“After the first bite, I couldn’t stop myself. I was out of control. It’s so disgusting.”
Can’t stop myself. I'm out of control. Disgusting. Those are some pretty strong statements laced with feelings of hurt and guilt and shame. And though that is an ENTIRELY separate conversation, I’m here to tell you that behaviors like snacking and overeating are just that — a behavior or a habit — and NOT a reflection of your soul. It doesn’t make you a bad person, just like eating only veggies and lean protein doesn't make you a good person. And over time, with practice, old habits are entirely possible to walk away from as much as new ones are possible to implement.
Here’s the thing: When you put the onus on an outside power or person for your behavior, you take your power away from yourself. But you have a choice. With each bite, you have a choice. And THAT lets you reclaim ownership of your body and health and life. Taking ownership of your actions makes it possible to make long-term changes.
Easier said than done, though, right? As one of my mentors reminded me this week, do not mistake difficulty with impossibility.
Take it one step at a time. The first step toward addressing habits is becoming aware of what’s going on. Without awareness, it’ll be tough to get to the root of the issue. Here are a few questions to ask when you find yourself in either an “I’m really craving some ice cream/wine/Doritos” moment to an “I’M OUT OF CONTROL” situation:
- Am I actually hungry? (Sounds obvious but it’s an often-forgotten question)
- What happened in my life just before I put that cookie in my mouth that could be affecting my food choices?
- What is happening later today that could be affecting my food choices?
- How does my body feel? (Sometimes sensations like pain can trigger the munchies)
- Am I bored?
- What did I have at my last meal? Was it satisfying? Was it enough food?
The answers to these questions should lead you to decide whether or not to have that next cookie. If you choose not to have it, great. If you choose to eat it, great. ENJOY it. Own your decision.
Food is not the enemy though it can feel like it when our goals are to look or feel better. The simple act of OWNING your choices, though, can help mend your relationship with food and even help you enjoy it in ways that are kinder to your body.
One of the most empowering gifts you can give yourself — and this goes beyond food choices — is to OWN your decisions and choices. Owning your actions puts YOU in the driver’s seat of your health. An that’s where the magic happens.
Register for CleanSlate28!
IzzyFit's 28-day program is designed to help you create new nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits that will help you enjoy the summer whole-heartedly without the back-to-school weight gain blues!
The program focuses on:
- Making the best nutrition choices wherever you find yourself
- Keeping track of "empty" calories
- Adding in more fresh fruits and veggies
- Eating just the right amount so you're not too full or too hungry