This is a tricky one, and the part that I think trips up the most people.
The reason is that when life gets full you have to know your HEP (healthy eating plan) cold. If you don’t it’s too much to keep up with.
Put simply, we can’t actually multitask.
The brain only thinks of one thing at a time, and the effort of learning a new system is too much while you’re whacking moles or stamping out fires.
It feels frivolous, kinda. Do you *really* think food matters right now?! Maybe as fuel, or (if we’re honest) as a soother, but other than that it’s a buzzing fly. An annoyance we wish we could do without.
At least I do.
Even if you’re mature enough not to be using food as a pacifier (my success in that is up and down lately), I found another way I misuse food when in stressful situations. I use it to fill white space.
You know what I mean?
That “awkward” silence you let hang to punctuate something, or to get someone else to talk. Only I’m (maybe) not gutsy enough to just look someone in the eye and let them see I’m waiting on them.
But maybe now that I’ve noticed, I’ll do better.
The bottom line (I tell myself) is that times of transition and turmoil are not the times to be in learning mode.
Application and expansion of things already known? Okay, if there’s energy for that.
But my Achilles heel this last week has been reading new things, vaguely theorizing how to apply a new HEP, and that somehow becoming license not to do what I already know to do.
Let me be a cautionary tale for you.
- Do your homework ahead, even if it’s just learning one healthy recipe a week while everything else remains the same
- Do what you know works.
- Fix your environment.
- Don’t surround yourself with foods you don’t have the energy to say no to.
- Make it easy to find ingredients for wise meal choices
- Multiply batches of every good choice. It will make the next smart meal that much easier
- For me there’s staying home or making the choice not to eat while I’m in town
- Stick with known entities when you’re stressed. Don’t try a new recipe on a deadline.
- Limit yourself to just one/day of whatever quick-and-easy snack that’s available, or I’ll motor through the whole set way too fast, and that’s nothing like balanced nutrition.
- Write it down, even if you’re embarrassed. Don’t take on so much shame you can’t be honest even with yourself.
- Take the rest day
- Fix your environment.
- Stop the slide when you see it. Don’t make any “last meal” deals with yourself.
- There’s no such thing — you’ll always get another one. (You know what I mean.)
- It gives you license to knowingly over-eat, blunting the self-regulation that you’ve made an effort to establish. Don’t make more work for yourself.
Most of all, start again.