“I’ve fallen off the wagon!” Have you ever said this about your nutrition? If so, I’d like to stop you right there and tell you, THERE IS NO WAGON. The line of thinking of being “on/off track” or “on/off the wagon” can be quite detrimental to our mental well-being and thought process about ourselves and our nutrition.
We live in a world of extremes that tell us we are “in or out” and “right or wrong” when most of the time we are all somewhere in the middle. We all have bad meals, days, weeks, sometimes months. It doesn’t mean you’re “off the wagon.” It means you’re human. It simply means you haven’t been as consistent as you can be. You don’t have a character flaw. You just need to make some small adjustments. Period.
I like to use various illustrations to reinforce my ideas and I think when it comes to this, children are great examples, some of which you may have seen or heard.
- When a baby is learning to walk, they fall. A lot. But they try, try, try again. They don’t try to run across the room either. They simply try to take one step. And then another. It’s the same with nutrition. If you find yourself struggling, don’t give up. Just take one small step in the right direction, and then another. And if you fall, get up and take another small step.
- When your child is struggling in school or gets a bad grade on a test, you don’t tell them “well that’s too bad, guess 5th grade isn’t for you. You can stay in 4th. No biggie.” No, you tell them it’s ok and to keep working on the next test/assignment or ask for help. It’s the same with nutrition. So you made some poor choices, it doesn’t mean you’re destined for a lifetime of bad choices, simply make a different choice at your next meal. Or ask for help.
Here are some tips to help you take those baby steps to better health when things have gone sideways:
- Drink more water, your body is likely hanging on to inflammation and retaining water, hydration will help this
- Go grocery shopping, you can’t make healthy choices if they aren’t in your home
- Try a new recipe, sometimes a fresh idea can kickstart your meal planning wheels
- Ask a friend to be your accountability buddy for the week
- Add more veggies and fruits to your day. Slow healthy additions eventually crowd out other options.
- And remember, every day and every meal, is an opportunity to make the right steps to better health!