The New Year often reveals good intentions to finally do things we want or feel we ‘should’ do. It might be joining a gym, eating healthily, starting a new hobby or creating a stress-free lifestyle. This article is for everyone who struggles to carry out their intentions or desires.
First – you need to decide on something you really want to do for yourself
Often there are two camps. In one are people who don’t actually want to do it for themselves. They feel they should do it for someone else, or that it’s the only way they will be accepted by family, friends or society.
The deeper issue here is an internal conflict with thinking they must do something, rather than being able to hear the things they would love to do to optimise their own health.
This doesn’t give you permission to purposefully do things you know are not good for your health, those are different issues entirely that won’t be covered here. Instead this is giving you permission to start listening to what you know your body needs.
For example, the information out there might suggest weightlifting is the best form of exercise for your health and toning, but instead you prefer and really love dancing. Your body will react to your feelings of joy and happiness while you do something you love rather than doing something out of obligation, which causes internal stress and disharmony.
True failure is when we give up on ourselves, not if something hasn’t worked.
Another example is that you may get more energy consuming mainly plant-based foods in your diet, but people fill your head with doubt, suggesting you are not getting enough protein from plant sources, so you go against what your body enjoyed. So now you are feeling less vibrant and energetic. Remember, your health journey is all about you…nobody else.
Experiment and discover what foods and practices are best for you. Foods that empower you and bring you joy and vitality. Then you will start to see the effects this positive approach has on your body.
Naturally when one has greater self-acceptance, one also has greater motivation and drive to do things that create a healthier being.
Your mission if you choose to accept it…
Keep a health journey journal
Sit down without any distractions and write a list of the things you would like to do or experiment on, with good intentions for your health; food, exercise and hobby-wise. When writing your list, just let it flow, don’t let any doubts make you leave something out. Then make a plan to give all of those things a month’s trial to see if they actually make a difference. Keep a log of how they make you feel.
There needs to be an internal cleansing of past attempts to create healthier lifestyle habits and choices.
Why is this so important? Often when clients come to me they have all tried one or more other things to get the desired results. The past ways haven’t worked; the client is frustrated, upset, tired and lacking motivation. This is truly a gut-wrenching space to be in, and only those who have been in this space will understand the emotional rollercoaster it is.
You have to realise that if you are one of these people and you are still out there looking for something to click with you, then you haven’t given up yet, and you haven’t failed.
So as tired as you may be, you must congratulate yourself for being the warrior that you are. True failure is when we give up on ourselves, not if something hasn’t worked. See bumps in the road as learning experiences rather than failures. We learn what does work for our body and at the same time become more aware of what it needs.
Another important part to this mission, if you wish to accept it is – sit down and practise forgiveness
Sit somewhere quiet and visualise all the situations you have experienced a ‘perceived failure’. Visualise yourself in this situation, and say: “I forgive you, you have done well with the knowledge that was available to you at this time. Now choose to grow from this. Choose to love and accept yourself.”
Fear of failure comes from the expectations we place on ourselves because we do not accept ourselves as the perfection we are at this time. Once you accept yourself, be patient and love yourself; you will be able to feel what is best for your body.
This does not mean you become complacent and do not improve. It means you can see progress as an evolution of learning and knowledge, rather than an end point filled with expectation that often breeds frustration and resentment for self if not achieved the way it was visualised or expected to in a certain time frame.
Start creating a partnership with your body
Forgive it for not playing along in the past and forgive yourself for not hearing what it needed. You can use the same forgiveness practice as above for any time your body has become unhealthy and caused you pain. You can also forgive yourself for those times if you know you played a part in those imbalances.
We often don’t trust our body or give it the credit it deserves for having the ability to know what it needs in order to heal. Our logical mind always tries to override what we feel we need by all the information stuffed in our faces 24/7 about what we should and shouldn’t be eating.
Important finale to your mission…if you have chosen to accept it is: work on building trust and regaining a partnership with your body.
Here are some phrases you can practice to help you be more trusting and work more with your body.
“I am releasing what my body doesn’t need”
“I allow my body to guide me to optimal health”
“I am respectful towards my body and proud of looking after my body”
These tips are great starting blocks for creating a solid foundation. For more information, visit www.fuelnutrition.co.nz
Nutritionist Danielle Roberts is dedicated to helping people enjoy a healthy and knowledgeable relationship with food. Her business Fuel Nutrition allows her to share her passion for nutrition and healthy living. Danielle is a freelance nutritionist and works with a number of Hamilton gyms. To make a booking, please contact Danielle at www.fuelnutrition.co.nz