When it comes to making a change (health-related or otherwise), I hear all the time, “I know what I need to do, I just need to do it.”
But the space between the knowing and the doing can be vast!
-Myself and every other human at some point in our lives
If you have ever said to yourself “I just need to get motivated,” you can appreciate that motivation often feels like this elusive unicorn of a thing. Comes and goes when it pleases, requiring you to pounce on it because who knows how long it is going to stick around.
What if I told you this doesn’t have to be the case? What if I told you that how you think about motivation is actually only half the story? Read on, my friends, read on. [Cue the eery and whimsical music that plays when Aladdin peels open the treasure chest to reveal all the riches inside…]
As a dietitian, I often get asked about my own eating habits and the “food rules” I live by. I struggle with my response for two reasons:
– Grandmothers everywhere
We’ve all been there. You’ve got this super slick plan for how you are going to navigate the holidays and not overdo it this year. Because you are 100% NOT overdoing it.
Until Grandma guilt trips you into another piece of pie.
– Everyone on Thanksgiving
The months of November and December are notorious for being challenging. With all the indulgent foods, sweets, and adult bevvies…temptation is everywhere. ALL. THE. TIME. The holidays can really derail even the most focused of individuals.
So I say, “Not this year holidays…not this year.”
– Brene’ Brown
We live in a world of wellness that is validated by the before and after shot. The left side showing a sad, unfulfilled human in poor lighting with poor posture. On the right, a radiant individual, smiling, shoulders pulled back with confidence, and a six pack chiseled into their midsection…usually with “6 months later” or something along those lines as the caption.
I see this story all the time. My Instagram feed is inundated with this story. This story is everywhere.
But that is not MY story.
– An ironic truth that has been turned into a refrigerator magnet…
Eating and nourishing our bodies are a part of the human experience. And as a dietitian, I recognize that there are times when not every nutrition choice is driven by physical hunger. For instance, my birthday was a couple weekends ago… you think that carrot cake cupcake (that I look forward to every year) was a response to my stomach growling?? Hard no. Definitely not. That was sheer bliss and an intentional choice to indulge and celebrate. So that I did. And enjoyed every flippin’ bite. But that was definitely not driven by physical hunger.
– Said No One. Ever.
Okay, before I dive in, let me start by saying…counting calories DOES work for some people! So why am I knocking it then?? Because. Rarely does someone count calories for a lifetime. Can you imagine?? How exhausting. And counting calories puts the emphasis on a tiny part of the nutrition picture – food in, energy out. It does not prioritize quality, tuning into one’s body, or enjoying the human experience of nourishing your body. All of which are necessary for long-term weight maintenance.
This is a quote from one of my clients in a recent coaching session. [NOTE: Name has been changed for privacy reasons. Also, I changed his name to Steve because Night Steve reminded me of this infamous Tina Fey moment.]