How Resolutions Can Be Helpful

You may be hearing negative comments on New Year’s Resolutions. I too, consider myself an anti-resolutioner for many reasons BUT I also like the refreshing nature of a resolution. I’ll be honest, my 2017 wasn’t the greatest year of my life. It was definitely full of blessings but it was also full of hardships, loss, and just plain surviving. I didn’t cook for my family enough, we didn’t meal plan, and we didn’t make the best meal decisions (there may or may not have been waaaay too much fast food in our diets). I  have resolved to make more nourishing meals at home. It seems simple but when you think about it, that means meal planning, better grocery shopping, and actually making the meal!

Resolutions, by definition, are firm decisions to do or not to do something.

What are you resolving?

What are you firmly going to do?

What are you firmly not going to do?

Don’t take this resolution lightly. It is a firm decision! Even if your resolution is not necessarily nutrition related (maybe it’s to quit smoking, reduce your stress, read your Bible, exercise, etc) this blog can help!

5 ways to stick with your resolutions:

  1. If you make one or two resolutions you CAN do it! Making more than three resolutions can be too challenging. One or two is much more manageable. Top priorities only, what are some things holding you back, what do you want for your health and wellbeing, what keeps you awake at night?
  2. Make your goals specific and realistic. Be specific about what you want and be realistic too! Specificity is key…what, where, when, why, how. Realistic…is it probable and possible?
  3. Know there will be bumps in the road. It’s inevitable so just anticipate them and make it a resolution to not let a little bump (or even a big bump) get in the way of your ultimate goals! You didn’t fail, you’re just human.
  4. You don’t have to jump in with both feet. Small steps can make the biggest difference! Even a little change can help your health (physically, mentally, and spiritually) in big ways.
  5. Tell people and get accountability. Gather a group of people who will support you and encourage your resolution. Ask them to check in on you once in a while and check in with them too!

So sure, resolutions can be cliche and many fail but some also stick. For those that actually make it through and change their lifestyle, it can be the difference between wellness and illness. I encourage you to firmly stick with your decision to improve your life, your health, your wellbeing.

Week 3 Challenge – Mindset Change

Changing your mindset about eating is going to take this from a weight loss challenge to a life change. What you thought you knew about food and nutrition, put it aside. All the fancy fads that are out there now, put those aside. All the diets that you’ve been on before or the ones that friends or family have told you about, put those aside. Let’s start fresh!

This isn’t an easy topic. In fact it’s probably the hardest topic dietitians talk to people about. It’s easy to tell you that green tea is good for you and measure your portions and eat your fruits and veggies. It’s hard to talk about changing ideas or mindsets that have been held for a very long time. But…I like challenges and I care about you and your health so as hard as it may be, lets dig in!

You know that eating an entire bag of potato chips is by no means healthy, right? But even if you know that sometimes you still do it. Why? Let’s figure it out…

So many things factor into why you eat what you eat. From stress, depression, grief, and sadness to happiness, celebration, temptation, or boredom all of these emotions or seasons in life affect your diet. Why? Because your diet is one of the only things in life that you have full control over. You decide what you eat: how much (or how little) and how often. Many times we eat and we don’t even recognize it. How many candies have you had out of the candy jar at work today? You probably don’t know because you haven’t counted…aren’t you food logging!?! 🙂 We are mindless when it comes to eating and we allow our emotions to take over. Let’s talk about the 3 biggest hurdles to mindset that I’ve witnessed.

  1. STRESS

On any normal day your eating habits are probably fairly normal but when you get stressed, emotions take over and the candy jar gets emptied, vending machines get raided, fast food burgers get eaten before dinner, and chips/cake/cookies get devoured while watching TV at night. All because you were stressed.

THE SOLUTION

Eating is not going to change the situation. Eating makes you feel better for those few minutes that you are devouring the cake/chips/[insert your favorite stress food] but afterwards you will fill guilty, your stressed will still be there, and you may even feel physically ill. Find a good stress management technique or tool and use it. Food is not your friend, you cannot figure out your problems by eating half of a pizza. PS alcohol is not your friend either. Instead of using food as an outlet try something that benefits your body. Check out the American Psychological Association’s tips for managing stress. Personally I like a walk outside, a drive, a bath, and/or some hilariously mindless TV (Impractical Jokers is probably my favorite).

2. NEED vs WANT

“I need my chocolate”, “I need my soda”, “I need my salty crunchy snack”. Have you ever heard yourself saying those things? Guess what, you don’t need any of that. What you need is air, water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fat, and protein to survive. You WANT those other things, you don’t need them.” WOAH…let that sink in. You don’t NEED any of the “extra’s” in your diet. You simply WANT them. You’ve become accustomed to having them, possibly addicted to them. They became part of your life but you don’t need any of it.

THE SOLUTION

What do you eat that you think you need, but really you want? Remember, food is just an inanimate object that has no barring on you. If you could never eat potato chips again, you would still be you! I’m not saying you should give up all of the high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods that you enjoy. I’m saying you don’t need them. You want them and that’s OK, but not all the time, not every day. Changing your mindset also means changing how you talk about food.

