Join me in this solo episode as I chat about where the greatest effort and adaptation needs to happen in order for you to be successful with your health goals.
Mindset matters, and as you shift to a new version of yourself, there will be battles to be had with the old version.
Learn to like being uncomfortable, embrace the process, and realise that as long as you are doing A version of 'healthy' on any given day, you're still winning.
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Hello, and welcome to the next episode of the Rood Health Podcast with me, Haley Food Ninja. And today, I'm not going to lie, there's not an awful lot of structure for today. It's a solo episode, and I just want to talk a little bit about something that a couple of my clients have really been struggling with the past few months, and I guess I just wanted to kind of normalize it, if that's the right word.
And what I'm talking about is this idea that you are trying to adopt some new habits, and when you nail those new habits, then you should be able to do them perfectly every single day, regardless of what's going on in your life.
You might think, oh, my God. Like, I thought I'd nailed that habit of drinking loads of water, and now something's happened and haven't drunk it and stuff, and it's just to kind of say that that is completely normal. And also the way that you're going to get over that and continue to be successful is by changing your mindset around what that means.
I think so many people focus on this goal or this desired state that they want to achieve, whether that is being able to eat really well every day and hit their protein goals or walk 100 steps every day or do five CrossFit sessions every week or meditate for 20 minutes every day, whatever that is.
People are very focused on this desired state, and I know when we're thinking about achieving goals, people always say, hey, visualize your goal and visualize what it looks like to achieve it and stuff like that, which is great. And I think that is or can be a really powerful tool.
But to focus just on that desired state and visualize yourself achieving it, you're creating a rod for your own back, because what you're not visualizing is all the shit that's going to happen along the way and the price that you're going to have to pay for achieving this goal and the compromises you're going to have to make.
And let's be honest, the really hard shit of changing, because you know you're going to have to change a lot of thoughts, feelings, habits, behaviours, mindset. And that shit is really hard when you've got certain states that are hardwired or you've even got different kind of stories that you tell yourself and labels you put on yourself and beliefs that you have about yourself or the world around you or other people. Anything that you want to achieve when you want to change the way that you are right now, you're going to have to challenge a lot of those things, which is really uncomfortable trying to put a bit more focus on the process of doing things and the adaptation and of your mindset and everything else.
Because the greatest effort that you need to put into change is not learning how to do the thing you're trying to achieve. Or the greatest effort is not going to be around trying to figure out what you need to eat each week.
The greatest effort and adaptation is going to be what's between your ears, like, what are your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, mindset about all of these things. If you're doing things that you don't really are not really very useful or helpful to you right now, there'll be a reason for that.
They'll be because you've told yourself a story about why you can't be any other way, or you have beliefs around the way that you do certain things and you don't believe that you can change those. And those are the really hard things that you'll need to challenge when you go through a process of change.
While it's great to have your little, I don't know, vision board, whatever it is, vision board, or whether you just lie in bed at night, visualizing yourself as this super fit, healthy, happy person, you know, that's great. Don't lose sight of that.
But also think about what the barriers going to be that I need to overcome, what is likely to get in my way, how are people around me going to feel about the fact that I'm changing and maybe I don't fulfill the roles that they want me to anymore?
And, you know, there are so many considerations around that. One of my clients in particular is so kind of tenacious around this because they use an alter ego, which is something I get a lot of my clients to do. So if you are having trouble imagining what you need to do to change your behaviors and things, then we look at creating an alter ego.
So your alter ego is the version of you that does all the things that you wish you could.
So, for me, my alter ego is Food Ninja, because Food Ninja is happy and healthy in all of those areas that I talk about in terms of neural health, intelligence, relationships, emotions, mental, physical, emotional health. Like, Food Ninja is the version of me that does all of the things that I want myself to do every day. And that's kind of what I always work towards every day.
So I've got a client who has an alter ego that they work towards, and they're super good at verbalizing the struggle that they have between what they're labeling as the old version of themselves and this new version of themselves.
And a lot of our coaching conversation is based around this kind of tussle that goes on between the old person and the new person that they're trying to move towards. And it's super interesting because it doesn't matter how much you desire to be the new version of yourself.
