Long Term Success Isn't Determined by What You Eat

A discussion by Experience Momentum's Registered Dietitians on what makes their clients successful.

When it comes to eating healthy, the difference between successful and not-so-successful people has nothing to do with willpower or discipline or how much they know about nutrition. Instead, the people who are most successful at making and sustaining healthy changes in their lives are the people who think a certain way. That’s right – it’s your attitude and mindset that have the biggest impact on the food choices you make, and how you respond when life throws you a curveball.  Take a moment for some honest reflection: is there any room for improvement in your attitude? Who knows, it could be the key to making those healthy habits stick. Read on to find out how the most successful people think about themselves, their habits, and their successes and failures.

1. They know when to admit they need help. It is okay to not have it all together, to not know the answers, or to be super confused. Even the "professionals" have to go to other professionals for some things! Allow others into your life, whether it is a friend, a family member, or a professional, to give you advice and support.

2. They have a team in their corner. This can be your Physical Therapist, Registered Dietitian, mental health counselor, your significant other, your mom - whoever is going to be there to support and encourage you! Make sure these people are truly looking out for your best interest, and aren't afraid to speak truth into your life (even if it hurts in the moment).

3. They create options for themselves. It's pretty difficult to say "I'm going to do this one specific exercise every day this week" or "eat this specific way every day this week" and stick to it. I can guarantee you, there will be a day where life happens - an extra meeting is scheduled, your car breaks down, your kid gets sick, or you just don't feel like it - and there go your best intentions out the window.  Create options, so that you never have a reason to not workout or eat right (even if the reason is "I just don't feel like it"). Have multiple forms of physical activity available that you enjoy doing, so that you can do what fits your mood on the days when your plan just doesn't happen. Also have a quick weeknight meal idea you can always pull together in a pinch, and keep those ingredients on hand.

4. They believe they are worth it, and because of that are not afraid to be amazing. Do you believe you are worth your time, energy, and potentially financial investment? Do you believe that you can live up to the full potential of your amazing self, and allow yourself to be successful? The human body is incredible, and has the potential to bounce back from all kinds of injury, disease, and pain. Give yourself the chance to redefine what is possible for you.

5. They let themselves feel. Humans were made to feel emotions - ALL the emotions. It's part of life. Let yourself feel it all, instead of trying to bury feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, or happiness. The more you suppress your feelings, the more stuck you become in your situation. So have a good cry, pound out your anger on a punching bag, and allow yourself to feel the hurt. By doing so, you'll be able to move past it all.

6. They talk nicely to themselves. You would probably never say to your best friend "you're so unhealthy because you didn't eat a salad yesterday". What a horrible and judgmental thing to say to anyone, including yourself! If you can't speak out loud to another person the way you speak to yourself, you need to rethink your self-talk.

7. They surround themselves with a like-minded community. Does your best friend like to spend time with you by catching a group fitness class together? Does your significant other encourage your healthy eating habits at home, and join you in trying new foods and recipes? Find people who enjoy doing things with you that promote your health and well being.

8. They focus on the positive. What did you do well this week? What are you proud of yourself for? There will be weeks when you just can’t do it all, and sometimes healthy eating or exercise goes out the window. When that happens, don’t focus on what you couldn’t do. Instead, think about the healthy habits you were able to maintain even amidst the chaos of life.