Oh February, the month of love and romance … and for more than 80% of people it means throwing our New Year’s Resolutions out the window! I get it, sticking to our resolutions can be hard, especially with the added pressure of unrealistic expectations to accomplish our goals to be healthy and more fit in a short period of time.
We get excited for a new year, “new me” outlook and start to compile a laundry list of all the things from the past year we would like to see change… Sound familiar? … The first couple of weeks are going pretty good, but then we start to let excuses, distractions and missteps get in the way. So, why do we just decide to give up? In my experience as a Lifestyle Coach, I’ve seen a few common reasons.
For most of us, we aren’t seeing the results we want in our expected time frame, i.e. immediately, so we set ourselves up for failure when our expectations are too high. For others, we don’t have the education, tools or accountability to set up a plan that makes sense for our goals and lifestyle. We are lacking the structure to help us create small changes that we can celebrate along the way and those that will add up to the long term lifestyle we are looking to maintain. Lastly, we forget to make a conscious effort to identify our relationship with food.
Food and love do share something very important to our daily lives: they flood our brains with dopamine, the hormone that allows us to experience pleasure or happiness.
As part of the natural evolution of the human species we are wired to associate the feeling of love with a shared meal. As humans began to hunt large animals, there was too much food for a small group to consume, which led to the sharing of meals. John Allen of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California and author of The Omnivorous Mind states,
“The gut-brain connection probably exists because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they remembered clearly where they got their last good meal. And […] this same link between gut and brain is probably why he responds the way he does to a dish his mother used to make him called ketchup fried rice”
Ah, so that’s why those “cheat meals” make us so happy in the moment!
Perhaps this is how we get carried away and fall back into old habits; one feel good moment to the next. That instant gratification feels amazing, but when you are working on your health goals, consistency with small changes over time is key.
Food and love are associated with our memories, gatherings and emotions. Sometimes we need to look at our relationship with food, as we would analyze our personal relationships; Is this relationship healthy? Are you happy? Do you feel confident? Are you sleeping well? Do you wake up energized?
Break up with that long term relationship of poor habits and choose foods that fuel your body, make you feel energized and confident in your own skin. Choose the long-term healthy habits that will allow you to feel sexy, fulfilled and happy. It’s time to start eating for a body you love
Jessica Williams is a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach/ Author. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2012 and was able to begin her career as a Nutrition, Lifestyle and Body Image Coach. Working with people on their nutrition & wellness goals has always been a passion of hers. Elevate has become a vehicle for Jessica’s passion of showing other’s how to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle where enjoying delicious food, feeling incredible in your clothes & still reaching your goals becomes a reality. You can discover more about Jessica on her website here: https://www.jesswilliamscoaching.com/