Having interviewed Chef Lyndon Wissart on my radio show The W101 Show last week, I’ve been thinking over my diet and lifestyle. Thinking being the operative word! Lyndon was diagnosed with diabetes after a lifetime of poor eating habits that he wasn’t even aware of. He decided to take control of both and ended up completely reversing the diabetes.
Managing my diet and choosing healthy eating habits have been a struggle for me in recent years. I’ve not struggled all my life with this issue, just over the the last ten years or so, due in part to a long term condition with which I was diagnosed. Other contributing factors include starting a sedentary job and buying a car, which resulted in my becoming no where near as physically active as I used to be.
Improving diet and health takes a shift in mindset. You know, the mind really is the deal maker – or breaker – in terms of everything pertaining to life. Whatever you do, don’t or won’t do is determined by your mind. It is after all the seat of your decision making for better or worse.
It’s so critical to become conscious of your mind and how it operates. What are you thinking? What are your views, opinions, perspectives on issues that are important to you, such as your diet? All these are ‘filters’ through which the mind weighs up issues and then makes decisions.
Most people allow their minds to run on default. When you hear them use phrases such as, ‘I’ve always eaten this way.’ ‘This is the way I am.’ ‘What’s the use in trying?’ ‘I can’t help it! I just love fried chicken!’ Understand these are symptomatic of a disempowered, default mindset. Sadly, many of our ‘default’ perspectives aren’t necessarily healthy or helpful to us.
So we must challenge ourselves by questioning the disempowering default mindsets we identify. To switch from a default mindset that is unhelpful ie one that stops you from achieving your goals (such as eating a healthy diet) commit to developing these four habits:
1) become conscious or aware of the thoughts running through your mind especially about matters of importance to your health. Do these thoughts and beliefs empower or motivate you to change and take action in the right direction?
2) if your default thoughts are unhelpful decide to reject them. Know that you don’t have to just live with them. You have the power and ability to change your mind about any issue.
3) replace unhelpful thoughts with positive and helpful ones. Instead of thinking, ‘Healthier foods don’t taste as delicious as fatty, sweet foods’ think ‘I’m going to find healthy foods that taste good to me. I’ll start with one meal each day and swop a fatty/sugary portion with a healthy choice that I enjoy. ‘
4) start small. Thinking about changing your entire diet can be an overwhelming thought for most of us. Attempting to climb mount Kilimanjaro when you’ve not once climbed a hill is not realistic in the least; and you’re setting yourself up for inevitable failure. But if you think ‘I will start by changing one thing about my diet and build from there.’ You’re more likely to be successful.
The change in thinking won’t happen overnight. If you spent a lifetime (or a decade in my case) thinking one way, it will take some time to change the way you think. It’s a new habit you need to form; and the good news is that research has shown it can take about 21 days to create a new habit. So be patient, persistent and know that it is possible to change a negative unhealthy default mindset to a new, positive, healthy and helpful mindset. Above all, define your small change in choice very clearly to yourself, then don’t give up working that change until it becomes a habit. Once you get into the flow of that one small change, it will encourage you to add some more small changes. Before you know it, you’ll have changed your entire way of eating for the better and the health benefits will become obvious to you!
Keep your head on straight and your heart on strong!
H Michelle Johnson
PS the W101 Show is on every Thursday 8pm & Sunday 3pm (GMT) on prayz.in radio.
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