There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
I am a perfectionist, an all-or-nothing girl. Sometimes it's a great thing, one of my best qualities. Sometimes it's one of my worst. When it comes to diet and exercise, being a perfectionist is definitely a pain in the bum.
I'm the sort of girl who will plan a perfect diet and exercise regime then quit the minute I veer from that track, and follow it with weeks of Not Going Near Anything Healthy because what's the point when I haven't planned it perfectly or psyched myself up for a start date - usually because there is something potentially dangerous looming, i.e a school holiday (cue lots of coffee shop outings and lunches out with the kids and my friends), a birthday, Easter, Christmas, washing my hair.....you name it, there is always an EXCUSE! That's all it is, an excuse. For what? That's the bit that is puzzling me right now. An excuse for what? For not achieving the body of my dreams, which in turn will improve my confidence, my self-belief, my motivation to keep on making positive changes in my life....and all the domino effects of the goodness that can only come from all that.
I'm sure I'm not the only woman who follows this pattern. Or am I far weirder than I thought!
Well guess what Mrs Perfectionist? That's life. There is never a perfect time or a perfect set of circumstances. Time to ditch that very self-limiting belief, right now. This blog is all about recognising my own personal sabotage traps and breaking through them, however ridiculous they seem and however vulnerable I feel when I commit them to paper.
If now is not the time to act, when will it be. (Hillel)
So, bearing that in mind, I'm going to change one thing at a time. Slowly stock up the cupboards with all the necessary ingredients of recipes for meals, change one meal at a time, wait for it to become second nature, then start work on the next and the next.
My biggest downfall is coffee. I love being in coffee shops and drinking coffee. I rarely, if ever, drink it at home, I don't even think about drinking it at home, especially now that we don't have friends round because of the Tourettes. It's purely the coffee shop experience that I love, the smell, the warmth, the sounds and the taste of real barista coffee. It's costing me a fortune every month to indulge in that particular vice, even though it's only 2 or 3 times a week. If I cut that right down, and maybe even stopped it for a while, then I could use that money to buy healthier food. There's a thought.
So I've been shopping today, sod the minus bank balance. Sometimes you just have to make an investment. I've bought some store cupboard ingredients, ready to start making changes.
Some sprouting seeds (I do have a sprouter and will start to grow my own again), quinoa, green tea, almond milk, raw tahini (for salad dressings when I get around to it), seeds, nuts and spirulina powder for smoothies.
My first meal to change is going to be breakfast. Currently a pint of water followed by whatever kids' cereal is in the cupboard, and tea. Not brilliant.
After I read Kris Carr's book last year, I started making smoothies for breakfast, which I loved. Real proper smoothies with berries and green vegetables (cucumber, sprouting seeds, spinach, parsley), grapes, kiwi and all manner of nuts and seeds, diluted with coconut water, and a dash of agave syrup. It looks like mud when you whizz it all up, but tastes delicious.
The perfectionist in me stopped when Tesco stopped stocking coconut water. It's pretty damned expensive anyway, but I used to top it up with normal water. If you buy it in the health food shop, it's nearly £2 dearer. Outrageous. I tried just using normal water, but they didn't taste quite the same, a bit too, well, muddy really. Then winter set in, berries became too expensive and poor quality to buy, I replaced them with frozen ones, but it takes an iron will to down a very cold smoothie in the middle of a British winter. I tried making them with mango aswell, but without the sweetness of the berries, the taste isn't so nice.
So, out went the smoothies and in came the junk.
Time to get back on the smoothies. My local smaller Tesco still stocks coconut water (a Kris Carr smoothie ingredient), and I bought some almond milk to try as a substitute. Full of nutrition, no mid-morning sugar crash, and they feel so clean when you drink them. Now that I'm off work for 2 weeks, there's no excuse for the excuses (no time to make before work, it's winter, it's cold....well, ok, it IS still flipping freezing, but it has to change pretty soon right?) If I get into the habit of making them for 2 weeks, then it should be fairly straightforward to carry that on when I go back to work...maybe get up 10 minutes earlier?
My fail-safe fall-back plan:- it's just breakfast at the moment. It's the Easter holidays. That gives my perfectionist self the get-out clause to drink coffee with friends, have lunch out with the kids. And if I run out of smoothie ingredients or time? No excuse....just eat some fruit and take some nuts and seeds to eat in the car. No excuse to chuck it all in and give up. No excuse at all.
It's all in the planning. Just got to make sure I have all the right things to hand so there is no excuse for eating Coco Pops instead.
Tomorrow I will go to the supermarket and buy all the fresh ingredients.