Thank you for joining me as we wrap up our Eat to Replete blog series. If you’d like to go back and read the previous messages in this series, click the links below:
- Week 1: Digestion 101
- Week 2: Macronutrients: The Building Blocks of Food
- Week 3: Is Brain Health Affected By Your Gut?
We started this series in order to dispel some confusion around diets. Many times when people want to change their eating habits, they start a diet.
It’s not their fault, diets typically provide guidelines on what to eat exactly. This takes away the effort of having to come up with your meals on your own.
And you all know the struggle of analysis paralysis; if we have too many decisions to make, we get overwhelmed and end up not taking any action at all.
But the problem is that many of the diets people follow are fad diets that are not sustainable. Also, because each one of us has different genetics, biochemistry, medical history, stage of life, etc., the same diet can have different effects on different people.
This often makes it hard to know what to eat for YOUR body.
The Behavior Change Equation
This is why I thought it was important to get back to the basics and understand what you’re putting into your body and how your body uses food to fuel you.
Additionally, I believe knowledge is power. When you understand these concepts, you become much more aware of what you eat because you understand how food affects you.
But knowledge is only part of the equation when it comes to making lifestyle changes. Acquiring knowledge is actually the easy part.
It’s when we start to apply that knowledge that we often run into issues.
If you’ve ever tried to change your habits, like clean up your eating for example, you probably know how it goes.
You suddenly get a spark of motivation so you throw out all the junk food in your pantry. You go to the grocery store and buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, healthy fats, and you stay away from the processed foods.
Now you’re ready to go.
You prepare some healthy meals ahead of time to take to work so you aren’t tempted to eat out on your lunch break. You get your family involved by cooking healthy meals for dinner.
You’re a week or two in and you’re feeling great!
Then one day the motivation disappears.
You wake up late for work one day and end up grabbing something from the vending machine for breakfast. Or you get a craving for something greasy and grab pizza instead of eating the lunch you brought, which is now sitting in the fridge.
And before you know it, you’re back to your old ways.
Trust me, I’ve been there before. I’m sure we all have.
And don’t get me wrong, I believe an occasional slice of pizza or sweet treat is okay! Life is too short to be so strict with our eating all the time.
Being Healthy is a Habit
What I’m trying to say is if we rely on our motivation to get us healthier, we’ll never get there. That’s because motivation doesn’t last.
Health is a HABIT. In the same way, sickness is a habit too.
The day to day lifestyle choices you make over the course of months, years, and decades are what lead to you being sick or being healthy.
Sickness doesn’t occur overnight, and unfortunately health doesn’t either.
I know how hard it is to change the habits that have been ingrained in us for years. To make lasting changes though, we need to change from the inside out.
So today I want to introduce you to the Alkaline Method model for self healing. It’s not enough to just change our actions. If you want to see true changes in your reality, you have to change your thinking first.
Alkaline Method for Self Healing
The situation you’re in leads you to have thoughts about that situation. These thoughts create feelings. Your feelings influence your behaviors. And your everyday behaviors are what create the life you’re living.
Let’s break this idea down a little more.
According to a life coach, Brook Castillo, your life situations are neutral and factual. For example, I live in Georgia. I am 5 feet tall. I am the nutritionist at Alkaline Wellness. These are all facts.
The opinions we have around our life situations are the thoughts we have about those situations. For example, if you are unhappy with your weight and want to lose weight, that is a thought you are having about your weight.
The factual situation is that you weigh 170 pounds. This situation is neither good nor bad; it is neutral until you make it good or bad. Thinking 170 pounds is too much is your opinion on the situation.
Thoughts are the result of the brain in action, otherwise known as the mind.
When we have thoughts, our brains produce chemicals which align with those thoughts. Positive thoughts produce positive chemicals and negative thoughts produce negative chemicals.
These chemicals travel throughout the body to create feelings. You can also think of feelings as our emotions.
Our feelings then influence our behaviors, and I’m sure most of you can agree.
When you’re feeling good and happy, you want to make good choices for yourself, such as getting a workout in. When we are feeling bad, most of the time, working out is the last thing we want to do.
Finally, our everyday behaviors create the life we have.
How to Use the Method
Hopefully now you see that every outcome in our lives results from our thoughts. If you are unhappy with a situation in your life, start by changing your thoughts around that situation.
Let’s put this concept into perspective with an example.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. That is the outcome you want. You’ve tried to eat better and exercise more but you always end up reverting to your old ways.
Let’s figure out why.
- Situation: I weigh 170 pounds
- Thought: I am overweight and whenever I try to make changes, they never last
- Feeling: Pessimistic
- Behavior: Reverting to old ways because you’re convinced you can’t lose weight no matter what you try
- Outcome: Not losing weight
Notice how the outcome stems from your thought about your situation.
You’ve convinced yourself that everything you try when it comes to losing weight doesn’t work, so of course your feelings and behaviors are going to line up with your thoughts, leading to the same outcome of not being able to lose weight.
Your Thoughts Matter
This time let’s start with your desired outcome first. Then we’ll work backwards to discover which thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are required to obtain that outcome.
- Outcome: Achieving goal weight
- Behavior: Making healthier food choices and exercising 30 minutes a day
- Feeling: Committed
- Thought: I am healthy but I could make some changes
- Situation: I weigh 170 pounds
Now you know that if you want to lose weight, it requires you to make healthier food choices and exercise.
You also know that you need to feel encouraged in order to make these behaviors happen. To feel encouraged, you have to first think neutrally.
Notice how the thought isn’t an extreme, such as “I’m going to completely change my eating and exercise habits so I can lose weight.” This is too drastic of a change from “I am overweight and whenever I try to make changes, they never last.”
Your thought has to be something you truly believe. Thoughts (in the mind) and feelings (in the body) have to be aligned for true behavior change to occur.
If you change your actions without changing your thoughts and beliefs, you’ll quickly find yourself returning back to your old ways.
Give this exercise a try with whatever situation you’re in right now that you’d like to change. Take a look at your thoughts and see if they align with your desired outcome.
Be Kind to Yourself
Finally, the last part of the equation is learning to be compassionate with yourself.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Health doesn’t come overnight. It takes time and consistency.
Know that problems are going to arise for you and be okay with that. It’s normal to fall off the wagon every now and then.
But when you do, analyze your behaviors, then your feelings, and finally your thoughts. See if you can change your thoughts in order to get back on track with your goals.
I hope this blog today has inspired you to start seeing your various life situations in a new light. We would love to hear feedback on what you think of our Alkaline Method model for self healing!
This model is described as self healing because all you need to change your outcome is yourself!
We do understand that sometimes it takes a little more accountability to make changes. If you’re that person, I would love to work with you!
We’ll discuss this model together and come up with a plan that perfectly fits your needs. Visit our Nutrition Therapy page to learn how you can get started.
Talk to you soon!