Here’s Step 5 of Your 7 Steps to Health & Happiness
This edition we’ll talk about staying on track.
Step 5 – Justifying Yourself – Defensive Psychology
A major potential pitfall when you decide to change your lifestyle is the feedback you receive from other people.
When we attempt to make radical changes to our lifestyle we often set ourselves up for failure by discussing it with others. When people hear that you’re changing your life they have all kinds of questions, and you usually end up having to defend your decisions. This defensiveness very often leads to self-doubt and the erosion of your goals.
An easier, less stressful way to deal with outside input is to not give it a chance to start. When invited to a restaurant I usually order a large salad. When my friends tell me that it’s not enough food I respond by saying things like, “Oh, I’m just not very hungry right now,” or, “I had a big lunch today.” When offered a piece of pie or a bag of chips I say, “My doctor wouldn’t like it if I ate that.”
Remember what Hippocrates said – “Be your own doctor,” and, “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
The point here is to not get into a discussion. It’s nobody’s business what we eat or drink, how much or little we exercise, or any of that. You’ll avoid a lot of negative input from your friends, family and acquaintances if you don’t bring the subject up in the first place, and refuse to get sucked into the conversation if they broach the subject.
You do not need to justify yourself to anybody except yourself. If you believe in the wellness journey that you’re currently on, that’s all that matters.
The second part of Step 5 is avoiding failure due to our attitudes – our internal psychology. I’ve talked to many people that were eating healthier for a time, then gave it up completely because “It’s too hard.”
Henry Ford said, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” I agree.
Sure, it’s a challenge to eat healthy in a junk-food world, but that shouldn’t deter you. When you do your weekly evaluation and realize how many unhealthy items you ate in the last week you shouldn’t let that get you down.
Instead, focus on how many healthy meals you DID eat, and how much better you’re doing now than when you were on the SAD (Standard American Diet).
Good Health is a journey, not a destination. Just because you stepped off the path here and there doesn’t mean that you’re not making progress.
You don’t have to explain yourself to anybody.