Sticking to it
By virginiaannebowen on April 12, 2014
Changing your lifestyle is no easy task. There is no shortage of articles that promise a new and healthy you if you follow just 5 easy steps. How many times have we all given some diet or activity a whirl only to get back to our former habits within the month? Why do we struggle to make the change stick?
Change has been a gradual thing for me. I wanted to eat less sugar so I went on a crash “no sugar” diet for six whole days last year. The plan was to make it a month. It wasn’t all in vain though. It gave my body a chance to sort of reset and lose some of its intense craving of sweet things. But it wasn’t until I started changing what I allowed myself to bring into my house and to bake with that the real change started happening.
For example, I am a cookie fiend and always will be. I stopped buying white sugar and started looking for recipes that used either very little sugar or substitutes like stevia, apple sauce or honey. After doing this for several months, I one day whipped up a batch of my old style cookies and to my surprise, I didn’t really enjoy them. They were too sweet for my sensitive taste buds. The nerves in my teeth spasmed as did my stomach after the second one.
And so began the process of phasing out things that I knew were not helping me with my health, energy and even my emotions.
Foods I have or am phasing out:
- white granulated sugar
- processed meats like hot dogs and sandwich meat
- most flavoured yogurts (I make exceptions for honey flavoured Greek Gods from time to time)
- all-purpose white flour for use in baking
- prepared foods (Kraft Dinner, cookies, granola bars, frozen pizza [my husband isn't a part of phasing out that one but we don't eat a lot of it anymore])
- cow’s mik
These days, I typically have an abundant source of energy despite running around after two little ones. Colds don’t drag on as long and my perspective is a lot more clear. Food is far more enjoyable and fulfilling too.
To “phase out” successfully, you need a replacement for whatever it is you’re trying to go without because naturally you will probably still want to eat it from time to time. I make our own granola bars; I use recipes that require little or no white flour and buy plain yogurt and top it with honey, seeds and fruit. There’s more labour involved to be sure but it’s something I have become passionate about. That’s really what this is all about. Ultimately, whatever it is that you want, you have to get passionate about it. Passion is the motor that turns the wheels of change.
Be the change you want to see and you may surprise yourself with what you are capable of doing!