So, in my nutrition practice, I have noticed that 99.9999% of people (including myself) tend to have an "all or nothing" attitude when it comes to everything in life, especially when it comes to nutrition and getting healthy. I can't tell you how many of my clients come in saying things like:
"I just gotta get my act together..."
"When _________ happens, I will start..."
"Once __________ is over, I will start..."
"I travel so much..."
"I'm too busy..."
"I need to exercise more..."
"I'm starting fresh tomorrow or monday or tuesday, etc..."
"This is the worst time of year to start a nutrition program!"
There are many more quotes, but I'll spare you!
I think we are all borderline crazy! We tell ourselves things like this over and over again, and the super crazy part is that we believe our own hype - when we have a history of never taking action, or permanently making a change.
In my own experience, and after working with numerous clients in this perpetual cycle: There is NEVER a perfect time to start!
Actually, today is the perfect time to start :)
The traditional uptick in business for any health-related field is when? Duh - January 1st, baby!
"A new year - a new you!!!"
The bad news is that the stars are never going to align, even on January 1st. We have to take on life's crazy curveballs and commit to making healthy changes one step at a time NOW.
When it comes to nutrition (and probably everything else in life), I know that you can never successfully make a permanent change until you accept that you will not be 100% perfect and that the path to reaching your goals is going to be bumpy and will require making baby steps.
The most awesome reward for me as a nutrition consultant is to see my clients change over the long haul - they become different people compared to how they used to be. Small changes over the course of months really add up in the end game. For instance, I have a client who really didn't care about the quality of her food - she just wanted to lose 40lbs. She asked me one time when she would stop obsessing over all of the bread and sweets that she was missing out on and start liking vegetables. I promised her that eventually her palate would change, and she would start craving nourishing foods. She rolled her eyes!
This gal now LOVES a good salad and mindfully skips the bread basket 9 times out of 10. She knows this is a "lifestyle" change rather than a temporary "diet," and when she REALLY wants bread or dessert, she has it and gets right back on track. She is now down over 25lbs and is going strong even though she travels weekly for her job and is eating out a lot! But, it took months to change her thought process, and there was a lot of trial and error.
The holidays are for sure tricky because of the abundance of "bad" foods everywhere. However, it's actually a perfect time to establish healthy patterns. If you can establish changes in both your eating and behavior during the holidays, you can do it anytime throughout the year.
It comes down to making mindful choices as situations present themselves and setting yourself up for success ahead of time (e.g. pack nutritious snacks for work so that you're not a ravenous bear when you get home!). You strengthen your resolve each time you make a healthy choice and avoid a bad one!
I challenge you to face your fear of failure and to keep those un-perfect nutrition choices from throttling your whole day or week. Get back on that horse immediately!
Let me know if you need some help along the way! I help my clients by creating a nutrition template to follow and then providing the accountability and support they need to stay on track and move towards their goals.