While reflecting on a conversation I recently had with some friends who were struggling, I was brought back to the countless times when everything seemed hopelessly overwhelming and all I wanted to do was give up. I thought of the times when I’ve been stuck in a rut of overeating while not exercising at all knowing that I desperately needed to change, but the thought of doing anything different was paralyzing. I thought about how I wished God would just snap His fingers and either put me out of my misery or make it all better.
When we are in the midst of a struggle it’s often impossible to believe that things will ever get better because depression tends to pollute our thinking, convincing us that it’s ‘too hard’ or that trying something like nutrition could never actually work for us because we aren’t capable of changing. Those voices are often loud and can prevent us from ever taking that first step.
I want you to know…You are not alone! The good news is that I’ve heard those voices as well and I’ve found ways to defeat them. Take it from someone who has been there struggling to claw herself out of the pit over and over — recovery is possible! You have more strength and courage than you realize and every step you take toward reclaiming your life, no matter how small it seems, is setting into motion something powerful and positive that will gain traction and change how you feel.
I want to share a few thoughts and tips that have helped me to stay motivated. Some people can set a goal, make a plan and then once their mind is set on it there’s no stopping them. I, however, do not operate that way. Instead of continuing to beat myself up over the fact that I can’t “just do it” I’ve found little things to do that make a big difference in helping me stay on track.
You don’t have to radically change your lifestyle overnight. You don’t need to completely overhaul your kitchen, take up running and say a permanent farewell to sugar the moment you wake up tomorrow in order to start feeling better. Some people like to make radical changes and it works for them. But if the prospect of changing your nutrition seems like a daunting task, then start slowly. Try one thing at a time and go from there. Think of adding healthy choices instead of taking things away at first. Crowd the unhealthy out with more healthy options. When you successfully add something positive to your day it gives you an opportunity to celebrate and with each celebration comes more motivation.
The odds of me making healthy choices are much greater when I immerse myself in them. What I mean by that is instead of watching the news in the morning (or ever) I watch YouTube videos about health. There are several channels I watch regularly that are very well done and provide ideas for meals and snacks along with education and inspiration. My favorites are: Simnett Nutrition , Rich Roll , Healthy Crazy Cool , Dr. Greger . Netflix also has a great selection of documentaries that are informative and inspiring. (Forks Over Knives, What The Health, Vegucated, Hungry For Change and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead)
Most of the books or blogs that I read are focused on faith or nutrition. Recently I made a goal to try to read something in the Bible each day and when I actually follow through I find it very calming.
Knowing that my family will also benefit from healthier eating is a tremendous motivator. I get to see how the smoothies and healthy fats and large quantities of veggies keep them fueled and thriving. Find a friend who may be open to making a positive change with you and then find and share recipes.
I’ve joined many Facebook groups and follow pages that focus on healthy eating. Check out Simnett Nutrition and VegTribe. Hearing about other people’s victories is inspiring and a powerful reminder that we can do it too!
I try to watch a few episodes of Joyce Meyer every week so that I don’t neglect my faith. It’s easy to become consumed with health and nutrition but then forget about God who created our miraculous bodies in the first place. Joyce has a powerful testimony that speaks volumes about God’s power and love. It reminds me that I don’t have to do any of this alone.
My prayer is that you are able to find the courage and strength inside of you to take a leap of faith and try something new. If I can do it, you absolutely can too. Make a goal and then celebrate your success. Stifle the negative voices with ones of victory, then ask God for help and choose another. Think of it as a quest and you are a warrior. You have the weapons, now decide what you are going to do with them.
Here are some faith based books that have helped: