Have you ever said to someone, “I need to bathe the dog, but I don’t feel like it,” to have them reply, “Well, save it ‘til tomorrow. You’ve waited this long—what’s another day”? Or maybe, “I planned to work on the garage today but I’m really not in the mood,” followed by, “Don’t worry about it! The garage will still be there next weekend.”
Life in our why-do-today-what-you-can-put-off-until-tomorrow culture can be fun in the moment but does little to further our long-term goals. Living with the notion that life is short and you should only do things you enjoy means you may neglect opportunities that don't provide immediate satisfaction (like taxes). So where does this leave us in relation to a healthy diet? Eat, drink, and be merry! After all, you can always start eating healthier tomorrow, or Monday, or after the holidays...
Or you can start with the next bout of spontaneous motivation that’s certain to present itself if you wait long enough. Do you know what I mean by “spontaneous motivation”? It’s that unpredictable drive that comes along now and then and prompts you to organize your closet, start a new beading project, or begin a new diet. In fact, spontaneous motivation might be responsible for bringing you to this blog. Unfortunately, while it can get you started, the evasiveness of spontaneous motivation won’t take you very far. To succeed at a nutrient-dense diet plan, you’ll need to employ a plethora of other tactics—don’t expect that because you’re in the zone today you’ll be in the zone next week, or even tomorrow!
The Zen of Healthy Eating
The answer, my friends, is this: you don’t have to like it. That’s right. You don’t have to like it. It’s ok to wash the dog even if you don’t feel like it. And after you do, pat yourself on the back and relish the feel of clean dog fur and the scent of clean dog smell.
It’s ok to clean out the garage even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re done for the day, congratulate yourself and savor the new order and spaciousness you’ve created.
And it’s ok to prepare and eat a huge mega salad with beans and avocado even if you don’t feel like it. It won’t be the end of the world, and eventually you will experience the pleasure of a lower number on the scale, a smaller dress size, or a decrease in bad cholesterol (probably all three).
Don’t let the fickle comings and goings of spontaneous motivation derail your healthy eating goals. The best antidote for following through on a nutrient-dense diet plan even when you don’t feel like it is to remind yourself how good you’ll feel later if you stick to your guns. And then allow yourself to enjoy the rewards of your efforts with something like, “Yay, I’m so glad I ate the salad and not the grilled cheese with sweet potato fries!” Some people feel silly congratulating themselves in this way, but don’t worry, nobody’s in your head listening!
Right now, you’ve just finished reading an article that can help you on your path to maintain a nutrient-dense diet instead of watching talking dog videos on YouTube. Yay you!