When it comes to your overall health and your life— What do you really want?
Where do you see yourself one year from today?
Try to picture it…
How do you feel?
Who are you with?
What do you look like?
What are you doing?
What is your fitness level?
What is your energy level?
How is your overall health— mental, physical, spiritual?
How purposeful are you living?
This envisioning process is sort of fun but also scary. Dreaming is easy right? Doing, however, is anything but easy.
I bet you have an exceptional vision of your health and life in the future. A vision of you being fit, happy, healthy, confident, and motivated.
I bet you also know that what you eat (or don’t eat) directly plays into this vision of your future self.
What you get back from your body (e.g., mood, energy, performance, appearance, etc.) is very closely tied to what you give to your body. Essentially, you are what you eat.
Life and all of its demands can make it pretty difficult to give your body what it really wants and needs to get fit, happy, healthy, and motivated— and stay that way.
Of course you value your health, your time, and your money. All of these are precious resources that we all fear losing.
But, are your day-to-day choices and habits congruent with these values? Are your day-to-day choices and habits congruent with the vision you have for your health and life?
This means your actions are leading you toward what you want for your future.
But what if your daily eating habits and choices do NOT align with your values? Chances are it’s time to take a closer look at the values that are driving your choices and eating habits..
Doing so, will help you redirect and align your choices and habits with what you really want for your health.
Why Values Matter
What we value can significantly influence our eating habits.
Our values tend to drive our choices and habits- good or bad…
You’re always forming or reinforcing habits, whether You mean to, or not (intentional or unintentional)
- Intentional (Meaning, you align your behavior according to what is important to you, on purpose.) or
- unintentional (Meaning, you just sort of “woke up” here one day, without purpose).
For example: If you value comfort or pleasure over health…chances are you’re not satisfied with the results you’re getting from your eating habits.
For me, I found it quite challenging to implement a value-based eating system for our family. Namely, because I had three seemingly conflicting values.
I value our health, our time, and our finances and balancing these by priority didn’t always pan out with ease and it would have been really easy to just give up on being intentional with how we ate.
It was really frustrating. If I created a meal plan that valued our health and we felt great, we either paid for it by means of an astronomical grocery bill or I was stuck in the kitchen preparing food for hours on end. You can see how valuing health, led me to compromising my values of time and budget. Wasn’t going to work.
Or, if I valued time and convenience, we ate like crap and it cost way too much money.
Then, if I made my value for budget the top priority, we ate at a low cost but we paid for it through sacrificing our health. Consequently, my time was devalued, in the bigger picture, because I’m not as disciplined, motivated, or productive when I don’t feel my best.
Can you relate?
We all have this problem.
We all want a certain outcome (e.g., great health and fitness) yet, we’re driven by certain and sometimes conflicting values (e.g., budget or time/convenience or other values we often don’t admit to such as pleasure or comfort).
What about you?
Out of the three values above, what drives your eating habits the most?
Time / convenience?
Maybe, you try to consider all of these to some degree. And like many, you realize that its a really tough challenge.
But, if you had to rank these values in order of importance to you, how would you prioritize when it comes to your eating choices?
Which is your:
- Top priority (most important to you):
- 2nd priority (2nd most important to you):
- 3rd priority (least important to you):
Kind of hard to do right?
Many people share your struggle which is why the tug-of-war between stress and health is real.
Take these folks for example… I asked some people in my online community the same question and here’s what the responses were.
RESPONSES FROM SOCIAL MEDIA:
- 60% said their top priority was “Time & Convenience” and most important to them
- 30% said their 2nd priority was “Health” and 2nd most important to them.
- 10% said their 3rd priority was “Budget” and least important to them.
These results illustrate the conflict many people have.
Most people I hear from, have a vision of phenomenal health, performance, and happiness.
They also have the vision of being able to afford a healthier lifestyle. Yet their choices value “Time / Convenience” over both health and budget.
These folks likely have self-discipline i.e., the willpower to do good and choose their best life.
But when push comes to shove, and they’re managing a lot of responsibility they do not rise to the level of their discipline, willpower, motivation, or goals….. Instead, they fall to the level of their system.
And if they don’t have a system at all, this could explain why they are moving away from what they want versus toward it.
Have Your Cake and Eat Too; A Food System Is Key
Determining what type of foods are best for your body specifically, and also, understanding your relationship with food are both very important.
But, that’s not what we’re focusing on here.
Because identifying your health values and building a system and environment around them is the key to establishing optimal eating habits.
And the best way to THAT is with a SYSTEM.
A personalized value-based system
A system that is sustainable for your life.
One that is designed based on your values and vision for your health. One that is unique to you and your unique lifestyle.
I see you shaking your head when other health gurus give you a cookie cutter plan.
Everyone’s life and challenges are different.
Listen, when you have a system in place, you don’t have to depend on your self-discipline when life gets crazy.
(when is life NOT crazy, right?)
Why do you not want to depend on your self-discipline? you say.
Because if you depend on your self-discipline, wilpower, or motivation alone to drive healthy habits with food you will find yourself on the crazy cycle.
Place yourself at the beginning of this cycle.
- You get a good dose of stress >
- which then, lowers your self-discipline >
- which then, leads to a higher likelihood that you will eat less healthy >
- which then, poor food choices lead to even less self-discipline >
- which then, creates even more stress response in your body >
- which then, weakens your self-discipline even more >
- and on and on the cycle goes
Get Your Value-Based Food System In Place And Start Getting What You Want Out Of Life.
If you want your best health and life, you want to prevent this cycle all together.
You can do so by getting a sustainable values-driven food system in place.
I am not here to sell you on any specific eating system.
I am here to encourage you to find or create one that works for you.
If you try one and it doesn’t serve you well, tweak it and try again.
Don’t just give up.
Think of self-discipline as less of the CAUSE of healthy eating and more as the RESULT of healthy eating
Healthy eating helps to increase your self-discipline so you want something in place to support healthy food choices every-single- day.
Right now, you might be thinking…
“Erica, Im pretty disciplined with my goals, I don’t think I need to do all this planning and preparation.”
I think even the most disciplined of folks fall victim to stress and demands.
So, you’ll want to set yourself up for bulletproof success by not depending on your self-discipline alone and not being vulnerable to the amount of willpower you have to meet a goal.
James Clear, sums it up nicely in his quote “you don’t rise to the level of our goals, you fall to the level of your systems.”
You want a system for your eating if you want to rise.
Your eating habits directly impact the quality of your health, performance, and your life.
“Erica, This is going to suck and I’ll feel overwhelmed.”
Having an eating system in place doesn’t need to be a ridiculous process. If it’s effective and streamlined, it will add to your life and not cause you to feel overwhelmed.
An effective system will not drain you of time, money, effort, energy, or happiness. It will add those things.
While the system I use may not fit your specific needs, I highly recommend you find one (or create one) that does.
Just like any system, you can start with the end in mind. For example, what are your vision and values for your health and lifestyle long-term.
Once you have the end in mind, do some reverse engineering and start with small steps that can grow over time.
This process will help you steer your behavior and results in the direction you want to go and help you to make adjustments along the way when life gets crazy.
Here’s How You Can Take The Next Step.
Now you’re probably ready to get your own eating system in place.
Perhaps you have one in mind or maybe have one that’s worked for you in the past.
The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is… “Is this system in line with my values?” (now that you’re crystal clear on your values driving your eating habits).
Then, you can start to experiment and streamline your system.
To see the Value-Based Food System I use for myself and our family of 6 check it out HERE
If you want even more info on the resources I’ve mentioned here, I’m happy to help. Just reach out to me below or email me at [email protected] And I’ll point you in the right direction.
Also, if you want more actionable steps to make meaningful changes in your life. Go sign up for my free mini-course.
This course will radically change the way you approach your health. It’s for lasting change and repels the quick fix gimmicks we’ve all tried and failed.
And Inside the FREE training we’ll go through some worksheets together that will help you see some things that could be holding you back from your health goals.
You can get the free course now at my website www.EricaRyal.com
See you inside,