Tag Archives: psychology

Compare yourself, to yourself.

Many times when we learn about someone who has reached a similar goal that we have, we compare ourselves to them. Or maybe they seem to be farther along in reaching that goal than we seem to be.

It’s natural to compare yourself to someone else. We do it all of the time. Many times without doing so on purpose. It’s healthy to gain inspiration from those who seem to have a better grasp on their fitness, or seem to be more consistent with their nutrition. However, be careful not to sink too far into the “they are so much better at this than I am, how can I even compare? That way of thinking doesn’t help.

Instead, feel encouraged that at some point they made a decision to slowly but surely improve their nutrition and fitness. Little by little, they got to the point where they are. Maybe you are comparing yourself to someone who works out five times a week and you wish you could do so. Don’t feel discouraged; take inspiration from their commitment and use that to fuel you to add one more workout to the week.

Maybe you have a friend who compared to you, is night and day with the food that they eat. You wonder “how do they eat so well? I ate In n Out three times in two weeks!” Instead of getting down on yourself and focusing on how different your diets are, spend your effort on improving your own diet just a little bit this week. Add one more vegetable every day this week. Just one, in addition to what you are already eating. You can do this by going to the store and buying a bag of a frozen vegetable or vegetables. All you need to do is pop a serving in the microwave and you are good to go. Add one more fruit each day. If you already have one piece of fruit each day, the next time you are the store, buy a few pieces of another fruit. If you already eat a few bananas a week, buy 5 apples also, and eat one a day. Baby steps.

Organic? Grass Fed? Free Range? Stayed at a 5 star resort before it made it on to your plate?

Yes, these are great things to consider when buying food. However, don’t worry about them if you have had trouble having a balanced diet to begin with. Improve the situation you have already consistently followed. Not eating many veggies during the week and then jumping to organic only everything, is a dramatic jump. I would say, slowly work in more veggies and fruits on a consistent basis (organic is great, if you can), then once you get that under control, put more effort into where you food is coming from and how it’s treated.

Gaining inspiration from others is great, but that is where the comparison should stop. We can learn from each other and put into action tips that have worked for others. Beyond that, it’s YOU that matters. What changes can YOU make? How can YOU keep these changes consistent? What can you realistically do, that will slowly move you to a stronger and healthier life?

Personally, I gain lots of inspiration from friends who are more fit or eat better than I do. I try as hard as I can to not get discouraged that I am not at their level, but take the inspiration that I feel from them and use that to make the gradual changes that are applicable in my own life.

The only comparison you need to focus on is how committed you used to be about fitness and nutrition, and what changes are going to be necessary to move beyond and consistently into the future.

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I know I should eat healthy, but I love food too much

On my way to the gym, I had a little conversation with myself.

Well, not out loud…

…this time.

This was more of an inner dialogue. I have had conversations with people about the whole idea of eating better and trying to make smarter nutritional choices throughout the day or week. After many a chat of this nature, I have felt a sense that some feel that they love food too much to try and eat healthier. Or, that they don’t want to stop enjoying food, therefore, they would rather not adjust the way they eat. They feel that what they like to eat tastes so good that they would be deprived if they moved away from some of those foods. Therefore, changes can’t be made.

Some of us may feel this way, or maybe to a lesser degree. But let’s be honest, are we scared of adjusting how we eat?

If you have felt this way, or do feel this way. I understand and don’t mean to harp on you. But allow me to propose a rebuttal.

(clears throat)

Learning about where food comes from. Educating oneself about the magic, straight up magic (er, science), of how food can make us live a stronger and longer life. Learning how food can help us achieve life goals. Learning about how the combination of different foods in different ways has a positive effect on our bodies. Studying how to improve illnesses or things that don’t seem quite right in our bodies, with food. Learning how foods can help us get off of most if not all of medications we take.

These are all examples about the love for food.

I was thinking to myself  “Wait a minute, if your idea of loving food is wanting to continue to often eat food that of which you have no idea what all of the ingredients it has, then my examples are even MORE of a love for food!”. Then I told myself  “Wait, Isaac, wait. This isn’t a competition. Though you would totally win, it’s not a competition of who loves food more. This is just an example of different schools of thought.”

I am not trying to tell you what you do or don’t love. That is not up to me. My point in all of this, hopefully somewhat humorous (otherwise I come off as some crazy person who’s posts you wouldn’t want to read) and extreme example, is to challenge how we think. Many times, people can get caught up in thinking that eating healthier requires sacrifice in how much we enjoy food. Yes, adjustments may need to be made. And yes, our taste buds can adapt to different foods. My point is, I challenge people to stop focusing on being scared of having to stop enjoying food and or being scared that we will hate what we need to eat to be healthier. We need to stop  and realize, that’s not true. If anything, you can learn to love food even more.

To be clear, I enjoy a good indulgence in food that isn’t the best for me, as well. Every once in a while, that is okay. However, that is not what this is about. This is about the ongoing choices that we make.

I’m won’t sit here (actually, I’m standing, but I started sitting down, until I got serious about the topic) and make it seem like this transition is easy for everyone. Because it’s not. It takes effort and commitment. I simply propose a challenge to how we think about food and the decisions we make about how we feed ourselves and our families.

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Think “win win win” not “fail fail fail”

I’m huge on positive thinking. The way you think can greatly increase the likelihood of you meeting the goals you have. I have written about how if you want to make positive changes in your life, it’s a matter of how you will make them, not if. How you think, in turn, decides how you will act. How you act, as far as the food you choose to eat, causes your body to react in a certain way. If you put not so great food in your body, you will then feel not so great. Inversely, if you put awesome food in your body, you will feel awesome. Simple as that. Treat your body awesome-ly and you will feel awesome-ly. As a friend would say “It’s so simpoh!”

Continuing with thinking positively and how it leads to positive results. I encourage you to think about your diet in the following way:

Don’t focus too much on what you shouldn’t eat. Spend more energy on learning about and adding foods you SHOULD eat, or eat more of.

If you constantly hear and think “I shouldn’t eat that” I shouldn’t eat this because blah blah” “Don’t eat these” you start to feel lectured. You feel like you are being told what to do and it begins to feel negative over time. Instead, try to think “How can I add more fruits and vegetables into my diet?” “How can I start to eat a good breakfast every day?” “How can I start to make my meals more nutritiously valuable throughout the day?”

The more good foods you work into your diet, the less room you will have for the not so good for you food. It’s simple. We can only eat so much each day. If we fill each day, little by little, with better food, then there will be less room for the food we should eat less often. Badabing, badaboom! Instead of focusing on fail fail fail fail fail. You start to focus on win win win win. Framing the process of adjusting your diet in this way makes it much more of a positive process and, by default, weeds out the things you can replace with better food.

Of course, from time to time, it’s okay to eat the not so great for you food. I do the same. However, it’s no excuse to have a “cheat day” every day of the week. In order to have a cheat day, however often you decide to have it, you have to have been eating well most of the rest of the week or month. Otherwise, it’s just a “day.”

Positive thinking For.The.Win.

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