Do you suffer from the all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to clean eating and exercise? Realize that long-term improvement often comes in small steps over a long period of time, definitely not overnight. You don’t have to be perfect to make progress.
When I first started ramping up my workouts and eating in 2013, my diet was horrible. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I started a clean eating plan. I was drinking 2-3 cans of Diet Coke each day, not eating very many veggies, not really caring how much fatty meat I had and going way over the allotted 3 alcoholic drinks per week. I used a portion control program to learn about what I should be doing, but it was really, REALLY hard to stick to it 100%.
My first accomplishment was giving up Diet Coke. I also learned new recipes for veggies so I’d WANT to eat them. I started sneaking spinach and other greens into my superfood shakes. These days, I’m trying to eat more plant-based foods, eating much less meat and dairy and am really restricting alcohol as well. When I look back at my progress over the past few years, it’s substantial. But it seemed like baby steps when it was happening.
Does a holistic clean eating plan intimidate you? You’re not alone. For most of you, if I told you to give up everything you love right away, I’d just be setting you up for failure. Sometimes you have to ease into health at your own pace. You may be one of those people that can give up habits cold-turkey and go balls-to-the-walls with any new lifestyle changes. I’m not one of those people. My story is proof that you CAN make progress a little bit at a time.
If this describes you, I highly recommend reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. In the book, he provides real-life examples of small changes that added up to big successes over time. Get into a challenge group, work on your personal development, and dare yourself to do something that’s an itty-bitty bit of a stretch each day. One day you’ll look back and be astonished at how far you’ve come.