You know you could be making better choices with your food and exercise.
It’s not that you’re not trying. It’s just so hard sometimes.
I often have clients who blame themselves for being overweight or unfit.
Our day to day habits can make a HUGE difference to our health but it is a double edged sword.
We know, for instance, that a healthy lifestyle is effective in preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. And around 30% of cancers are related to diet. Exercise can also reduce your risk of developing some cancers and can also lower the recurrence rate of some cancers.
The other side is that this can sometimes lead people to blaming themselves for their poor choices, particularly if they are diagnosed with a condition like type 2 diabetes.
Other influences on our choices
There are many cues in our environment that impact our choices, many of which we are unaware of.
For instance, our plate size has gone from being around 10 inches in the 70’s to around 12 inches today. This can lead us to eat around 25% more calories in a sitting.
We make around 200 food related decisions every day and we are not taught the skills to create healthy habits in our lives.
How do we move forward?
- Blaming ourselves isn’t helpful and is likely to send us straight to our favourite comfort food.
- Your current health and fitness level is what it is. We need to accept it, draw a line in the sand and step over it.
- Become very solution focused. What is the problem and what strategies do you need to implement to fix it?
- There is no quick fix. It took time to arrive at your current health and fitness levels and it will take time to create new healthy habits.
- Get some help – assemble your team. This may mean a personal trainer, a friend to exercise with or help you to be accountable.
- Planning is vital. This will make all the difference in your success in becoming healthier.
- When things don’t work out the way you planned, don’t fall back into the trap of blaming yourself. Get into the habit of looking for solutions. What happened and how can you fix it.
- We need to cultivate self compassion in our journey towards better health.
This isn’t a cop out. It’s not an excuse to eat what you like because I’ve told you to be kind to yourself! One of the best ways we can be kind to ourselves is to make good choices around our food and exercise.
Do you have your own suggestions for ditching self blame and moving forward to a healthier, new you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!