Today I was leafing through a magazine while I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room (waiting on a friend to finish her appointment). I found a very good article about building resilience after dealing with a hurricane – Hurricane Harvey in particular. The magazine is Bay Area Health & Wellness and the article is, “Building Resilience to Keep Houston Strong” by Erika Labuzan-Lopez.
The author defines resilience as, “bouncing back and adapting well in the face of adversity, tragedy, traumatic experiences, loss and significant sources of stress.” She is writing this from the perspective of healing from and preparing for another disaster such as Harvey but I found it to apply to changing our lifestyle to healthier eating.
How can preparing for a life altering catastrophe relate to changing your eating lifestyle? Because dealing with major ordeals/disasters/acute illness/and wellness issues can have the same basic steps that can be beneficial to our topic.
The authors outlines steps to build your resilience after a devastating storm. Why build resilience? Do you always want to be a victim of circumstances? Do you always want to throw your hands up in dismay and let your personal belongings just float away without trying to save them? Once you lose something do you just give up and never replace the things you lost? Do you just want to sit in a corner and boo-hoo all of the time over things that didn’t go your way? No, you don’t want to be that person so you build up your resilience.
The same applies to changing your lifestyle to eating clean. Will you have slip ups? Yes. Will you find some changes difficult? Yes. Will it at times seem too formidable to tackle and you want to give in? Yes. But, you know this is a healthier way to live for you and your family. So you become more resilient.
- Engage in Meaningful Relationships. This could be your family or your friends. Let your family be part of this life style change. Explain to your loved ones why you make the choices you do and let them have input as to what you should feed them. They are going to enjoy what you are doing when you include them in the decision making. If you are single like me, get a circle of friends that you can discuss any issues that might come up. I have Amy and you guys.
- Be aware of your own feelings and reactions. Did something not go the way you planned? Did you not plan for that contingency? How did it make you feel? Did you determine to do better or did it make you throw in the towel?
- Change how you view a crisis event. It is not the end of the world if you go on vacation and you don’t stay true to eating clean. You won’t be the first this ever happened to and it doesn’t have to wreck all of the effort you have put into making a lasting change. Just sit down, make a shopping list and a meal planner and get back on the program. Nothing is over unless you say it is over. Just never say it is over. 🙂
- Accept that Change is Part of Life and Stay Flexible. So you planned on having chicken for dinner but you forgot to pull it out to thaw while you were at work. That is what tuna is for. Or, that is what the instant pot is for. Don’t let it send you to McDonalds or make you order a pizza. Keep emergency vittles (throw back to Beverly Hillbillies) on hand – like a frozen cauliflower crust pizza. You can be flexible. Just don’t throw in the towel.
- Take Care of Yourself. Don’t forget to do you. You need some alone time, some pampering time, or some get with the girlfriends time. You don’t have to be Super Woman and give, give, give to others without giving to yourself once in a while. Sometimes we need to take a little time to step back and look at the changes we are making – evaluate where you are in comparison to where you were and where you want to be.
This week’s baby step is to come up with your own resilience strategy. Prepare for slip ups, goofs and unexpected events. It’s how you respond and recover from these events that is important, not the event itself.
Bye for now.