17 Jan Get real this 2019
Happy new year friends!
Remember when you said “I’ll do it next year”, well, here it is. We have just started a new year of life, a new year of opportunities that have the potential to be the best one ever or on the contrary, be miserable and full of disappointments. If you could choose one of these paths, clearly, you will choose to have a year with the potential to make you happy and fulfilled. Right? Now, as this is kind of an obvious question, I want to ask you another one. What are you doing to help yourself be happier and fulfilled this year? Think about the answer.
Setting resolutions is normally the first step that we do in order to organize the priorities, of course it is a constructive exercise but in my opinion, this exercise works when it’s based on realistic expectations. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight and you start strong and committed for 2 weeks but you stopped because you had a business trip, clearly, you are not setting yourself for success.
One important aspect of making long-lasting changes is to have clarity of the goals you want to achieve and why. If losing weight is a priority, then make sure you organize your environment to make sure that everything around you supports your changes. So instead of buying potato chips and butter popcorn you can go for homemade popcorn and sweet potatoes chips for example. Remove processed foods (dips, milk chocolates, dressings, cakes) and experiment with healthier options like homemade guacamole, humus, almond butter, dark chocolate. Set a day to cook foods and freeze them, in this way you will save time and money during the week and more importantly, you will avoid buying junk food because you cant find anything interesting in your fridge.
Another point is that one needs to realize that we can not pretend to look like someone else, we are unique, we have different body shapes and sizes not to mention different metabolism. I think our society is obsessed with body image. If you know already that a healthy weight for your constitution is between 55-58 kg why do you insist in being 52 kg? Having this expectation is not realistic and will only lead you to frustration and anxiety, which increases emotional imbalances and its likely that you will end up eating wrong foods just to find some comfort.
So I guess what I am trying to say here is BE REAL. Of course it is important to set goals but more importantly is to practice self awareness when we set these goals. Why? Because many times we are sabotaging ourselves with our attitude (we don’t believe we can do it, or , on the other hand, we set the bar too high and it becomes an impossible task). At the end, we give up and get back to our old ways.
Self awareness seems hard to do because we live fast, we eat fast, we sleep less and we stress too much. We are constantly distracted. We take little time to be with ourselves.To observe without judgement our actions, our thoughts and how these affect our behavior.
So my dear friends, be clear about your goals, write down your plan of action, pace yourself and be patient above all. Work on one change at a time, if you aim to achieve too many at the same time, it is likely you will be overwhelmed and you will stop doing it.
There are numerous human behavioral and neuroscience studies that show that food is very close to us because it has to do with our survival. Brain connections start developing when we are babies and food is associated with safety and comfort. When we are calm and collected, we make decisions about making changes, but when we are stressed and tired, all bets are off, so its likely to go back to old ways even knowing they are not good. If you are interested in learning about neuroscience and the relationship of food with brain function, I highly recommend reading Dr. Mario Alonso Puig – Gastroenterologist, Surgeon for 26 years, an expert in brain function and how mental processes affect our wellbeing and total health. Most of his work is in Spanish, (he is Spanish) but I am sharing here a TED talk he did in English about Reinventing Yourself, which is also the name of one of his books, I totally recommend it.
In previous blogs I have mentioned how important it is to have a spiritual practice. In my case, meditation has been crucial to practice self-awareness. To find the space to observe without judgement, to find my center and to be patient with myself and others.
Did you learn something new? If you did, don’t forget to share with your loved ones.
Until next time!