You may be confused by the title of this post. That’s fair. It’s vague.

The title could also be any of the following:

  • It’s not because of your schedule
  • It’s not because of your commitments
  • It’s not because of your skill level

Maybe you are starting to get the idea.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how easy it is to blame something else for the reason we don’t eat well. This has been especially relevant to me since I have not had a kitchen for 5 weeks.

It’s a Decision

I made the decision in advance that I would not let a renovation ruin my eating. I made a commitment to myself that I would work around it and find a way to eat well and make meals without a kitchen. And I did it.

I planned. I prepped. I organized.

I washed dishes in the bathroom sink every day.

I ate dinner in a lawn chair with a tv tray table in my guest room.

I walked down and up a flight of stairs to get items out of a fridge.

I am not telling you this to show off. 

I am telling you this because eating good food is not about your kitchen. Or your schedule, or commitments, or how well you can cook. And if you let yourself believe there is some external barrier at play, then you are choosing to believe it’s not in your control. But it is.

Tough Love

There are hundreds of excuses for not eating foods that serve you. But, they are excuses. Every day you have the choice of what to put in your mouth (let’s put aside those who are incapacitated or exceptional circumstances – I’m talking to the adults who are taking the time to read this post – I’m assuming you are not currently hooked up to an IV at a hospital).

You are in control. 

Yes, your circumstances influence your decision making. And sometimes it is genuinely more difficult to eat well. But it’s still ultimately up to you.

If it’s important to you, you can do what it takes to make it a priority. It may not be perfect – I’m not saying you need to be perfect. But you should be in charge, which means not letting excuses creep into your psyche.

It’s About Belief

I’m not suggesting eating well is easy. We are constantly bombarded with messages to consume foods that don’t serve our health. They are everywhere. And, the food is literally designed to be hyper-palatable and hard to resist. So, no, I’m not so naive that I think me saying “If it’s important to you, you can do what it takes to make it a priority” is enough. It’s not.

You will only truly make it a priority when you believe a few things:

  1. You are worth it.
  2. You are capable.
  3. You are strong enough.

As someone who has written the phrase “… this time feels different…” dozens and dozens of times over the past 20 years in my respective journals, I know the feeling of writing this time will be different while a voice in the back of my head laughs for even putting it down on paper – again – knowing full well that it won’t be the last time. It’s never the last time. It will never be different.

I will bet that if you read my journals (apparently people do this in public now…), you would see written evidence that I did not believe I was worth it, capable, or strong enough. It did not matter that I was good in school, or that I was comfortable speaking in public, or that I was engaged in plenty of activities, or that had incredible friends. I genuinely lacked any belief in myself that I could sustain a healthy way of eating and be happy in my skin.

So, no, I do not think some tough love is enough to motivate you to take ownership of your choices about food.

But, catching ourselves when we blame our choices on external factors is a step towards uncovering our own faulty beliefs.

It was only when I did the work to challenge my faulty belief system that I could finally stop writing “this time will be different”. I stopped putting up excuses and rationalizing my behaviour because I finally believed I was not only in control, but also worth it, capable and strong enough.

If you don’t believe you are control – what do you believe?

Do you believe you are not worth it?

Do you believe you are destined to fail?

Do you believe you will look foolish?

Do you believe others will judge you?

Do you believe you do not deserve it?

Connecting with these beliefs is uncomfortable. It’s upsetting. It’s emotional. It’s unpleasant. It’s vulnerable.

But, it’s also important. It’s revealing. It’s powerful. It’s transformative.

It’s worth it. You are worth it.