Do you focus on having the perfect diet and restricting certain foods? Do you focus on the 'good' foods and avoid the 'bad' foods? Do you find this helps you reach your health goals, or do you do this because this is the narrative that you’ve been told will help you lose weight and have more energy?
Avoid all sugar, don’t drink alcohol, walk 10,000 steps per day, exercise three times a week, don’t drink coffee, don’t get too stressed, eat low fat foods, don’t eat fat, go vegan, follow a carnivore diet, don’t eat carbs, eat low carbs, don’t eat this and don’t eat that and don’t forget to count calories and weigh your food! Obviously, everyone wants to be well and feel strong and healthy but sometimes these rules suck and take the enjoyment out of life, cause confusion, create guilt around eating food, lead to disordered eating and it just isn’t much fun. As a Nutritional Therapist, I love food, I love my vegetables and happily fill my plate with them. I also love eating curry (I’m getting a takeaway tonight), I love chips dipped in mayonnaise, I love wine, especially if its fizzy and I love chocolate, even better if it is a chocolate brownie. Apple crumble is another favourite of mine, I actually prefer to eat the crumble with custard. What I have learnt based on my degree in Nutritional Science, my own experience and working with my amazing clients is that it is important to have balance and stick to fingers up at ‘diet culture'. I don’t drink every day, I’ve learnt my limits, I eat chocolate after my main meal, so my blood sugar levels don’t go on that crazy roller coaster ride. The most important thing that I have learnt, and this has been a game changer for me, is to focus on results rather than perfection. It has been a major mindset shift that has taken a lot of work over a period of time. I’m glad that I have invested this time though as I have realised that focusing on perfection is a pathway to failure. It is exhausting and can feel discouraging. Focusing on results allows you to track your progress, it breaks down your goal into smaller and more achievable steps, it allows for reflection and to change if something isn’t working for you, you can see how have gone from ‘a’ to ‘b’ and this can lead to you feeling accomplished.