My goal is to help you realize optimal health. In my professional opinion here are some keys to transforming your health. It doesn’t matter if the goal is to lose weight, become pain free or eat healthy!First the typical areas we can have challenge followed by an answer.
1. Easy versus Hard choices – Hard choices are the ones that move us into a new direction. You have done this already. Big and small choices happen all day everyday and are relative. If someone has a phobia, what seems easy to you or I may be really hard for the person with a phobia. Or people on the battlefield make an “easy” choice that threatens their life.
Answer: Start your transformation with making small, easy good choices. You are the only one who knows what the order is (stopping coffee, chocolate, or alcohol rank differently for everyone. Start with the easiest). As the choices accumulate day by day, you change signaling in the brain and your epigenetic profile improves. This can be seen as retraining the brain for new normal. Keep in mind significant long-term change involves repetition. This is why stopping smoking cold turkey doesn’t always work and sometimes it takes quitting smoking several tries or attempts to occur, same with dieting etc. For another picture dig “shallow” changes and repetition deepens it. When it comes to choice making the order is, first in the mind then the body.
2. Bad choices sometimes feel good – Instant gratification and guilty pleasures help you feel better short term. For example, when you feel low or lonely and want a piece of cake for a quick boost. However, we know these have diminishing returns and are less effective over time.
Answer: Welcome gratification instead of judging it negatively. Keep in mind, impulses & cravings have power over us because they hit in the moment. A strategy to help is to postpone. You can set a timer for five minutes and take several deep breathes. After taking this step you see the craving subsides or is gone. Stop manipulating cravings by denying them with a goal to return your body to a state of fewer or no cravings. Most frequently the cravings are there due to an imbalance. The breathing, time and expanded awareness helps to deal with the emotional component to cravings. Try to discover what you are really hungry for. A craving for anything “out there” is best answered from “in here”.
3. Gratification from good choices is typically delayed – Can bad habits of live-for-the-moment be changed? Eating more vegetables or taking a brisk walk aren’t viewed as a fix in the moment.
Answer: Your body is constantly changing and responds rapidly to: diet, exercise, meditation, and stress reduction. With small good choices you feel good right away, the positive effect continues to build. Very soon, instead of trying to “feel good”, with momentum and small easy choices you do not want to lose the good feeling you already have. Imagine building an optimal health pyramid with a base of easy choices that bring long-term results. After starting with choices you feel are easiest you gain confidence and build upward with more difficult choices that become easier with success & momentum. The capstone of the pyramid is freedom and independence, wellbeing and vitality.
Think about how these elements play a role in our lives. You can do it!