Seriously, if I could eliminate one metaphor from existence it would be the stupid ‘getting back on the wagon’.
The thing is, this whole idea of being on a healthy little wagon has to stop. It’s not a hop-on-hop-off kind of experience – improving your health.
This common concept of being ignorant around the cake in the office all week, and being dedicated to your prepped chicken salads – and then occasionally ‘losing all control’ and falling right off ‘the wagon’ is a little bit mad when you think about it.
The idea of struggling with guilt and remorse for a few days, because you feel as though you lost all self-control, is very damaging for one.
Then, to climb back on that bloody wagon again (usually on a Monday?) to go on the next cycle of trying to ‘be good’ and then eventually giving in to something that isn’t part of the plan/rules.
– Can I just say that this wagon, quite frankly, is pretty unsafe if you keep falling of it.
My point is this.
There is more to this stupid wagon than willpower and discipline and if you ‘fall off’ you’re not a total failure you are just human.
It’s not really very natural behaviour to remove anything higher in sugars or fats from your life, forever. This type of food is considered pretty tasty and enjoyable to the majority of people, and sacrificing something we enjoy ‘forever’ isn’t exactly going to make you feel good now is it?
On the flip side, if we take a day off our wagons, (honestly it has to stop, all I’m thinking about is a giant wagon wheel, haha) and decide to enjoy something – we should do exactly that and enjoy it. Not agonise over it for the next few hours or even days.
Being in an all or nothing mentality is UNHEALTHY. And it’s not just about balance, it’s more about reality. It’s not realistic to live like this and it’s certainly not sustainable.
Okay okay well what’s the answer then Jen…
I can’t give you one answer to suit everybody but I can give you my advice and the ethos that I follow, and try to promote and encourage.
- Educate – whether it’s a book, an online resource, a professional person – learn about what healthy eating at its core really is. I’m not talking anything faddy I’m talking about how your body is fuelled and how nutrition works.
- Practice – put into practice what you’ve learned by exploring things that you like. Tasty recipes to try, healthy snacks you’ve found in the shops, buying a new spice blend for your cupboard, attending workshops or classes – the list is endless. Just get started.
- Don’t be scared to mess up. There is no messing up there is just learning and developing and figuring out what works for you.
If you need to lose a significant amount of weight to consider yourself healthy, then by all means find a plan or structure to follow to help teach you how to make a very good start.
Get support along the way, but don’t simply rely on a set of rules and then when you inevitably break one, fall back into a negative cycle of emotional eating.
Instead, follow a plan that educates you on how to make the foods that will support your goals taste good; how to make them fit into your lifestyle with little stress; and how to sustain this kind of diet for life so that you can be happy and healthy, simultaneously.
So there you have it, my guide to binning off your rubbish old wagon – trust in yourself, in your own two feet, and start walking down a long and healthy road instead.
Miss FF x