"I don't know where to start."
I've heard this statement repeatedly in the last few weeks, from people who are ready to make healthy changes, but feel overwhelmed by the abundance of (often conflicting) health information.
I understand. We all have different comfort levels regarding change. Some people can read a nutrition book in one day and commit to the program the next. Others will read the nutrition book and feel frustrated by all the changes that need to take place in order to start the program.
If you are feeling unhealthy, stuck and overwhelmed, I have a plan for you. Okay, I can see you rolling your eyes, and groaning, "Uggghh, not another plan!". Don't worry, this is going to be easy. We are going to make some very simple changes to reclaim your health! Each week you can embrace one simple step and see how you feel. If you don't like it, no harm done.
Are you ready for Step 1? Here it is:
This week, treat your food like a very special guest.
I realize this sounds strange, so let me break it down for you. What exactly does it look like to treat your food like a special guest?
- Imagine getting your home ready for a visit from a fabulous friend. Do you tidy up and make the house look pretty? Put flowers on the nightstand in the guest bedroom? Do you imagine all the fun you are going to have together? Get ready to eat in this same way. Start by preparing your food with love and care. This doesn't mean you have to cook from scratch. If your food comes in a container, take it out of the container and arrange it attractively on a special plate. As you prepare the food, think about how it will be so enjoyable to eat, how your body will love receiving the fuel.
- Just like you would with a dinner guest, sit down with your food and eliminate distractions. No TV, no phone, no computer, no work, no book. Just you, your special guest (your beautiful food) and your family members, if you have some. Focus on each bite, noticing smells, textures, tastes. Compliment and appreciate your special guest!
- When you have had enough of your special guest, retire it to the guest room- i.e. the fridge or the garbage. You don't have to eat it all, because there will be more time to spend with it tomorrow!
- Remember that your food is a very special friend. Friendship involves love, appreciation, respect and ease. Focus on the joy of eating, instead of choosing to feel stress surrounding food.
Notice that I haven't said a word about what you eat. That is completely up to you!
The goal for this week is to create an awareness around food, to acknowledge and celebrate it, to enjoy it.
I know it may sound foreign to you, but I believe that the first step in regaining your health is realizing that food is incredibly special! It is beautiful and enjoyable and life-giving.
Take this week to develop your relationship with your very special guest. I'd love to hear how it goes!