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Don’t give up!

October 3rd, 2011 | no comments

Did you know that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting the light bulb? Why didn’t he give up at attempts 50, 550 or 9,999? Because he viewed each attempt not as a failure, but rather a solution that didn’t quite work. And so he pressed on.

How many times have you given up on yourself after attempting a new diet or exercise program? Why did you give up? Chances are it was for one of the following reasons:

  • It was just too difficult to keep up
  • You missed your favorite foods
  • You didn’t have time to exercise 5 days a week so you just quit
  • You had a craving for a “forbidden” food, gave into the craving and went hog wild. After the binge you gave yourself a harsh mental beating followed by the words: “Oh well, I messed up! I might as well eat the whole thing!”

Don’t you see? You’re looking at this all wrong! Unlike the invention of the light bulb, your success at building a healthier body doesn’t depend on perfection. In fact, there’s no such thing as perfect eating. You are human—which means you experience true food cravings. Sometimes you crave a nutrient-rich apple, while other times it’s more like apple pie.

Your body is a smart machine! If you feed it a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet and treat it to a healthy dose of exercise most days of the week (or even just two days if that’s all you can manage), it will respond by firing off a craving for a particular food only when it really wants it. When I was in my “dark place”, battling binge eating disorder, I craved cookies, cake and ice cream every day because I was eating those types of foods EVERY DAY! When I finally made peace with food (and my body) and started feeding it like it deserved, the cravings diminished. When I had a craving for ice cream, I would eat a small amount and be done with it! Remember this:

What you feed your body most, it will crave

Do I still crave cookies? Sure! But I crave fresh vegetables and fruits 10 times more because I eat them 10 times more than sweets. The next time you spot someone in fantastic shape, chances are it’s not genetic. It comes from an almost spiritual quest to treat the body with the respect it deserves by feeding and moving it properly. Chances are they also don’t forbid themselves of something if they really want it. It’s all about balance.

Please don’t give up on yourself. If you’ve attempted to live a healthier lifestyle 9,999 times with no success, try again. Look at every one of those past attempts just like Thomas Edison did— they were solutions that didn’t work. This time, give yourself permission to NOT be perfect. The most important thing to note (and it’s worth repeating five more times):

What you feed your body most, it will crave
What you feed your body most, it will crave
What you feed your body most, it will crave
What you feed your body most, it will crave
What you feed your body most, it will crave

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