Before I did this one thing, I don’t think a person could have paid me money to eat a healthy diet. It didn’t matter how much my friends and my family were telling me my diet was unhealthy and I needed to change my habits. I was stuck in my ways and nothing seemed to make a difference.
But by doing this one simple thing, I lost just about all of my desire to keep eating that junk food. I wanted to eat healthy on my own accord. My desire was so strong that my parents and friends actually thought I was going a little overboard to the other extreme of being too health conscious. At that point, a person couldn’t pay me to go back to eating junk food and fast food as much as I was.
What I did was expand my awareness through in-depth education.
I remember one book that explained how trans-fats and excess sugar affected the body and hormones. This book showed me in black and white terms what was happening to my body internally in a very detailed way that made it extremely real to me.
Before that if someone said something was “unhealthy” or “healthy” I didn’t really know what that meant. I thought yeah well maybe it’s unhealthy because if I keep eating this way for the next 50 years I might get heart disease or something. So I just figured I could always change my habits down the road only if I developed an actual health complication.
Once I had the awareness about the damage I was currently doing to my body, I couldn’t put on blinders and pretend my habits weren’t affecting me.
This of course was just the starting point. There were a number of things that I did that built up my motivation and allowed me to make a more permanent change. But this catalyst really set the pace for everything that came down the road.
I credit part of my ability to stick with a healthy lifestyle for the past nine years straight due to constant on-going education. This is reading articles, books, listening to podcasts, etc. on health and fitness that constantly provide me with reasons why this lifestyle is important, reasons why going back to a less healthy lifestyle are detrimental, and cool tips and tricks that keeps things fun and interesting.
I really believe that when people take even just a few minutes a week to stay up to date on the health impacts of various foods and lifestyle choices, this constant education and reinforcement as to why it’s important to live healthy is like watering the motivation “plant.” If you don’t reinforce your motivation by giving it regular “nourishment” (AKA: Reasons “why” health is important), then gradually your motivation starts to die away just like a plant that stops getting watered.
Here are a few health and fitness resources you can check out. There are obviously tons more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. To get started, I suggest signing up for at least one email newsletter and one podcast to keep health education an ongoing weekly thing.
Also, no two experts will always agree with each other, and you may not always agree with them. So I encourage you to take everything with a grain of salt and not get too caught up in “dogmatic” health approaches and simply take and apply what makes sense and works best for you.