Sometimes the motivation just isn't there because the old version of yourself is so ingrained and so strong that you need to accept that in order for you to change, you are going to have this constant battle between the old new and the new you, as it were.t? They do a workout, they do:
And that's what you want your alter ego to be doing, and that's what you're working towards. But if you don't achieve all of those things on any given day, you're not a failure. It's not one thing or the other. It's okay to only take off two or three of those things because the habits are on a continuum.
Some days you'll be able to do all of them, some days you'll do less because shit happens, right? Life happens. You can't expect that, I don't know, say a friend of yours has a crisis and you decide that you want to be there for them. You're probably not going to be able to do all your habits perfectly that day.
So think of your habits and your behaviours as on a continuum where rather than thinking about your alter ego being this perfect thing that I'm going to achieve every day, think about your habits as in a range and deem them successful if you manage to hit somewhere within that range. So, for example, if you are trying to be more active and you've set yourself an arbitrary goal of, say, I don't know, 12,000 steps every day, you could say rather than 12,000 steps every day, I want to aim for a range of between eight and 120 every day. And if I've managed to do that, that's great.
Sometimes I'll do the minimum, sometimes I'll do the maximum. But I think that's really important to do that rather than just say, unless I do everything every day, I'm a complete fucking failure. Because that is not going to help you achieve anything.
Because how often do we get a perfect day where everything goes right? I know that very, very rarely happens to me. And the same when you achieve all the things that you want to achieve. I don't like my clients to have weight goals as such, but I never say to someone, if they say to me, oh, I'd love to be nine stone, for example.
I mean, yes, we'll examine why that is, but also to realize that if you have got a weight goal, then you will fluctuate. You'll always be in a range. So I always use the example of slimming fucking world. Yes, I'm going to talk about it. You know. They ask you to set a goal weight and you know.
The minute you go over a pound of that I think someone was telling me that you have to stipulate or when you get to a goal weight. Say. For example. Your goal weights ten stone if you go over that by one or £2. You either have to. I don't know. Pay again or something. Or you have to set yourself a new goal weight and it can only be in half stone markers. I can't remember who was telling me this now, but I was like, Jesus. So you either weigh in and go, oh, my goodness, you seem to be one or £2 over your goal weight. You can either pay this week I think that's it. I think it's free when you reach your goal weight or some bullshit. So you either pay or you put pressure on yourself to get to nine and a half stone or I guess ten and a half stone and put more weight on, right? I mean, that's fucked up. Let's dive into that absolute can of worms. That's really unrealistic if you're saying to yourself, I'm only successful if I am this weight and when I reach my goal, where I'm only going to be happy if I stay at ten stone, if the minute I'm ten stone one or ten stone two, that's it, I've failed.
That's really unrealistic because it doesn't give you any kind of allowances for when shit happens to you. Anyway, as I said, there's no structure for this podcast this week, but I really just wanted to talk about how making sure that you have the right mindset from the beginning, that, yes, you're trying to change, yes, you're trying to adopt a habit. If you can't do it exactly how you want to do it every single day, you're not a failure. You are doing a version.
As long as you're always doing a version of the healthy habits that you need to do that will keep you moving forward rather than thinking, Jesus Christ, I did not do I only did five of the seven habits I try and do every day. I might as well just, like, chuck everything in the fucking bucket.
Like, don't bother doing anything for the next few days because I'm a failure. Which sounds really stupid when you say it out loud, but I have had a lot of clients who do that in the beginning because they believe that they have to have a fixed version of what successful looks like to them. So, yeah, as I said, a lot of structure.
But let me know, I'd love to know your thoughts on whether you've got very fixed ideas about what success looks like to you from a health perspective or whether you're a little bit kinder to yourself and you try and think of it on more of a continuum rather than trying to be perfect all the time.
That's it. If you have any questions or if you have anything that you'd like me to do an episode about, I would love to know. Now that I've kind of broadened the scope of the podcast and for it to be more about kind of whole health, I would love for some subjects to talk about. I would love to do an episode where I answer listener questions.
So if you have any questions, you can message them to email@example.com, and I will maybe do an episode where I round up all of those questions to answer. Until then, take care of yourselves. And look out for next week's episode, which is with Dr. Ed Pooley, who is a GP and also works on projects that help doctors communicate better with patients, and he has a lot of really interesting stuff to say about behavioural change, too.
So that will be an awesome episode. That's it. Thanks for listening, and until next week, take care of yourselves.