Like Many Things, Attitude Is Everything

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Healthy-Eating-101Much like me, my dad has always been an unhealthy eater. At least as far back as I can remember he’s eaten mostly junk. He hates veggies unless they are coated in cheese or butter. His idea of healthy eating is a small amount of instant oatmeal doused with a ton of brown sugar and washed down with a chocolate milk. Hello, sugar rush.

A couple years ago, he had a heart attack as a wake up call and was forced to go on medications and clean up his diet. In his mind, it was the end of the world. He was now forced into a life of no more fun in eating. You should have heard the complaining that went on. And you know, he was right. It was a huge punishment… wait, what?!

I personally started and stopped diets many times along the way because they were horrible. The whole time I was thinking I can’t choke down endless plain grilled chicken breasts and steamed veggies. I can’t eat anything my friends are eating. I can’t go out and have fun. I’d find myself unable to take it anymore and fall off the wagon. Once off the wagon, all bets were off. Boom, I was done with that nonsense and gained back anything I’d managed to lose.

As part of Healthy Eating 101, I’ve talked about how to figure out how many calories to eat for your goals, how to make up your calories each day, and healthier food choices. Now it’s time to dig a bit deeper. Have you ever been around someone in a bad mood? They moan, groan, and complain and suddenly you find that you’re getting kinda grumpy yourself. It’s works with good moods and smiling too.

Healthy eating is very similar to the contagious mood. It’s all about the attitude you have. If you feel like it’s a punishment that you have to endure, then it will be a punishment. I kid you not. It was not until I changed my attitude that things really started to click and the yo yo was stopped in its tracks. I changed my attitude to more of a “hey, this isn’t so bad” to “wow, this is working” to “yeah, I love eating this”.

I’m not saying that it didn’t take work in the beginning or that every day is perfect and rosy. Some days it still takes a bit of attitude adjustment, but those days are very rare and take a lot less effort to perk up than before. When I stop to analyze the times that I feel less than stellar about eating healthy, I realize that it’s because I let others make me feel bad for my choices. Knowing that fixes the issue right away.

Being healthy is not a punishment. Your health gives you the ability to live a long life doing things you enjoy! It gives you energy to face the good times and the tough times. It gives you confidence and awe in your own strength. Breathe deep and smile every chance you get.

Here are some tips for eating healthy and also to keep your relationship with food healthy too:

  • Don’t give up foods that you love! Have them in moderation and fit them into your calories. If you are creative, you can make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods. You can also enjoy the “real thing” too.
  • Don’t deprive yourself. No one needs pizza and chocolate cake every day to be happy. Small treats once a week or so won’t undo all the good you’re doing the rest of the time. If you tell yourself something is off limits, you’ll set the wrong mindset. You can have it or choose not to.
  • Don’t beat yourself up with guilt if you slip up. We are human and we all slip up. Get right back to eating healthy and don’t restrict your calories to make up for it. That plan will backfire on you and can also mess with your metabolism.
  • Don’t use exercise as punishment. If you ate more than you intended, don’t try to over exercise to undo the damage. Exercise should be something fun to do without an “if you do the crime, do the time” attitude.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and foods. I found that once I cut most of the preservatives and junk out, I really enjoy flavors of food. My impulse purchases at the grocery store went from packaged cupcakes and microwave pizzas to butternut squash cubes, greek yogurt, and pumpkin spice oatmeal.
  • Don’t forget the power of the internet. I look forward to googling for new recipes. You aren’t stuck with boring foods. There are millions of options out there for quick, easy flavorful meals. Use them to your advantage.
  • Don’t feel left out with friends and family. They want to spend time with you regardless of what you’re eating. Most restaurants have tons of healthy choices so they can choose what they want and you can get what fits you. You also never know who might be watching and following your lead too.

Treat healthy eating like a fun, new adventure to look forward to. Like most things in life, it’s all about the attitude. Unfortunately my dad’s attitude played a big factor in his health. He begrudgingly ate what my mom made him and lost weight… then gained it all back when he went back to old habits.  More on how to maintain your weight loss coming in the next installment of Healthy Eating 101 – Quest Style. 🙂

The tips above are based on my experience on my healthy eating journey. Always make sure to follow your doctor’s orders for health issues.

Comments

  1. I love these tips. I am constantly trying to make pizza healthy! That’s my one guilty pleasure. I just really want to live out healthy eating as I start my family so I’m a good example to my children. I don’t feel like a grew up in a home with any kind of workout culture or an emphasis on moderation of sweets.
    Kate recently posted..Work Out Like a Rock Star!My Profile

    • Adrianne says:

      Same here about my growing up. It wasn’t my mom’s fault but we didn’t know then about foods what we know now. It’s definitely not easy to figure out. I’ve learned so much and hopefully can help my daughter get off to a good start. I love the idea of healthy pizza! Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Very helpful, practical tips! Needed the motivation this morning to keep keeping on. 🙂 THANKS for sharing!

    Have been poking around your site…good stuff!
    Rachel B recently posted..FUN DAY MONDAY: Elmo Birthday Party!My Profile

    • Adrianne says:

      Glad you stopped by and welcome to my little corner of the world! If there’s ever anything you’d like to see, let me know.

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