3. YOU

How you talk about yourself impacts you and those around you. Just because you ate ice cream or a dough nut or wings doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. I cannot over state this enough NO ONE EATS THE PERFECT DIET. Don’t believe it if they say they do. Don’t let them make you feel inferior because you don’t eat 100% “healthy” all the time. You are human and humans like fat, we like salt, we love sugar, and we eat it…and that’s OK! It’s ok to have those things once in a while and not to feel guilty about it. It’s NORMAL and in fact part of an overall healthy diet to eat things that wouldn’t fall into a perfect diet plan.

Also, you are beautiful just the way God made you. He made you in His image, for His glory. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The media is flawed and wrong. Those thoughts in your head that your legs are too tank like and your arms are too much like a flag and your nose looks like a duck bill…those are lies. Your legs have carried you through this life, carried children up and down stairs, helped you run that marathon. Those arms have hugged loved ones, cradled babies, and help you lift those weights above your head. That nose of yours allows you to smell the sweet aroma of flowers, enjoy the taste of food, and lets you know which one of your kids needs their diaper changed.

THE SOLUTION

Changing how we think of food and ourselves doesn’t happen overnight. It won’t happen unless you decide to throw out the negative connotation about food and yourself and start filling up with positivity.

Here are some words of wisdom that may help:

  • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. – Psalm 139:13-15
  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not evil, plans to give you a future and hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
  • No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • Be kind to one another [and yourself], tenderhearted, forgiving one another [and yourself], as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 40:10-11

God loves us so much. He loves us more than anything. He proved that by sending Jesus to save us. Let’s treat our bodies like we are special, because we are. Let’s eat well, not to avoid guilt but because our bodies are valuable. Let’s eat ice cream and wings once in a while without guilt because our overall wellbeing is valuable. Let’s be human, let’s love ourselves, and let’s love others.

The Nighttime Binge

It’s 9:00 at night, you have just put the kids to sleep and it’s finally quite. You’re able to sit down and mindlessly watch your favorite shows on T.V. Before you sit down you go out to the kitchen, grab some popcorn and now you’re ready to go. At first it is a smart choice and a healthy portion but then something happens. Perhaps you saw a commercial for a deep dish pizza, maybe you skipped lunch and that’s catching up to you, or worse…you’ve had a bad day.

Before we go on: if you feel you have a binge eating disorder PLEASE go get help. Check out the National Eating Disorder Association website on Binge Eating Disorders (BED) or the American Psychological Association AND talk to your doctor, counselor, or psychologist/psychiatrist.

Otherwise let’s go through some simple tips to avoid the nighttime binge so you can keep with your health and wellness goals!

Tip 1: Decide if you are truly hungry. Nighttime eating can be a multi-dimensional issue so breaking it down and asking yourself a few questions can help. The first and most important question is “Am I hungry?” If yes then pick a smart snack! If no, then go on to tip 2.

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Tip 2: If you’re not hungry, then why do you want to eat? That leads us to the next question to ask yourself. “What happened today that is making me want to eat when I’m not hungry?” Most of the time you had a “day”. One of those terrible, awful, no good, very bad days are 9 times out of 10 the reason people binge at night. S-T-R-E-S-S. Instead of finding a healthy outlet we resort to food but the problem is, the foods we binge on usually do not make us feel better and in fact can lead us down the guilt cycle which increases our stress. Many times “binge worthy foods” are also highly processed, have little to no nutritional value and are loaded with either sugar, fat, salt or a combination of the three.

Tip 3: Find something else to relieve that stress. Take a bath, read a book, knit, crochet, exercise, take a walk, pray, meditate, just do something other than waste calories on mindless eating (drinking too much alcohol is not an option either).

Tip 4: Keep “binge worthy food” out of the house. Hear me out…you don’t NEED ice cream, potato chips, cookies, cake, candy, chocolate, doritos, etc, etc, etc. You NEED nutrients that are not coming from any of the above for-mentioned foods. When you’re grocery shopping, don’t even go down those aisles…they aren’t for you. If the nuts, frozen vegetables, or other awesome foods are unfortunately placed in these areas, put your blinders on and go, otherwise steer clear.

Tip 5: It is actually ok to eat at night. In fact, I recommend eating every 3-4 hours so if you ate supper at 5:00 pm and you are physically hungry at 8:00 or 9:00 please eat! Limit yourself to 100-200 calories (see my snack article that was highlighted in tip 1) and choose a smart snack!

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Tip 6: Ask yourself one final question: “Is this food/Are these foods (whatever you want to eat) going to help me with my nutrition goals?” If the answer is yes, you’re probably going to eat a smart snack in a portion controlled environment. If the answer is “uhhh…ummmm…errrhhh…no” then really think about what you are wanting from your nutrition and goals.

I hope these tips were helpful to you. Eating too much at night is a problem for many people but we can combat that by stress reduction and asking ourselves those few questions.

Again, if you feel that you need help with a binge eating disorder (or any other eating disorder or disordered eating thoughts) please get help.