Healthy Living Day 11: Identify Your Food Struggles
This is Day 11 of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world work together to improve on their diet and fitness in January 2015. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all tasks and posts.
Hi everyone!! 😀 It’s now Day 11 of our 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge. Only three days left before our challenge ends! Let’s go!
Challenge Tasks to Date
- Announcement and signup page: Join 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge!
- Day 0: Create Your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan | Comments
- Day 1: Drink 8 Glasses of Water | Comments
- Day 2: Eat 5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables | Comments
- Day 3: Create Your Calorie List | Comments
- Day 4: Calculate Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure | Comments
- Day 5: Create Your Ideal Meal Plan | Comments
- Day 6: Follow Your Ideal Meal Plan! | Comments
- Day 7: Review & Set Your Plan for Week 2! | Comments
- Day 8: Get a Great Workout! | Comments
- Day 9: Identify Your Healthy Living Pitfalls | Comments
- Day 10: Meditate | Comments
My Day 10 in Pictures
Here’s a recap of my Day 10 in pictures:
Today I meditated for 10 minutes (as per the challenge task) and felt very relaxed at the end of it. In fact, I was so relaxed that I took a quick nap for one and a half hours! It’s not surprising given that meditating clears our mind and relaxes us, hence making it easier to sleep. While meditating, I cleared out thoughts of random things that happened in the past few weeks — always interesting to observe. I’ve found that the longer I meditate, the “older” the thoughts that get processed. For example, when I meditate for 30 minutes, I can be processing thoughts from a month ago or two; when I meditate for one hour, I can be processing things from months ago in my mind.
Doing the meditation task has reinvigorated my interest to work meditation back into my life as a daily (if not near daily) habit. For the past couple of years I’ve been practicing meditation as a state of awareness that I uphold throughout the day; while this is good, I feel that setting aside 10, 15 minutes a day solely for meditation can give me stronger effects. I’m considering making it a 7- or 14-day experiment like how I did my 21-day fasting experiment before, where I meditate intensely for each day (say an hour) with daily journaling on significant observations and benefits (if any), but I’m not sure if there’ll be any interest in it.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section. Perhaps I can even jokingly name it as my experiment to “meditate to nirvana,” LOL! Journaling or not, daily meditation is something that I will be doing because I see the long-term benefits of doing so.
Reviewing my 14HLC goals, they are
- Exercise at least three times a week – My second exercise for the week is tomorrow!
- Cut out deep fried / oily food from my diet – Check!
- Eat salads more regularly, ideally once a day if I can – Check!
Check out other participants’ amazing food logs and progress updates in Day 10’s comments section!
With that, let’s move to today’s task, which is…
Day 11: Identify Your Food Struggles
It’s been 10 days since the new year started. In the past 10 days, we have authentically shared our meals and diet progress with each other. Some of us have been doing great in our healthy living plan. Some of us have been having moderate success. And then there are some of us who may be struggling to get our diet to where we’d like it to be.
No matter where you stand now in your healthy eating, I’d like you to know that you’re not alone. Big or small, many of us have our food struggles. For example, long ago my biggest struggle with food was that it was my agent of comfort and love. And comfort and love it was, for I would turn to it whenever I felt anxiety, stress, uncertainty, or even — get this — happy. Because of that, I could never eat in accordance with my ideal calorie intake. It was a long, painful struggle as I would exercise to try to shed off my excess food intake and then eat more than I should like a woman possessed. This overeating could happen once every few days to at its worse, for a continuous period of weeks. (I have since worked through my emotional eating issues after many years, and share my complete solution to addressing stress eating in How to Stop Stress Eating Program.)
For today’s task, I would like you to share your food struggles. While overcoming them won’t be an overnight switch, my hope is that by having this space to share your food struggles, it will (a) let you know that you’re not alone, (b) let you air out your personal difficulties with food / in your diet at the moment, and (c) perhaps help you to identify the initial steps toward tackling them. Because at the end of the day, know that we’re in this journey for healthy living, not a race or some quest for perfection.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Identify your current food struggles
What are your biggest food struggles at the moment?
