July 20


3 Keys to Nutrition & Wellness: A Guide for Sustainable Change

By Andrea Barnes

July 20, 2020

At Empower Nutrition & Wellness, our goal is to help you find your road to a well-nourished life and live without limitation. To achieve that state, we believe in three main components:  self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-care.

Building Self-Awareness
There are many definitions, but I think the former author Debbie Ford said it best: “The ability to take an honest look at your life without making any judgements as to whether it was right, wrong, good, or bad.” It’s the ability to embrace your actions, behaviors, emotions, and make the decision to move forward in a different way. First, we need to understand why we want to change and if we’re ready to dive in. A personal mission statement is a great place to start. Develop this why statement by tapping into your inspiration, priorities, core values, and lessons you’ve learned over time.

Be aware of who you want to become. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, describes that goal achievement often requires a change in identity. “I want to run a marathon,” is something I hear a lot from clients, but you cannot just get up the day of the race and expect to do well. You must have a plan… You must become a runner and define what you’ll do to get there.

Readiness to Change
Are you ready? There is a transtheoretical model to assess, and there are five stages: 
(1)precontemplation – often in denial and uninformed about the consequences of actions
(2) contemplation – intention to change with procrastination, and uncertain on how to follow through
(3) preparation – preparing to take action on implementation of beneficial behaviors
(4) action – significant modifications are being made
(5) maintenance – working to prevent relapse in undesirable behaviors

Eating Personality
Is it weird to think our eating has its own personality? Two dietitians pioneered the way to understanding our bodies and eating habits – Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. They identified eating personalities to help you become more self-aware of your baseline. Click here to find out your eating persona.

Understanding Body Cues
As babies we only have our intuition. We have a feeling in our bellies and signal to our caregivers that we need to be fed. As we grow, we start to allow rules, schedules, opinions of how and what we eat to dictate our lifestyle and begin on the unsustainable roller coaster. Over the past few months of being at home struggles ensued for keeping schedules, while also being inundated with social media opinions of what and how we should eat. Now is not the time to start dieting, but it is the perfect time to start tuning into our bodies and understanding our body cues.

Food Journaling
Food tracker apps are abundant, and even with technology this task can seem tedious. What are you getting out of that tracker though? A focus on calories? Food journaling is more than living your life around numbers, and we do not recommend doing this long term. Emotions, stress, and hormones can wreak havoc on our relationship with food. Understanding those emotional and environmental triggers, as well as true hunger and fullness can help with decision making.  Journaling helps identify those triggers and analyze reactions. Click here for our free food journal template.

Building Self-Confidence
Setting and achieving your goals can help build belief and trust in yourself. Goals need to be sustainable, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Goals require strategy, action steps, and identification of barriers that may get in the way. Utilizing tools such as habit trackers and calendars can help identify patterns in completing the tasks associated with our goals and open your eyes to small adjustments that can be made to avert an obstacle. Dwelling on those challenges contributes to self-sabotage. Avoid this by embracing the frustration and moving on. If you are having difficulty moving forward, use self-affirmations to prevail. Click here to benefit from the power of self-affirmation.

Building in Self-Care
Success looks differently for a lot of people, and there are multiple options for incorporating self-care into your day. Routines are very effective for some people, but for some having a little less structure and having daily fluidity can lead to success. It’s about finding balance. Evaluate your routine here with our free template. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I feel today?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What negative attitudes do I need to change?
  • Who can I reach out to for support?
  • What does a better me feel like?

Self-care can be simple, like drinking some herbal tea, taking a bath, breathing deeply, taking in some sunshine, using aromatherapy, or doing your skincare routine. Physical activity is an excellent form of self-care, but many use exercises in the wrong way – as a punishment after feelings of guilt. Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do.  If you cannot get to the gym, set aside even fifteen minutes a day with an online video. At the least, utilize physical activity to maintain mobility, flexibility, and lean body mass.

Whatever your preference, do it for YOU. Make yourself a priority. Take time to implement these three keys to enhance your lifestyle. Remove the clutter of guilt and allow yourself to feel the physical sensations and enjoyment that you derive from eating and self-care.

Andrea Barnes

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