Clean Eating is All the Rage, But How is Your Thinking?
You work out hard, you make a conscious effort to eat right, get energized by your morning meditation rituals…what about that thinking of yours? How’s that ultimately serving you? Just like the goal of eating clean is to reap a variety of health benefits, so is the goal of thinking clean.
For most of my post-college adult years, I have been a “clean eater" at least 95% of the time (darn that chocolate and I’m not talking about the healthy dark kind!). I can’t remember the last time I made or ate anything that came out of a package, frozen or otherwise that had more than five ingredients on the label. I enjoy cooking so it’s a relatively easy and enjoyable way of living for me. I have exercised and weight trained more days of the week than not, I am happy to say, for two decades now (don’t get too jealous, menopause hit and that changed everything).
The “Why” Behind Clean Thinking
My intention is to be the best version of myself as I age, I want to look and feel as best as I can (without Botox, tummy tucks, and facelifts). Nowadays most magazines and television ads throw around the term “healthy lifestyle” without giving much credence to truly what that all implies. For me, the core of a health and wellness philosophy that doesn’t get spoken to very often is how one thinks.
The other day as my stinking thinking kicked in, I realized, like the never ending practice toward mastering the perfect squat, I am still practicing the art of thinking clean. Just like the junk food I ate as a kid (or that chocolate that I haven’t decided to not consume on a daily basis), my thoughts can be as toxic. Certain thoughts that are limiting, un-serving and unproductive can age me, tire me, wear me down and ultimately have life lasting negative effects that keep me from reaping the results I want. How many times have you had a great workout only to move into the action of binging on a bag of Hershey’s Kisses, sabotaging your efforts? The same effect is had by working out, eating clean, only to choose to think thoughts that are limiting and self-sabotaging, that also keeps you from the ultimate results you want.
Watch Your Thoughts
Are they filled with negative words? Words that tend to stop you in your tracks? Make you second guess your capabilities, your value? How do your thoughts make you feel? For some eating a meal not fitting a clean eating plan like eating those Hershey Kisses or snacking on a bag of potato chips, can leave you feeling uncomfortable, sluggish, or even feelings of shame or disgust. And if I wanted to up the ante, I could challenge you to look at those times when you decided not to eat cleanly, perhaps not make it to your gym class this morning, all the actions (or inaction) you took following an uncomfortable feeling – all starting with that unproductive, self-sabotaging, limiting thought.
Think About It
All roads along your health and wellness journey start with your thinking.
What are you thinking when you…
Don’t go to the gym?
Choose lean turkey over BBQ ribs?
Reach for Perrier instead of that Gin + Tonic?
Choose a bag of chips over those grapes?
Looking in the mirror and not liking what you see?
What are you THINKING?
Start to look inside your mind and watch your thinking. NEWS FLASH—thinking is habitual, it becomes an unconscious process. Become aware of your thoughts. For some of you, you may be more tuned into how you are feeling. As all feelings start with a thought, start making a list of what comes to mind. When it comes to anything in your life, if you ask yourself what is the ‘why’ behind your action or behavior, the answer will always be a thought. Once you are aware of how you are thinking, you can then choose to think cleanly. You may be pleasantly surprised to see how your health and wellness results start to change in your favor.
You work hard to stay fit, you work hard to eat healthily, now its time to practice thinking clean and become mindfully fit.
Dr. Joanne Royer is the founder and owner of Change Agent & Associates, an online, psychologically sophisticated coaching practice, teaching people to get into their minds in order to get out of their way.