As I have mentioned, I am taking part in a Nutrition Challenge right now. One aspect of this Challenge hit me a lot harder than I thought it would – no snacking. I have three large, healthy, filling meals a day, but I eliminate snacking. I no idea how hard it would be. I didn’t realize how many small meals and snacks I ate throughout the day. Because I am not doing that now, this last week has been…. interesting. I have had pretty significant mood swings, hanger, performance drops in the gym, and a wild upswing in the number of people I want to punch. It’s been 8 days and things are just starting to settle down.
What does this have to do with you? It’s simply this – starting new habits is hard. Even harder? Breaking old habits. And this is where you need to give yourself some grace.
As you make changes, even small ones, to your routines and habits it is natural to struggle. Sometimes it’s mental aspect, sometimes it’s the physical aspect, and oftentimes it’s a combination of both. It’s easy to look around at friends and family on Instagram and think that they have it “all together” and aren’t struggling at all. And that is when the self doubts can set in and the internal voices get set on bitch mode. We start asking ourselves “Why can’t you do this? Everyone else can! You should too!” and b.s. like that.
I’ve got some pretty fierce willpower, I’m a Nutrition Coach, I have a great network of people backing me, I’ve changed my diet before, so I have some background, and still, I’ve been struggling. A few people close to me know it, but if you were just following my social media, you wouldn’t know.
And that is why we don’t really know what is going on with other folks. And the truth is, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what is happening with you. It’s easy to beat ourselves up and be our own worst critic. (There is great evolutionary reason for this. For the details, check out this article: “Why am I always Like This?”) But what we need to be doing instead is celebrating the wins and keep moving forward, with our goals in sight. Even if you stumble a bit, you are far more likely to succeed if you just get right back to it, then spend a ton of time beating yourself up about it… and then feel so miserable that you don’t return to your goals at all.
So, if you are looking to make changes, give yourself the same grace you would give a good friend going through something new – and if you need help, a good Coach can do wonders!