We’ve all been there – that moment when you have to decide if you will give in to your food cravings or stay strong and fight the urge. You know what I’m talking about. You think to yourself, “Adding just a little sugar to my coffee won’t hurt me, right?” Or, “I’m running late for work, so I’ll just swing through the drive-thru for breakfast this one time.” Or, “This it too hard. I can’t do it and I feel so discouraged. Hand me that bowl of candy!”
Well, I am here to tell you that you CAN do it and be successful with the right mindset. But even I get down in the dumps sometimes, and I understand how people’s thoughts can occasionally turn to unhealthy food as an emotional pick-me-up. Here’s what I do when that happens to ensure that I stay on the right track.
Keep an index card with positive affirmations or mantras written on it with you at all times. Put one in your car, one in your wallet, and one in your desk at work. And definitely put one up on the fridge at home! There are so many great positive affirmations available to choose from, or you can make up some of your own. The only rules are that they must be positive and they must be written in the first person.
Here are 5 inspirational sayings that I really like:
1. My body is getting stronger, slimmer, and healthier every day. This affirmation is true! Try visualizing the actual changes taking place in your body when you say this. Also, try and visualize how your body will feel and look when you reach your goal.
2. I treat my body with love and kindness. This may be uncomfortable at first, since many people who struggle with their weight or who have an unhealthy relationship with food view their bodies as the enemy. But it’s vital that you begin to shift your thinking and treat your body with love. Try standing in front of the mirror (naked is best, but you can work towards this!) and say only nice comments about your entire body.
3. I believe in my ability to lose weight and keep it off. This is so important. You are the master of your thoughts, and you have to believe that you can lose weight, keep it off, and live a healthy life. If you don’t believe this, explore the reasons why. The truth is that we all have this ability; you just have to believe in yourself.
4. I love eating healthy food and nurturing my body. Chances are this hasn’t always been the case in the past, but that’s okay! Leave the past in the past and focus on what you can do (and are doing!) now. You CAN become that person who loves to eat healthy food and who nurtures their body. It won’t happen overnight, but saying this affirmation can help you transform yourself. Again, visualize yourself eating your favorite healthy foods or the endorphin high you get from your favorite workout as you say this.
5. I deserve healthy food and a healthy body. This can be a tough one for some people. No matter what your circumstances are, the truth is that you do deserve to nourish your body with healthy food. It’s not always easy to put yourself first (Trust me, I get it!), but you have to believe that you are worth taking care of.
Here are a few more techniques to use when you are tempted to eat something unhealthy or give up:
Breathe and count. I will often tell clients to, “Count to 10 slowly, then take 10 deep breaths. Then decide whether or not you are still going to go for that unhealthy food item.” Many times, by the time you get to breath number five, the urge has passed and you feel so proud of yourself that you made the right choice.
Keep a picture reminder of why you want to get or stay healthy. I carry around a picture of myself and my husband and our pets. This picture reminds me that I not only want to take care of myself for me, but also for my family. If I eat unhealthy food, it robs me of my energy, and I am not at my very best for them.
Another great idea is to find some motivational quotes and hang them where you can see them. One I love is, “Every choice you make either gets you closer to your goal or further away from your goal. Which way do you want to go today?” Ask yourself this question each time you are tempted to eat food that isn’t good for you.