Here we are again: the beginning of a new year, all geared up to take the reins of our life and our health and move forward with intention and new goals! I am a huge supporter of setting goals, intentions, and resolutions moving into January, and I love the shout outs of aspirations and dreams for 2019.
However, I do find that there seems to be one pretty big problem that people run into, more often than not, with setting “New Years Resolutions”:
They have trouble staying the course.
I struggle with the massive surge of sugar detoxes and weight-loss promises that hit our News Feed post-holiday season. It has a negative impact: drowning us in feelings of shame that “we let it all go”, feeding and fuelling thoughts of unworthiness, convincing us that we are “not good enough”. I struggle with these messages always, but particularly after a break we call the “Holidays”. Supposing we’ve just spent a few weeks relaxing, rejuvenating, enjoying family & friends, sinking in to the therapeutic depth of our parasympathetic nervous system, the last thing we need is subliminal messages telling us how much we’ve failed or fallen off the “eating right” wagon. What we should be feeling is ready and motivated to get back at life; we should be flooded with feelings of joy and fulfillment, love and gratitude. My feeling is that this whole idea of urgency to lose weight, detox, up our exercise game, cleanse, etc. takes us away from the positive and throws us into feelings of anxiety and a negative mindset. The message we are telling ourselves is that we have lost. We’ve failed. We should feel guilt. And shame. We aren’t good enough.
It’s Time For A Change!
I love love love the idea of making changes that we know we can follow through with. When I work with clients, we always start our work with the changes that the client perceives as “doable”. I want my clients to succeed, and success, no matter how small, encourages us to continue forward. Once we have tackled the first challenge, the next one doesn’t seem so hard.
Where to start with ditching the sugar?
Most of us feel a bit weighed down after the Holiday Season and letting go of the excess sugar is a great place to work, post holiday.
We know we will feel better, work better, function better, without it.
But HOW do we take it out?
HOW do we move towards letting go of sugar in a successful, nurturing way?
Do Not Restrict, Transition
Start With The Easiest One: As I mention above, a great way to get started on some positive change, is to begin with the one move that will be the easiest. What can you do without, fairly easily? Can you give up those extra shortbread cookies and replace them with a piece of fruit? Can you take out the fruit bottom yogourt and try plain? Or maybe you are ready to take the leap away from boxed cereal and do whole food breakfasts? Work where you are right now – move forward without aiming too high (just yet).
Take Small Steps: You will increase your chances of success by taking small steps. A slow transition away from something with such a strong pull, like sugar, takes dedication and small moves forward. For most of us, cutting things out completely too fast or too soon, backfires, and we wind up right where we started or even further behind. Allow the body to adjust slowly; it is a gentler approach. You will not feel deprived and will received more positive feedback to motivate you forward.
Focus On Nutritional Add Ins: The idea here is to ensure that the body feels satisfied. The moment we feel restricted, is the moment we are tempted. Make sure you are consuming lots of whole foods: all vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans & legumes, good fats, and plant-based proteins. The more nutrient-dense your diet, the less the body (& mind) will crave sugar.
Be Realistic: I know it’s tempting: to disclaim that you are through with all sugar, that you are taking your health into your own hands and will never consume another cookie, donut, or piece of banana cream pie ever😫. We all want to be at the end of the race sooner, but life doesn’t work that way. What is your realistic end goal? Maybe it isn’t to eradicate all forms of sugar: processed & natural, maybe it is to simply reduce your sugar consumption by 50% - maybe that’s more doable for you?
Drink More Water: Making positive changes to the diet, no matter how small or slow, will place the body into a state of cleansing or gentle detox. In order to remove excess, built-up toxins from the body, we need to add more water. First thing in the morning, drink a large glass of room temperature water with the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of Himalayan rock salt (or 1 tsp sole), this will keep the bowels moving, encourage gentle detoxing, and hydrate & nourish the cells. Continue to drink several glasses of water throughout the day with the goal of 1-2 liters/day.
Keep Moving: Whatever your favourite way to move your body, DO IT! Regularly. Throughout the winter months particularly, exercise is crucial to a positive mindset, overall wellbeing, and to prevent seasonal depression. It is also an important element that will increase your chances of success with a wellness goal or protocol. Walk, hike, ski, hit the gym or do some online yoga, whatever it is you love; whatever makes you feel alive and in your body, do it.
Head into 2019 with your head high, knowing you will succeed!
I’ve got your back 😉
Need more motivation?
Coming Soon! THE 28 DAY NO SUGAR CHALLENGE this upcoming February!! If you’d like to take part, join my Facebook Community and/or sign up for my Newsletter below and you won’t miss a thing!