the truth?
An inability to hold oneself accountable or be honest with oneself— it usually boils down to one of the two, if not both. It might sound super cheesy, but a lack of self-accountability or self-honesty usually comes from a lack of self-love. And in this case I think it’s super important to ask yourself why you struggle with that. There is difference in being selfish and self-preservation.
I often hear the words "I can't" from clients, and it's as if this is their auto-piloted response. They say it without even thinking. So I ask, "Why not?" This dialogue allows them to slowly unravel their response and realize that their excuses are just.... excuses. Don't beat yourself up about it, but challenge the stagnant states and create your mental momentum.
Common problems + possible solutions:
Can’t get to the gym: Workout at home! You can find at-home workouts in almost every magazine or on the internet. You can search by using keywords for your duration, intensity, and even equipment.
Don’t know how to cook: Pinterest, food blogs such as https://www.thefoodinmybeard.com, Food Network!!
Can’t sleep: Stay away from screens at least one hour before bedtime, make sure carbs are included in your dinner, and wear earplugs. Read a book before bed. Nobody reads enough literature anyway.
On the road for lunch: Pack your lunch the night before. This saves you money by not eating out AND you know exactly what you’re consuming. Fast food should never be a resort.
Don’t have time to eat a lunch: Unfortunately, I have clients who work as healthcare professionals and don’t get the liberty to sit down and eat lunch every day. Fuel your day with a big breakfast and bring lots of snack foods for the brief bouts that you can escape. Dinner should be its normal, old self.
Overeating: Start practicing self-discipline. *More likely than not, your diet is not the only area in your life that needs discipline.* It's easier said than done, but there's no reason to be undisciplined, especially as an adult.
It’s so easy to get stuck. And it’s not like anyone ever got stuck because they were happy and life was all puppies and ice cream. No, stuck comes when life gets crappy. Getting “uncrappy” takes effort-- sometimes a lot and it’s exhausting-- but we do it for good reason. You might be lost on what that good reason is, but it’s important for you to find it and create that momentum that you need. How you get there is your decision, your process, but get there.
Try writing, reading, walking, or gardening. Find it!!
Meditation has a weird rap to some people, but it’s really all about tuning the rest of the world out for a moment and it’s extremely effective. Interested? Try out the app Headspace and start your morning with it. It’s worth setting your alarm an extra 10 minutes early to try, and you'll be surprised by how well this sets a healthier tone for the day.
Today’s world is fast and brutal, so if you’re not taking the necessary steps to be good to yourself, you will crumble. You can chalk up your lack of health or vitality to genetics or old age, or you can think “I have things I can work on and I owe it to myself to do that.”
Make it happen. Don't settle. Be good to your mind and body.
In health and happiness,