I've tried diets, detoxes and fasts before, but the weight and unhealthy habits always came back. After overcoming a series of major life stresses — layoffs, bad breakups and depression — and ultimately walking away from a career in advertising to be a writer, I finally found my happy. I was doing work that I loved for a living and I felt fulfilled.
Upon deeper reflection, I came to grips with the fact that I was still 50 pounds overweight and single, with my self-esteem pulling a constant disappearing act. Although, I knew what it "meant" to be happy, was I truly happy being overweight and self-conscious?
My desire to learn about happiness and its relationship to health motivated me to look at my habits closely. Even though I knew what it meant to be happy, the happiness I had wasn't as happy as I could be. It was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
I continued to practice all my "healthy" habits; I juiced, did yoga, meditated, but I no longer practiced these external habits with expectations attached to them. These habits became part of my lifestyle as much as the skin on my body. I wasn't doing them in order to get happy or lose weight; I did them because they made me feel good. Eating healthy and sticking to a detox plan became effortless. After being more mindful in my habits, the weight naturally fell off; I gained more self-love, confidence and a sense of purpose.
A lot of the time we go through a detox to reach some goal or high expectation. If that expectation isn't met, the weight comes back, or we feel deflated and give up.
Through my workshops and coaching sessions, I started to see a pattern. Many of us want to be happy and healthier, but sticking to a plan becomes difficult. If you're struggling to stick to a diet or start your detox, these tips can help.
1. Create a Mantra
In the past, despite my best efforts to stick to a healthy diet, the Ben & Jerry’s kept calling me back. It wasn't until I created a mantra to repeat when tempted that my habits started to shift. In the face of emotional eating, overeating or eating when I wasn't hungry, I repeated "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!" This miraculously zapped any craving I had. If you feel food panic come on, simply create a mantra and repeat it. It can help you stay connected to your original intentions. By repeating my mantra, within two weeks I 'd lost 10 pounds. Remember, it works when you work it.
2. Break Your Bad Habits
Humans are creatures of habit, and those habits can be healthy, unhealthy, or some of both. A habit is a pattern of behavior, and your goal is to try to make your habits the healthy kind. It takes 30 days to make or break a habit – this means it's possible to retrain your body and mind to a new habit if you focus on it long enough. If you're loading up on sugar, fat and foods that make you feel bloated, tired and angry, eliminate them all cold turkey. I believe in you, and I know you can do it. For 30 days cut all the junk out of your life. You'll be amazed at how your body and mind respond. You might find your cravings disappear completely, which will kick off your healthier lifestyle. Welcome the leaner, more vibrant, and happy you. The same goes for toxic people in your life. Remove them cold turkey and you will feel better in the long run.
3. Add More Greens
You don't have to be an all-or-nothing detox guru; small, subtle changes can create huge results. If quitting habits cold turkey is too extreme for you, simply adding more greens into your daily diet can actually be enough to radically change your health. Whether you switch your morning coffee for green tea or fresh green juice, or trade your sandwich for a salad at lunch, your body will reap the benefits.
4. Go Public
If you're starting a detox plan, a weight loss program or focusing on regaining your health, it's important to talk about your plan publicly. Tell your friends and family about your goals. They can help support you and keep you motivated. When you publically share your desires, it helps make your goals more real, and the support you get from those around you can help them be more attainable.