Why changing your behaviour is so damn hard and what you can do to fix it.
The first time I attempted to get healthy, it was a perfect disaster. Funny for all the wrong reasons and in essence what you may casually refer to as an epic fail of the highest degree.
In one day I spent over €200 on superfoods, protein powders and the best fat loss supplements available according to ‘the internet’. I went all in.
How long did I stick to this monumental new lifestyle plan you ask? One whole week, thank you very much. Do you want to know how much weight I lost? Not a single pound. Zero.
Read on it gets worse….
If that wasn’t ridiculous enough I splashed out on a ludicrously expensive pair of athlete grade trainers (after 5 hours scrolling through Amazon reviews of course).
Then in a moment of utter pop-up ad panic, I ordered a batch of ‘magical fat loss tea’ from a very shady looking site. Before finally launching myself into a heated debate on Reddit, arguing into the small hours over whether Paleo or Vegan made you run faster.
I can‘t fail
But in my mind, I was all set. I had all the best stuff that the fitness experts used. I felt like I was living it as if all the chia seeds and green powders in my kitchen had already transformed me into a totally ripped creatine crushin’ athlete. I couldn’t fail, right?
I cringe …again.
Sadly those feather-light runners never made it out of their box. I diligently ate my ‘superfoods’ for all of three days and lasted about a week on the supplements. The tea failed to arrive…
Despite my best intentions and over-enthusiasm for fitness supplies, I gave up almost immediately.
You see when it came to the crunch, shopping and schoolin’ Redditors from my comfy sofa was WAY MORE FUN than choking down green smoothies and lacing up my runners on a rainy Irish winter morning.
It’s not just you, changing habits isn’t easy.
You can’t just flick a switch in your mind and instantly change. It doesn’t work like that. It’s taken you a long time to become the person you are right now. Your daily routine has been years, even decades in the making.
How you choose to eat, your relationship with food, exercise and lifestyle decisions are ingrained in you. Every day you’re running this program. It’s become your autopilot.
For you to successfully create new healthy habits your subconscious software needs rewriting. Unfortunately, this update is not instantaneous.
Realistically and scientifically speaking it will take you approximately three months to unlearn SOME of the ways you’re currently set in. And for habits of a lifetime, even longer. Sounds reasonable?
If you attempt to change everything at once, expecting instant results by the end of the week, you are in for a disappointment. When it doesn’t work out you will brand yourself a failure and you don’t deserve that. You gave yourself an impossible task, to begin with.
You can reprogram your habits.
However, the good news is your brain is very malleable (neuroplasticity I love you) and you really can be whoever you want. With the right input, time and consistency you will be!
Breaking free from your autopilot mode requires you to manually retake the controls and start doing things differently in order to rewire your daily habits. Mindfulness practice is really helpful at this point.
It’s a gradual process, a daily practice and a war with your ego. It’s also a fucking slog sometimes. It will test you so be prepared to rise to the challenge when it does.
Digging deep is lacing up your trainers on cold and dark winter mornings. It’s ordering vegetables more often than cake. It’s picking yourself up and getting right back on track after having a shitty food day.
Changing your eating behaviour is damn hard. But you can do it!
Remember that habits are destroyed and rebuilt day by day. Have courage, make the decision right NOW to stick to the process and be kind to yourself along the way. And, most importantly, give yourself a realistic timeline in which to achieve the lifestyle you truly desire!
Just don’t order any fat loss tea, please….