How to Make New Choices Lasting Habits.
'Nothing will change unless you do' ~ Maya Angelou
I recently hosted a workshop, 'Simple Steps to Gluten Free Living' and there were many great questions, however there were two questions that stood out in terms of the enthusiastic discussion they created. They apply not just to taking gluten out of our diets, they can apply to any new dietary or lifestyle choice we want (or need) to make.
- 'How to get our partners, husbands and older kids on board' - especially for food.
- 'I don't show any symptoms, intolerances, my digestion is fine, do I need to change'?
Here are some thoughts. I hope it helps...
Qu. 1. How do I get my partner on board'?.
Having our partners support definitely accelerates results and makes things a whole lot easier. But if yours isn't on board, don't let it hold you back. We all find the answers we're looking for in our own time. As the old saying goes, 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink'. If you feel resistance from those close to you, just know they will find any answers they're looking for when they're ready and in their way.
In saying that a couple of things that really help show that perhaps there is another way include;
Sharing practical and deep knowledge. I love sharing inspiring documentaries and books and interviews with leading scientists and researchers - very compelling and hard to ignore. Great for 'planting the seed' and allowing them to discover new ideas and answers e.g. the two documentaries, "Hungry for Change" and "Food Matters" are great documentaries to start with. They're both available on netflix or watch online at FMTV. 'Cereal Killers' is another one I recommend, especially for the physically active husbands and teenagers. Rent it online at http://cerealkillersmovie.com.
Strategies, recipes and tips that are practical, make sense and simple to implement are super important. Something I believe in and hope you find scattered throughout my work and website.
Getting results. This is the best way. Continue on your path with the choices you're making e.g. more movement, giving up gluten, reducing dairy and sugar, more healthy fats, no processed foods, lots of green smoothies etc. Whatever it is, stay true to what you believe and when you release weight, sleep better, bounce out of bed or the kids are better behaved, sleep through the night, eat a wider variety of foods etc, they'll begin to wonder what's going on? And hopefully... take notice.
Qu. 2. My family and I don't show any symptoms, in fact I feel great, do I need to change'?
This is such a good question. And the simple answer is No. Why should we when we don't present with symptoms? However it's not so clear cut. The symptoms / clues indicating we need to make a food or lifestyle change are wide and varied and often subtle - things that you may have even got used to as being normal. We may not think symptoms are related to the food we're eating or the products we're exposing our bodies to but until we experiment with removing these potentially inflammatory foods or toxins - you'll be surprised ...
And unless the symptom is addressed and the body either better nourished or cleansed, that innocuous symptom will manifest into another symptom or more and perhaps far more debilitating. So do you feel great, or are you used to a new norm. of feeling under par?
Symptoms we can brush off range from minor digestive complaints, a little eczema through to a bit less energy, headaches, stubborn weight loss or minor skin irritations. While seemingly unrelated, they can all potentially relate to food or lifestyle choices in some way.
For example in regard to gluten sensitivity a couple of things that we may not be aware of;
- Accurate testing for gluten sensitivity is very difficult. If you're not sure, experiment taking it out of your diet (read labels) and after a few weeks see how you feel?
- in saying that gluten can hang around in the body for up to 6 months, some research is even saying 12 months, which is why many of us remove it and it doesn't seem to make a difference...
- as mentioned symptoms shown are very diverse, it's not like catching a cold and we cough or sneeze, it could relate to a full blown autoimmune condition or a general tiredness you've got used to with time and now consider normal.
- gluten and dairy can cross react i.e. they can initiate similar symptoms. For example if we take gluten out of our diet and don't see any change but we're still having lots of dairy. It could be we're sensitive to both?? (I know - not what you wanted to hear)!
Change can be difficult, but as Bronwen Sciortino from She IQ Life, shared with me recently, 'if our WHY is strong enough i.e. the reason we WANT or NEED to change, then that's what we need to continually remind ourselves of' and commit.
The other thing about change is the intention of the act is often worse than the action itself i.e. the thought of making change, connecting with old feelings or thoughts of what 'might' happen or how we 'might' feel stops us from taking action. Once we take the action it's often far better than we imagined e.g. jumping into the cold ocean water. Yet it feels SO good afterwards or that going gluten free (or starting a cleanse) can actually taste delicious and FEEL good!
Wherever we're at, start with one or two new choices at a time and perhaps think of it as an experiment. When it works and we intuitively know it's the right thing to do, tune into our WHY (i.e. why we're doing this) and commit 100% to reap the benefits of what we sow.
You can learn more and make lasting change, in my online workshops or my short courses like A Gentle Cleanse. It's the perfect way to kickstart your health and deepen your knowledge - for life.
Next Tuesday the 14th of February, 2017 is my online workshops, 'Simple Steps for Gluten Free Living' register;
7:00pm session WST (Western Standard Time).
Or 11am session WST