Are You Making these Healthy Dieting Mistakes?

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By Sarah Blackwell

Let’s face it, it’s not easy making a life change and when they say “21 days of doing something new will start a new habit,” it’s a lot easier said than done.

As a health coach and recovering sugar addict fueled by stress and butter tarts, I can empathize with anyone starting over. Whatever your motivations are to get back on track with your health, here are 3 mistakes to be cautious of so that you can have the most success with your transition to a healthier lifestyle.

1. Making mindless decisions.

I have coached others in making transitions into a high plant based diet and I have experienced myself the withdrawal symptoms like irritability, cravings, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, nausea – you name it, I’ve had it.

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However, there is one common thread among those that make it past the 21 day mark of starting a new habit. It is the awareness that you bring into your life when making these changes.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) does not only make you sick physically due to lack of nutrients, but it has also trained your mind to be on constant autopilot. You may find yourself mindlessly driving to work, running errands, going to the gym, grocery shopping down the same aisles without even being aware of your thoughts and surroundings. If you carry this habit into your new lifestyle changes, it will be nearly a miracle if you can make it to the 21 day mark, let alone a lifetime of new habits.

When creating the lifelong, sustainable change your awareness needs to be turned on, you need to turn up the volume on your life by making conscious decisions each moment of the day; and I don’t just mean what you put in your mouth.

The choice you make about your food is important, but so are the choices you make with how to spend your time, where your will buy your food, where you will shop and how you choose to spend your money.

All of this heightened awareness will easily flow into the new habit you are trying to create that will launch you into becoming the best version of YOU!

2. You rely on others to tell you what to do.

It can be scary to start a new lifestyle on your own, but I have seen so many people count on their family or friends to cheer them on and then give up when their cheerleading section disappears.

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This is the BIGGEST mistake you can make. Your motivation to change and become healthier needs to come from YOU and the trust YOU have in yourself to DO THIS. It is the driving force when you tell yourself every time you walk into the kitchen or wake up for an early morning yoga session. It is the self-trust you develop when your body is giving you messages that something isn’t right. It is the self-talk and affirmations that you run through your head to make your new lifelong habits stick.

This is the muscle you strengthen to have sustainable change stick. This is what will get you through the thick and thin of stress in life. Support is helpful, but if you rely on it solely for your own success, it means you have a lot of work to do in taking responsibility for your current health status.

If you build the trust in yourself, it will be harder to knock you off your feet once you get running. Find your grounding, trust yourself and rely on your own intuition when you consider the advice of others.

It is very easy to get sidetracked with all the health information out there. Everyone has an answer or opinion on the best way to lose weight, build muscle, reduce stress, etc. But you are forgetting that you have lived in YOUR body for this long. Nobody else. Get back in-tune with yourself and you can start to believe in yourself again and know that you have the answers within you and trust that your body is going to give them to you. You just have to start listening to it.

3. You focus on everything you can’t have.

Whether you have a diagnosis of a food allergy or intolerance or just want to lose a few pounds, you cannot focus on all the things you cannot have in your cupboards anymore. This way of thinking keeps you focused on the negative instead of the positive and will keep you feeling stuck and in a victim-mindset, which makes it very challenging to move forward.

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When you know there is a vast array of fruits, vegetables and whole foods available for you to eat, you can focus on HOW to eat these new foods.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself that you cannot eat bread anymore, start making a list of all the foods you CAN eat. Research new fruits and vegetables and try them out!  Find out where you can buy them locally and try a new food each grocery trip. Watch youtube videos on how to cut, slice and prepare new foods so you can realize you are blessed to have diversity in your diet.

In just a short amount of time, you will forget about what you can’t have because you are so focussed on the new foods you can enjoy and you will be looking for more!

As you embark on this healing journey, remember to be consistent and loving toward yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, but take that as a learning opportunity to make change the next time it shows up for you. Mistakes are part of life, but it’s what you do with them that will shape the success of lifelong change.

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Sarah Blackwell

Sarah Blackwell

Author and Raw Food Health Coach at Sarah Blackwell Holistic Health Coach
Sarah Blackwell, M.H.S., BA (CYC) is an Author, Speaker, Raw Food Health Coach and mother of three children.Sarah holds a master’s degree in Health Studies and has been working with families and children since 1998.She is dedicated to transforming your life by being your teacher so you can become the best version of yourself.Sarah helps you rediscover yourSELF through food awareness, fitness, fun, love and creating honest relationships.
Sarah Blackwell

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