- Perhaps you wish to remove fried food from your diet but you keep eating it all the same.
- Perhaps you want to stop having dairy but you still continue having it — and the worst thing is when you do, it triggers the eating of other foods that you want to keep out of your diet.
- Perhaps you want to remove the unhealthy, sugary desserts in your life but you can never bring yourself to say “no” when it comes to a cupcake or a cake.
- Perhaps you really wish to eat healthily but the food all around you is unhealthy, from the eateries around your home, to the food that’s stocked in your house, to the food that your family members cook / bring home.
Whatever these struggles are, write all of them now. If you have specific food struggles (e.g., issue with cupcakes, or issue with cereals as was the case of one of my How to Stop Stress Eating Program course participants in the past), write them down too!
Step 2: Identify possible solutions to these struggles
For each of the struggles you just identified, what are some possible solutions that can tackle this?
For example, let’s say you have a weakness for cupcakes. Why is that? Perhaps your mom has always bought you a cupcake when you were young, as reward for being a good boy/girl. Hence, cupcakes have been ingrained in your mind as being synonymous with love, with being a good person, and with reward. Given that, your possible solutions can be
- Recognize that you don’t need to eat a cupcake to feel love, to feel like you’re a good person, or to reward yourself. There are other ways to do this.
- Practice tiny acts of self-love each day. This can include hugging yourself the first thing in the morning as part of your morning ritual, taking regular breaks out for yourself, giving positive words of affirmation for yourself, and doing activities you love.
- Recognize your worth as an individual. Read: How to Be The Most Confident Person In The World
- Identify other forms of reward that don’t involve food. For example, a reward can be reading your favorite book, watching your favorite movie, taking a rest after a long day of work, listening to your favorite podcast, and reading your favorite articles at PE. These will make you feel more emotional rewarded than eating a food that you intrinsically do not want to eat, and subsequently feeling bad after that.
- Know that you can say “no” to foods that are bad for you, and you should say no to them because that’s how you can then say “yes” to your ideal healthy diet and life.
Step 3: Read the participants’ comments and share your encouragement
Just like you have your food struggles, other participants have their food struggles too.
Read the other participants’ comments today, and respond to at least one of them. Share some positive words of encouragement to their situation; if you have some ideas of your own, you’re free to suggest ways they can break out of their food struggles. Remember, we’re all in this together as a family, and together we’ll work toward healthy living together — one step at a time!
For More on Overcoming Stress Eating
If you’re going through stress eating, know that you’re not alone. I’ve created a complete solution to overcome your emotional eating, How to Stop Stress Eating Program, which is my premium four-week course to overcome stress eating for life. Check it out in the Courses Section.
Next, Follow Your Plan for Day 11 (Take Pictures Too!)
What tasks have you set for Day 11 of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan? Do them today!
Take pictures of your healthy meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-day snacks if any — and share them in the comments section. 😀 After all, a picture tells a thousand words, and when you share photos of your healthy meals, it inspires others to eat healthily and gives them ideas on what healthy food they can have too!
Post your initial comment sharing your results for today’s challenge task, then add on throughout the day as you have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or if you’re doing any workouts. Attach photos of your meals by clicking the image icon on the bottom left of every comment box. As you add on to your comment thread, be sure to click on the reply button directly below your original comment so that you reply to your own thread (as opposed to starting a new thread).
Share Your Results (and Photos!)
Share in the comments section!
- Your food struggles and possible solutions to them
- Your progress with your healthy living plan today
- Pictures of your meals
- Pictures of your workout (if any)
Do check out the other participants’ comments too and share a word of encouragement or two. We’re all in this together, so let’s support each other as a group! 🙂
After you’re done, proceed to Day 12: Practice Conscious Eating!