Practicing good nutrition daily is hard, but it’s not impossible. And it’s not all or nothing either. We’re human and we make mistakes. Sometimes we make choices based on emotions, which means, when it comes to food, some of those choices are good and others are not-so-good. And that’s okay, too.
Luckily the road to good nutrition is a long one; it doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from learning from our missteps and experiences. My path to craving nutritious feasts over empty-calorie meals took a few years and I’m forever grateful. Why? Because the time it took me to figure out a diet that promoted feeling and looking good also gave me the practice of sticking to it.
Now, choosing an apple over a Snickers® bar is a no-brainer. Eating a salad with dressing I make myself is second nature. So is indulging in delicious velvet cake with cream-cheese frosting at a birthday party. I no longer feel guilty: I understand it’s one celebration. That single act no longer wrecks my week or sends me on a month’s long sugar slide.
Another trick I learned along my journey: it’s uplifting to look to our past to see the improvements we’ve made. While living in the present is an ideal I prescribe to, examining our past highlights our progress. We forget all those little tweaks and revisions that got us to today. Looking backwards tells the story of our success and promotes self-efficacy, or confidence in our ability to execute on our goal of healthy eating. When I’m overwhelmed and teetering on total diet meltdown because a plate of my favorite truffle oil French fries is staring me in the face, I remember how I navigated a similar situation with success and that bolsters my conviction to not let this one instance derail my forward motion.
What does your road to good nutrition look like?