Dr. Brooke Grant Jeffy (Dermatologist)
Perfection Can Be Your Challenge
I bet you are a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to your health, if you find yourself reading the Ballou Review. You have decided you want to learn from experts in medicine and wellness, not just follow trends and influencers. You are in the right place to gain that knowledge and find inspiration but, let’s face it, adopting a healthy lifestyle is challenging, and it is easy to beat yourself up for a setback. It takes real dedication to implement changes that are in such direct conflict against a lot of Western culture, not to mention often family and friends as well. So know I am cheering for you, because we all deserve health, but I will be the first to tell you it is not easy.
The biggest obstacle will be your brain. Our brain is programmed for survival, and that means if there is a calorie dense food in front of us, it will choose that over vegetables. Food companies and restaurants know this, so they focus on selling us the calorie dense foods that our brains crave, instead of caring about nutrition. They also sell these foods in ridiculous portions, so they can charge more knowing it is hard for us to stop eating when we should. We are not trying to survive in the wilderness with minimal food options anymore, but our brain does not realize this.
❝ If you can change that inner voice from nemesis to cheerleader, you will find love for yourself and a greater resilience to make better choices on your quest for health and wellness. ❞
Our brain also tends to interfere with just about every one of our good intentions. One of the pillars of wellness is strong relationships. How many times have you given attention to your phone, social media or the television while being less present during time with your family? Our brains get addicted to comparing ourselves to others and looking for that next thing that will bring us happiness, though never does. Another pillar of wellness that often suffers at the hands of these common distractions is sleep.
OK, so you may be on this journey alone, and your brain is against you. Step one is to acknowledge that. When you make a poor choice, remember we are faced with a lot working against us, so don’t beat yourself up. Instead of agreeing with the inner voice that says well you had a cookie, might as well just go ahead and have a few more, what may help is staying curious about the situation. How did the cookie really make me feel? Why am I now even thinking so much about this cookie situation? What could I do instead to really feel good and get me to my goals?
You are going to have a cookie sometimes (or stay up too late, skip a workout, or say something you regret…the list goes on and on, doesn’t it). How you deal with it is the key to growth and less cookies in the future.
We are really our harshest critics. Altering how we talk to ourselves about our missteps is the key to being able to reframe them and change our actions moving forward. If you can change that inner voice from nemesis to cheerleader, you will find love for yourself and a greater resilience to make better choices on your quest for health and wellness. A positive inner voice also reduces stress and anxiety, which further positively influences our health. Again, that mind-body connection.
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