So the weekend is coming to a close, how was yours? Did you fall off the wagon? Did you eat too much, eat bad things, let old habits creep back in? Did you neglect to exercise and lay in front of the television for two days watching the Olympics? Was temptation seemingly impossible to resist? Or was that just my weekend?!
There is a point to all these rhetorical questions, I promise! The thing is I am yet to meet a person who lives perfectly, and to be honest I don't believe it is possible to live perfectly, let alone eat perfectly. I would say I am at about 85-90% healthy, good and nutritious, but I have my bad days too, just like anyone.
I have been making a real attempt to live healthier and cleaner for this whole year, but I still find weekends the most difficult. There seems to be endless temptations, more cravings, less motivation and possibly worst of all, a lack of routine. Monday to Friday I do quite well, but come Friday night I am already dreaming of dreadfully sugary treats. So, what is my advice? How can you build the willpower to live a healthy life?
Firstly, willpower is like a muscle, a mental muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets. So every time you say 'no', every time you choose an apple over a cake your willpower becomes more powerful. Of course, you're probably thinking easier said than done, right? I know! However, think of it like milestones. First you do one day clean, gluten-free, sugar free or whatever other health mountain you are planning to climb. Then you break. But then you get back on track and this time you last a week. You break again. So and so forth and then one day you commit and the commitment lasts forever.
Another thing to remember is every second is a second chance. If you make a bad choice, try not to dwell on it or punish yourself for it. Drink a few big glasses of water, snack on a handful of raw nuts and make a mental note not to make that mistake again. If you have a bad day, or weekend, wake up in the morning with fresh motivation and determination to do a bit better this time. Each day is another opportunity to nourish and replenish your body and another chance to reach for optimal health and vitality.
Finally, work hard to break bad habits. If you always snack after dinner, or feel the endless need to satisfy your sweet tooth, try to break this mould. Perhaps you decide you won't eat after 7pm, or you are not allowed to eat whilst on the couch, or perhaps you have to start each day with a cleansing herbal tea. Whatever it is, keep trying. Persistence, more than any other thing, is the key to health and success.
So, say good morning to Monday and forget all the bad of the week gone. You have a clean slate, choose how you want to use it!
Keep healthy :) Erica
P.S. Habits I am yet to break, but working on: constant and random snacking over the whole weekend, eating nachos whenever I see them (bad because I am sensitive to processed corn), eating too many gluten free biscuits or too much bread, eating too much in general, portion control. I will get there, one day at a time!