What's Really Holding You Back from Sticking to Changes

Back fat
I remember the day when I looked in the mirror and discovered to my horror that my back fat was bigger than my boobs. I remember thinking, "Ummm...so...should I just like, wear my bra on backwards?!" Most girls might check their butt to be sure there is no panty line before leaving the house, but for me, I was always checking to make sure there was no bra-band-crushing-back-fat line.
Anyways, that's not really my story for today (though it describes the cartoon!).

Today, I want to talk about why it is so hard to stick to eating foods that you know are good for you (some, that you even like!).

When I was growing up, I would have a bagel with milk tea for breakfast every morning. I decided one day that I should try having fruit for breakfast instead, because, you know, it's healthy and all. But I found this to be one of the biggest challenges for me to continue. I couldn't figure out why I found it so hard to just stick to having fruit for breakfast. It doesn't seem like such a big deal, right?

I hear a lot of people praying that they "just want to have more willpower and strength" to stick to new eating habits. But willpower is probably not what you're looking for - let's take a step back for a moment.

I thought about it a lot, and realized that the issue was not that I didn't have motivation to eat fruit for breakfast. The challenge was that all of the properties about fruit are completely different from a bagel! Think about it. A bagel is warm, dense, salty. It requires some chewing. I can feel it in my stomach after finishing off the plate. But fruit? Fruit is cold, light, and sour or sweet. I could eat it faster than a bagel which made me feel like I was missing something. And when I was finished, it was so watery that even if I might have felt full for a split second, I felt like my stomach was starting to deflate. I worried that the fruit was definitely not going to hold me over until lunch time.

So, what really was my obstacle for making the habit of having fruit for breakfast stick was the fact that the experience of having breakfast was completely different. Not only did it just feel weird to have fruit, I was also too scared to give fruit a chance because I dreaded being hungry by lunch time.

If we don't analyze what we like and don't like about our food experiences --- the textures, the flavors, the temperatures, the visual appeal, the presentation, the timing---then, we are going to have a hard time giving new food a chance. It is so easy to reject good food when a component doesn't feel right --- but that doesn't mean that all of the components are not favorable. Try spending some time analyzing what you like about the experience of some of the foods you eat and see if you can find healthier options that offer similar experiences.

And, as for my bagel-to-fruit experience, I decided to go through more of a transitional phase where I would start with half of a bagel with a side of fruit and a warm beverage. Doing so kept me happy in the experience I was used to while opening the door for learning to enjoy other options.

What about you? Why do you think it is hard to continue some habits that don't logically seem that difficult to keep? Leave a comment!