I have been working on some nutrition information for friends and family as this time of year often brings requests for help to shed some Christmas cheer that was put on over the holidays. While doing some reading (not nutrition related) I came across the below diagram which directly relates to everything I believe about how success is achieved in relation to ongoing habits and therefore a lifestyle change in terms of everything including how you fuel your body for either health or un-health.
(Picture courtesy of Stephen R. Covey)
Stephen talks about how to create habits and the 3 critical factors needed as shown above, one is the knowledge of what to & why to, do what it is you want to do, for example why sugar is harmful, why soft drink is bad for your health and what to, for example what to eat for optimum nutrition such as vegetables and quality protein and fats. The second is the skill on how to, for example how to control portion size, how to prepare your meals or how to shop smartly and finally the desire, the want to improve your physical and mental health or in most cases the want to change physical appearance, the want needs to be demanding enough to create repeatable behaviour which in term forms healthy habits.
Have you ever been out getting a meal with that friend who always looks good and is slim or ripped , they get a chicken salad when they could easily get a pie or something less healthful? Often this friend is considered “boring” or “anal” about their diet but the fact of the matter is this friend has probably created well ingrained habits long ago and what seems like them making tough decisions and constantly thinking about their figure is actually just a habit that is deeply seeded and rewarding them with ongoing health and therefore their equally rewarding physical body.
This is the reason I believe so many 12 week challenges, meal plans or ready meals delivered to your door will ultimately lead to failure unless that program is accompanied by education. If you are following a meal plan you are “Dependant” like a child on someone else making decisions for you and telling you what to eat. To achieve personal success in the long term you require a minimum level of independence and as a society we need a great level of interdependence (we as opposed to I) to create healthier communities.
I am working to create a free resource to provide information I think will be helpful for everyone to learn to educate themselves by providing knowledge on why and what you should be doing along with some skills on how to make better decisions, you will need to muster your desire, your want and your reasons to motivate yourself to better habits, it might be aesthetics and self confidence or it could be a friend or relative that has suffered from diabetes, alzeihmers, obesity or heart disease and you want to limit your chances of the same fate but it needs to be your desire not that of others otherwise true habits will be hard to break and change. Information on this resource will be provided in due course and could be 1 or 2 months away yet. Until then search the web, google paleo and why, look for studies in medical journals (there is a lot of supporting data now), educate yourself and start making small changes to create habits today.