#1 “I Am Getting Over Getting It Right”
If you have felt in the past that healthy eating is about deprivation realize that you don’t have to be perfect. In fact I like to say that “imperfect is perfect.” Get over getting it right and move to a philosophy of eating just a little bit better. Challenge the stubborn voice that may want to tell you “go big or go home” because inevitably trying to make too much change will results in “go big AND go home.” Instead choose flexible nutrition goals that cause you to work a little bit on your food choices but are not absolute.
For example, if you drink lots of alcohol and are looking at strategies to help you reduce this, your tools may include a goal number of drinks for typical work weeks and permission to take a vacation from this during the playoff hockey season and your summer/winter holidays.
When you avoid “all or none” thinking, you can’t lose. You can still choose to get healthier without sacrificing social fun and the amazing taste of sugar, fat and salt (since even dietitians know these really do taste good!).
#2 “I Believe in Learning vs. Failing”
Tried something and found that you didn’t stick with it? Don’t worry about it, you didn’t fail – you just learned a valuable lesson about yourself. One strategy won’t work 100% of the time but if it works occasionally then it is still useful. Think of having a healthy eating tool kit with a variety of tools that will be useful at different occasions.
For example, if you usually skip lunch but remembered to pack your lunch twice this week – celebrate the fact that your strategy worked 2/5 times this week and you need other tools for the other three work days. Another example is if you bought a box of 100 calorie chocolate bars to help you eat a smaller portion of your need for a daily chocolate fix but ended up eating the whole box in one sitting, you learned something about yourself. You didn’t fail, you learned that having these in the house is a trigger to want to eat them all at once. Take this information and try another strategy until you stumble upon something that makes sense.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy fall season
Andrea Holwegner, “The Chocoholic Dietitian”