By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
Hands down, the biggest health and fitness struggle – and the one that causes the most confusion and misinformation – is nutrition.
I know I’ve heard it countless times – but how many of you have uttered the phrase, “Nutrition is the hardest part for me.”
It’s not just you, believe me. It’s almost everyone who just can’t seem to lose the weight or see the muscle definition they want to see. Or maybe you’re just feeling like you’re struggling every day to ‘make it work’ but it just doesn’t seem to – no matter what you try. If this is you, you likely feel insecure, unsure and out of control when it comes to nutrition.
I often ask myself when I’m working with clients: “Why does this particular person struggle to stay on track with their nutrition?” The reasons can vary from person to person.
In writing this article I asked myself similar questions, but in a more general sense.
Why do most people struggle with nutrition? What is at the very root of this struggle?
My answer? It all comes down to just one thing.
SIMPLE, NOT EASY
As many of us have learned, in life there are things that might be simple but are far from easy. This is one of them.
How many times have you “fallen off the wagon?” Or started a diet, seen progress, only to slip back into poor habits and have to start all over again? That’s what I like to call the nutrition roller coaster – an up-and-down, start-again-stop-again form of dieting that fails to lead to any serious, lasting results.
The one thing that I believe keeps people prisoner to this roller coaster, or going through bad food “slumps” or binges or whatever you want to call it, is this: they keep trying to change your behavior without first changing your mind.
And that is a recipe for failure.
WHATS YOUR BEEF WITH FOOD?
Think of it in terms of your relationships with people. If you have unresolved issues that transfer into your relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, etc.), those can result in being attracted the same type of person over and over.
You find yourself repeating unhealthy patterns of behavior in relationships with people because there are underlying issues within you that you haven’t yet addressed which keep resurfacing. So, the unhealthy vicious cycle continues and you find yourself in the same relationships over and over just with different people.
Guess what? Your relationship with food is no different.
If you keep bouncing from diet to diet, from coach to coach, or from fitness program to fitness program hoping that this next one will work but you don’t change your mind-set, you will keep trying and trying with the same results.
You first need to change your mind. Only then you can more easily and successfully change your ways.
I LIKE BROCCOLI
I will give you an example: when I was in high school, I tried to eat broccoli every day because I knew it was healthy. It was so hard for me to eat it because I kept thinking how bad it tasted and how strange the texture felt in my mouth. I don’t know why or how I came to this conclusion, but I realized that until I could convince myself that I truly did enjoy broccoli, it would be a constant struggle.
Over time, I convinced myself that I liked broccoli, and for years now I truly do like broccoli. That is a somewhat simple, basic example, and of course there are foods that you may never convince yourself of you like. But you get the point ?
If it feels like overcoming nutritional obstacles is a huge roadblock and you feel that throughout your life nutrition has been a constant battle, here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to start changing your mind about food and nutrition in general:
• What is food to me? (ex: comfort, pleasure, obsession, addiction, punishment/self-sabotage, nutrition/nourishment, reward)
• What is my relationship with food? (ex: healthy, unhealthy, love/hate, I’ve never thought about it)
• What are my thoughts about healthy eating or ‘diets’? (ex: avoid healthy eating/diets, feels confined/restrictive, triggers a binge, I have no issues with eating healthy or restrictive diets)
• How can I change my thoughts about and approach toward food and nutrition so that I don’t struggle and can reach my health and fitness goals? (ex: making slow changes, hiring a nutritional coach, getting to the root of psychological issues applied to food/eating).
Tip Me Tuesday: Getting To Know You
Tip Me Tuesday: Weight Matters
Tip Me Tuesday: Do The Best With What You Have
Tip Me Tuesday: Push Through Barriers With Fitness Therapy
Tip Me Tuesday: A Little Structure Goes A Long Way
Tip Me Tuesday: Why Isn’t This Working Part II
Tip Me Tuesday: Why Isn’t This Working Part I
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.