Today I was reading an interesting article in the Houston Family Magazine entitled, “how to help your adhd child get organized.” I have friends with children that are emotionally challenged with this so I want to pass this info on but I began to realize that this information also applied to us who are trying to become healthier by changing the way we look at food.
Changing from the traditional American diet is not easy. We are so accustomed to taking what we are told at face value and some of us have not thought about how our food is killing us (oh, yes, I did go there). Sometimes in our quest to make better informed choices we become overwhelmed at the facts, figures, and nutrition lingo and we go into brain lock (for lack of a better description). Potatoes are bad, no they are good. Milk is good, no dairy is bad. Vegetables are good, no nightshade veggies are bad and what the heck are nightshade vegetables anyway? You see what I mean about being overwhelmed? We are like ADHD sufferers, we are distracted by every new diet fad and we end up running in circles trying to change our eating habits over night.
Here are some tips on trying to quiet our frustration and make measured steady progress without going crazy.
- Tell yourself that you are going to do one thing at a time. We get so bogged down in a whole list of things to do that we get overwhelmed easily. You might find yourself just sitting in your recliner because you don’t know which item to tackle first. Don’t do that. Just determine one thing that you are going to do and then do it. Let’s say that you are going to give up soda – diet and real. Instead you are going to drink water. What will you do to ensure that water is your only beverage? Do you need to get rid of some soda you have in the house? Ok, do it. Do you need to buy bottled water or a faucet purifier? Do it. Don’t think about any other goal until you have mastered this one.
- Don’t be afraid to give yourself a reward for completing a task. If you are like me, giving up Diet Dr. Pepper was a big, big deal. It took a lot of will power, I decided to focus on that one task when I gave it up. If I had given myself a list of things to work on all at once, I would have focused on something else and gave myself permission to slack off on the soda. But, I didn’t. And I deserved a reward – and not a food reward either. For me a trip to the Half Price Books Store is a great reward and a great incentive too. Maybe you would like a pedicure. Maybe a trip to buy a new pair of shoes. Whatever floats your boat as a reward.
- Make a story telling board. This one reminds me of the baby step we discussed about making a positivity board. But, a story telling board is more than that. You make a list of the steps you are going to take to accomplish your task. At the top is the goal you are pursuing. Let’s say you want to give up soda. That’s the title: I will give up soda. Next you list the steps you will take i.e. give away unopened sodas, purchase a Brita filtration pitcher or a Pur faucet filter system and have glass bottles on hand to use to carry water with you. When you have accomplished each step, put the completion date on the board. When you have been on plain water for a while, mark your board as a task completed and date it. Maybe take a picture of yourself drinking water or a picture of the cleaned out area where you use to store your sodas.
All of these steps (and a few others) are meant to help a struggling child with ADHD accomplish their goals which at times seem very daunting to them. The same can be said for us – making permanent healthy changes can be daunting. Take it one step at a time. You can do this – and so can I.
Bye for now.