Sunday, 4 March 2012

10 Steps to Make Change Really Happen

Here are 10 steps to make change really happen in our eating habits.
For me the first 4 months on this program were hard. I am not going to kid you that it was easy.  After those 4 months it was a lot easier and after a year it was really easy.
Every one is different in the way they react to this program depending on what is physically wrong with them. Often people will have healing reactions and blame the foods they are eating and so will go back to eating their old high carbohydrate diet.
And yes....they will feel a lot better for a bit, but this is because the healing reactions have now been interrupted by the carb food.  
The trouble is they will still be left with the same chronic health problems.
The Ten Steps to Changing the Way We Eat
1.  It's easier to add a new behaviour than to stop an old one.  Cold turkey works but it is hard.
We could go cold turkey, some people do and it works for them.  They usually have strong motivation, for instance a lot of pain they just can't live with any more.
We could just try eating more coconut oil and some eggs or meat with every meal to begin with.  
The more fat we eat the less likely we will want to eat so many carbs.
Next knock out any form of sugar, be it honey, agave or just sugar.  And then we will knock out gluten from our diet.  
Just take the beginning gradually.  We won't get much in the way of healing reactions with this method but by getting gluten and sugar out of our diet we will be relieving our system enormously from the addiction to these foods.
2.  Do single changes for a fixed time.  We don't want to overload our change muscles as they get tired and we will give up.
Give ourselves a time limit for, let's say, taking sugar out of our diet.  This may seem impossible but it's amazing how good a cup sugar free decaf tastes with some cream (if we aren't casein/lactose sensitive) in it especially when it becomes a treat!  We tell ourselves we will do this for 6 weeks.  It takes 21 day to change a habit, so 6 weeks should give us plenty of time to get this sugar free habit going.
3.  Baby Steps-  Remove guilt and failure
We don't want to set up ourselves for failure.  If we do small things for a set time and achieve them we will feel much better about ourselves.  Also when we slip we won't give ourselves a hard time, we will forgive and pick ourselves up and keep going.
4.  Chains of change
 Each step becomes a link in a chain  to changing our patterns of eating overall. 
5.  Create a trigger for new behaviours
  What habit have we already got that we can use to then remind us of the new habit that we want to achieve?  So maybe we think about having a dessert and then remember what we are doing and why we are doing it.  We envision ourselves healthy and happy with plenty of energy to do all the things we want to do.
6.  Measure the change.
Put up a calender and check off the days we have managed to do the change we wanted to do.
7. Never change alone.
Use this forum or a support group to make these changes in our diet.  We need others to encourage and remind us of what and why we are doing this program.  To tell us of their minor or major successes.  It really helps.
8. Never forget the sticks.
We need incentives to be high enough for us.
For some of us our health getting better may be plenty,  for others we might need to have a friend hold some money for us.  This is so that if we fail at the new habit we have set for ourselves, the friend will burn an agreed amount of our money for every slip.  There nothing like having money go up in smoke to give real incentive!
9. Change our environment
This one is easy.  Take out all the food from our pantry and fridge that is not part of this program and give it away (if our conscience allows) or throw it in the bin.  This is quite liberating but may take a few months before we can throw all that "good" food out.
Your pantry will look quite empty!  Most of you food you eat now is going to be in the refrigerator.
10. Change takes patience
We take a few steps forward and a few steps backward.  There will be times when we find this program really easy and others when we think there is just too much loss involved.  We need   to remember the times that we have found it easy and remember we will feel that that again.
We need to have patience with ourselves.  Slow incremental steps lead to big changes.  We need to give ourselves plenty of warm hugs and encouragement.

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