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Motivation

This week has been tough for me, even though we do so well eating right, we both still get tempted to eat bad all the time. Planning and teamwork are what is helping us to stay successful, I am down 36 pounds since starting back eating vegan. But Monday night was tough for me, I barely slept that morning and thought only about Whataburger on the drive home from work, luckily Katie was at home and ready to keep me going on the right path. And that reminded me of what I wanted to talk about today, finding the motivation to keep eating right even when you don’t want to. Dr. BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits, talks about motivation as a wave, it will swell up and make everything seem simple and easy, and you will accomplish what you set out to do; but when that wave breaks, you need to prepare against the fall. I have experienced that so many times in my life, I will gear up to make big changes, accomplish it one time and feel euphoric, only to come up against a tiny resistance and come crashing down only to fail once again. This idea of riding a wave and mentally preparing for the crash is a big game changer. So, for us this means we try to plan out our meals as much as possible. With my schedule it is quite easy but, Katie’s is so much more sporadic. Most people will talk about meal planning or preparing meals for the whole week ahead, we can’t do that, so my advice for anyone trying to plan is that you need to find what works for you, we mostly plan for the stretches between her days off, those are the hardest for us to coordinate depending on what time she gets off those days. Sometimes I have to eat alone, and she has to figure out what she can take to work, other times I get home from work and have to fast longer than usual to wait for her to get home. The biggest thing is that you have to have a plan for those hard times, if you map out your meals for each day in advance, then when the motivation wave crashes, you have so little to do that keeping on track is easy. The easier you make the goal on yourself, the easier it is to accomplish, so start small and experiment on what works best for you, because every human is different and you need to find the strategy that works best for you. Another big thing I got from this week of temptation was how amazing it has been to have a partner to help this time. The last time that I was vegan and losing weight I did it on my own, and it was both hard and rewarding, but I can pretty much guarantee that I was so far from feeling motivated to eat well this Monday that without Katie there to cook for me, I would have eaten fast food and started down the slippery slope of self-talk that would have led to rationalization after rationalization over the next few days of, “Oh I deserve one bad meal. Oh, I had a bad meal yesterday, but one more won’t hurt too bad today. Three cheat meals in a row won’t kill me….”, and that would have repeated for the rest of the week until I forgot all about my motivation and gained back all the weight. Let’s not kid ourselves, food in all forms can be addictive, and I am addicted to food. We have the power to choose what kind of food though, but if you can make your choices delicious, nutritious, and easy to do, then you can succeed no matter what the situation.


-Matt

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