Choices, Not Restrictions

Happy Motivation Monday!

motivation monday the lyons share

When my new clients start changing their eating patterns and including more healthful foods, I often hear something like “so, you mean I can never have my nightly Snickers bar anymore?”

sad candy bar

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I know right then that the client is thinking in terms of restriction, not in terms of choices.  First of all, I never tell people what they can and can’t eat.  Every person makes that decision for themselves, and I provide information that can help people make their own choices.

Second of all, it is just that – a choice!!  When you start a healthy eating program, your thoughts should not be about restriction, but rather about the choices you make that will make you feel your best.  Reframing from “I can’t have my Snickers” to “I choose to have an apple because I know I’ll feel better in the morning” can be empowering and feel less burdensome.  Saying “I choose to get the salad with salmon, which will take me closer to my health goals” is far more uplifting than “I can’t get the fried chicken, so I guess the only option is the salad.”  Right?

life is full of choices

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Of course, the word “choice” implies that we have more than one option, and sometimes we’ll make the choice that doesn’t support our health.  And that’s OK, too!  Choosing the fried chicken on occasion doesn’t make you a bad person, and should lead to any guilt.  You didn’t “break the rules,” you simply made a choice that you wanted to enjoy the fried chicken, even though you knew the salmon salad would make you feel a bit better.  The best thing you can do is enjoy that choice, savor every bite, and get back to choosing healthful options the next meal!  And if the majority of choices are healthy choices, you’re on the right track.  Isn’t that empowering?

empowerment and choices

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Now it’s your turn … What choice will you make for your health today?