FouR important concepts: Resist • Refuse • Rewards • Resolve

In a previous post, I suggested re-evaluating your eating habits from time to time. Periodically, we should evaluate our dietary behaviors and habits to determine whether the choices we made in the past work for us now. As part of your aim to continuously improve your nutritional quality, it’s necessary to examine your dietary attitude around these four factors: resistance, refusal, rewards and resolve.

If you do, ask yourself why. What’s stopping you from making even the smallest modifications? I can think of eight possible reasons.

Reason No. 1 – I’ve always done it this way

“I was raised on it … I always ate … I’ve been eating so and so for years.”

Just because you’ve done something one way for a long time, doesn’t mean you should continue to do it.

If your dietary choices have caused your excess weight or led to disease, then those choices have undermined your health. So, if you’ve always “done it this way” it means it’s time to re-evaluate your dietary philosophy and do it some other way.  

Think about your dietary direction. Like you carve out your career path or religious beliefs, you should also chart your dietary course. So, if you’ve lived on a high fat, artery‑clogging, sugar-laden, hormone-filled diet with synthetic foods, unhealthy refined flours and the like, it’s time to change.

Reason No. 2 – Comfort and Familiarity

Many people are overwhelmed by the thought of doing things differently. They prefer to stay with the familiar because it’s comfortable. These individuals are unwilling to experiment with textures and flavors and foods outside their comfort zone, and they enjoy eating from a narrow list of foods.

Reason No. 3 – Convenience

Indeed, modern lives are hectic. People are busy, and it takes little time to pick up fast food, a microwave meal or other to-go food.

Reason No. 4 – Effort

Many people are unwilling to prepare healthy, nutritious meals with any consistency.

Reason No. 5 – Peer pressure

Some succumb to peer pressure — especially people with families. Eating the same foods as those with whom you regularly dine (family, co-workers, friends) can take you off course if your co-diners don’t share similar nutritional goals.

Reason No. 6 – Cost

Not everyone can afford to pay for organic, fresh, nourishing food. Not everyone has a car or easy access to public transportation to access those foods. But everyone can figure out a way to eat nourishing food from non-organic sources and acquire them — in person or online.

Reason No. 7 – Apathy

Some people don’t give this topic thought, deciding not to turn eating into a big deal.

Reason No. 8 – I’m too old

“I’m too old” is lame reasoning. It’s never too late, and you’re never too old to evolve your dietary habits. It’s never too late to improve your diet or your life.

If any of these reasons for resisting dietary change sound familiar, it’s time to decide whether the discomfort of change outweighs the advantages of committing to healthy eating habits (and an exercise regimen).

It can be said that if a person is unwilling to make even the smallest change, they’re unprepared to travel the road to health and wellness. After all, not everyone is ready. Understood. Nevertheless, people stop smoking. People improve their diets. People begin exercising. These people were ready to make these changes — big or small.

We should be open to positive changes that enhance our lives. Embracing such change is a means by which to grow — emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t harness the power inside you to promote your well-being and enrich your life. Change, often characterized by a stretch on a bumpy road, builds character.

From cheeseburgers to broccoli  - Resist • Refuse • Rewards • Resolve

Instead of focusing on the work required to change, focus on what might happen if you refuse to change harmful eating habits. What will happen if you continue to consume excess sodium, refined sugars, high levels of saturated fats, contaminated animal proteins and refined white flour products?

If you have a weight problem and reject health-promoting foods, you’ll increase your risk of developing disease states correlated with unhealthy body weight. And if you already suffer from weight-related illnesses, they will surely worsen.

Anyone who eats a poor diet is at high risk for developing illnesses for which poor diet is a contributor. And when these ailments manifest, these individuals will find themselves at the mercy of physicians, in need of pills and other therapies to stay alive.

Those who do change will experience the growth and elevated self-esteem that comes with the knowledge that you’ve conquered something ─ a challenge, a fear, an objective. You can be proud of yourself.

Practice makes perfect. Maybe you’ll start by minimizing soda consumption. Next, you’ll decrease your sugar intake. Then you might vow to avoid any food containing hydrogenated oils. Your ability and willingness to start positive change in your life sets the stage for improving your health and perhaps extending your life.

My friend’s grandmother, who lived to be 95 years old, gave up pork in her 60s. Maybe that choice contributed to why, at her death, she was still vibrant, independent, self‑sufficient and able to drive and shop for herself — even though she was a cancer, heart attack and stroke survivor. She recognized the benefits of changing her health behaviors. She made these changes late in life. Though it’s difficult to break lifelong habits, people do it.

At any time in your life, you can make health-promoting changes. This is powerful. Decide you will travel on a path to health and well-being. You’re in charge. This is your trip. This is your passage. It’s an internal, solo pursuit governed by your decision-making.

The good news about nutrition is that we completely control whether we change, whether we improve. This empowers us. Keep in mind, as you roam the road of nutritional excellence, results typically aren’t seen immediately. Your changes will be seen over time. Embrace this process.

Decide what you’ll change. Certain things you alone control. What place will your dietary habits hold in your life? Will your dietary habits influence descent into poor health or shape your experience of good health and the abundance of wellness? We don’t control everything, but we are in charge of our dietary decisions.

Life is ever-evolving and we should be, too. Sometimes, life calls on us to abandon our old ways of thinking and renew our paths, in spite of obstacles — perceived or real.

We all desire healing, wellness, strength, stamina and vitality. It’s a good idea to keep the four Rs — Resist • Refuse • Rewards • Resolve — top of mind. Conquering resistance, welcoming change, pursuing health, choosing wellness — these are the elements of holism that when practiced can foster harmony of mind, body and spirit. When you assess your attitudes about resistance, refusal, rewards and resolve, you’re powering the transformation you’re applying to your life.

Get to it!

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