How to Stay On Top: When Food Success is More Scary than Satisfying

blue girl

It’s an amazing feeling to finally be making progress, but what often paralyzes that success is the fear of future failure. Sure you’re doing great right now, but how long can you really keep it up? That little voice in your head keeps telling you you’re bound to mess up, fall back into your old habits, and be right back where you started.

Don’t listen. Those lies in your head are just that—lies, and there is no reason to give them even half a second of your time. You are building valuable habits that will benefit you for a lifetime. This process of positive reinforcement is continual, and as you keep adding to it, tailoring it to your own personal tastes and discovering new strategies, these good habits will continue to be reinforced.

So instead of worrying about all the things that you’re afraid will happen in the future, instead focus on what you want to happen. Because you are the one who will decide which way it’s going to go. Remember, you always have a choice.

1. Plan Ahead—But Not Too Much
-It’s about being prepared, not being locked into an unchangeable set of rules. Your battle plan is designed to help you, so let it. Are you anticipating a special dinner where there’ll be plenty of rich foods and enticing desserts? Strategize your day so that you can still enjoy the dinner without compromising yourself. Maybe have a lighter lunch, passing up on the carbs for veggies and protein.
-Knowing what you plan to eat during the day is a good tactic, because it protects against surprise food, like when your co-worker brings in a box of donuts or your roommate brings home croissants from the bakery. Then you can either switch up your eating plan to incorporate some, or confidently be able to pass up the treats because you’re already planning to treat yourself to some blueberry crumble after dinner.

2. Trust Yourself
-Trust yourself so you know, in your stomach and in your soul, that the decisions you’re making are for your own greater comfort and satisfaction. Saying “no” to that donut doesn’t mean you’re depriving yourself, it means you care about yourself enough to refrain from doing something that will be ultimately harmful.
-As you continue to strengthen this positive trust relationship with yourself, you’ll find it will become less of a struggle. When you’ve had enough to eat, but you’re still itching to grab more sweet potato fries, it will gradually become easier to see through the Food Haze, to realize that taking more will not make you feel better or increase your happiness. You’ll more readily accept the hard, yet liberating truth that more of those delectable crispy fries will only add to your dissatisfaction and introduce regret and frustration on top of the bloatedness. You will begin to choose the well-being of yourself over the allure of the food AND feel good about it. That is a win.

3. Live Like a Champion
-It’s all too easy to dwell on what you can’t have, but that is not the most optimum way to enjoy life. It won’t help you to mope over that chocolate fudge cake that you dutifully decided to decline or to daydream about the doritos sitting untouched in the office. It’s undeniably frustrating to watch some young, buff guy stuff his face with waffles and bacon and potato wedges while you nibble on your greens and omelette, or to listen to that skinny teenager complain about how he can’t manage to put on any weight. But instead of being fixated on what you’re missing, why not revel in all that you’re gaining?
-Let yourself appreciate how good you feel, how agile and light, how spry and full of energy you are after a meal. Be proud of the fact that you can enjoy your treats as well as your staples as you practice the art of moderation. Celebrate the freedom to enjoy food without being enslaved to it, the ability to converse with people, to enjoy events without being solely fixated on the bowl of pistachios on the window sill. Be encouraged by your accomplishments. Be inspired by all you have accomplished and all you will do.

So don’t shy away from the future. March towards it with strategy and confidence. This is not the end of the road, it is just the beginning, as you begin to experience the joy and contentment of treating your body right and watching it flourish.

This is loving yourself. This is living your life to the fullest, with no regrets.

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