Are you suffering from chronic ambivalence about healthy eating? Does chronic ambivalence prevent you from developing healthy eating habits and making better food choices?
Over the years, and many conversations later, it seems that we spend more time contemplating a change but never moving toward change, especially when it comes to healthy eating.
What keeps you stuck in healthy eating ambivalence?
Are you patiently waiting for the health and wellness industry to develop the magic formula?
To move forward, do you need absolute certainty that it is the right time and circumstances for a change?
Could you be wishing upon a star that you won’t have to give up certain things and secretly hoping that you will be able to eat whatever you want?
Are you feeling pressured or guilted into altering your food habits and choices by a family member, milestone, or upcoming event?
Healthy eating doesn’t mean a lifetime of rigid or perfect eating. It means that most of the time, you make wise choices.
It helps to understand what prevents you from taking the next step in the investment of your health.
Before making any decision to change, it’s critical to define what is at the heart of healthy eating.
There is no one-size-fits-all eating plan.
For me, healthy eating requires that I adhere to a Lyme Disease eating plan.
For others, it may be that their body responds favorably to eating mostly a plant-based eating plan.
Most often, the real issue is not healthy foods but too much of the unhealthy ones.
How to break free from chronic hesitancy and move forward to soulful healthy eating
1. Ask the right questions
Ask questions about healthy living through the lens of the themes of Scripture. A biblical worldview applies to every facet of Christian life, which includes how to address unhealthy eating and wellness patterns.
Don’t look for magic formulas or miracle cures. Too often, we invest time and money on diet fads and products from the health industry before even considering why we want to change and how to change from a biblical perspective.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What does the Bible say about healthy eating?
- Does my health affect my ability to serve others?
- Do you manage your health with responsible stewardship?
- How do your eating and lifestyle manifest glory to God?
- Do you consider the consequences of your unhealthy eating habits, poor food choices, or lack of wellness practices?
- Does your eating or health cause relational problems with friends or family?
- Do you avoid learning about how to eat or live a healthier life?
- Does your home/work/social/church environment support healthy eating and living?
- Do you rationalize or joke about your weight or unhealthy eating/lifestyle?
Remember that unless you have a heart change, then modifying your eating habits and lifestyle choices will not last. That’s why you may have a collection of weight loss products or exercise equipment that you never use.
2. Define goals for change within a broad biblical context
Your responses to the questions above can help you decide what you want to change with your eating or health. Think about the reasons why you should improve your health and wellness.
Then, determine God-honoring ways to accomplish change. There is great value in taking small step changes when cultivating a new habit or lifestyle.
Your chronic ambivalence to change your eating patterns could prevent you from being an instrument in displaying God’s glory and functioning as his tool in helping others.
3. Gather information and do your research
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, claims that it is easy to “underestimate the value of making small improvements daily.”
It’s easy to get caught in the snare of the health industry marketing where we place the power of change in products.
Overcoming bad eating habits does not require expensive programs and products.
Start with simple. Begin your soulful journey of change with a single, central focus. If you want to improve your eating habits, then start by eating food as God originally made them and avoid processed foods.
Years of a diet of processed foods will harm your health. We know that poor lifestyle choices cause 40% of all premature deaths in the U.S.
Consume your nutrients primarily from food, not supplements. If you can’t get enough of a specific nutrient from food, then add a reliable and high-quality supplement.
Our medical system spends money on the treatment of chronic diseases rather than on the prevention of them.
Eat foods high in phytochemicals, found in plant-based foods.
Add the colors of the rainbow to your plate. Strive fo meals that consist of minimally processed foods, colorful fruits/vegetables, and the earth-tones from grains.
So, the modern medical model does not have a way to make lasting positive change, but God can.
4. Analyze your triggers
My friend, who wanted to lost 50 pounds, realized that when she came home from work exhausted or stressed, she snacked and binged.
Under the close watchful eye of her co-workers, she ate balanced meals. Once in the private confines of home, she sought comfort in food.
“Almost any habitual behavior can become so unconscious that it is reflective.” At this point, maybe you over-eat or eat unhealthy foods “without ever reflecting on what you are doing or why you are doing it.”
When you are hungry, do you zip through the drive-thru or grab a bag of chips?
5. Find some accountability
We all need some measure of accountability when we embark on a new behavior or challenge.
When it comes to health and wellness, we are generally accountable only to ourselves. Solo accountability is not enough when you are breaking out of healthy eating ambivalence.
Without accountability, it’s too easy to slip back into old habits and behaviors.
Once you decide to make a change, ask a family member, a friend, or a health coach to check in with you regularly. Your accountability person can offer insight and observations about your progress.
6. Track your progress
Monitoring yourself for a week or two provides enough information for you to know where change needs to begin or continue.
Once you set a health goal, tracking that specific goal will help you achieve success.
Say goodbye to chronic ambivalence to healthy eating
By applying a few basic strategies, you can move from being in the stage of healthy eating hesitancy to one of action.