Monday, 29 May 2017 14:46

Changing Habits...

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There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.
Mark Twain

In April, I roped my long-suffering husband (he uses that term a lot!) into doing a 30-day whole-food diet with me. The Whole30 is fairly well known and I have to admit, it’s a mammoth undertaking. Giving up ALL grains, dairy, legumes and sugar is one thing, but making everything from scratch like almond milk, mayonnaise and stock, makes meal preparation a very time consuming task.

Around the mid-point of the 30 days I had an epiphany. Most of you probably know this, so forgive me for being slow on the uptake, but it’s the first time I truly, deeply understood how much food is associated with pleasure for me. If something upset me, the craving for a cup of tea and a biscuit was intense. If something went well, the urge to reward myself with a treat was overpowering, and when I was tired, the feeling that I deserved something nice to eat was irresistible.  

The rules of the Whole30 are clear. According to the founders, the commitment is 30 days; you cheat, you start over. Having such clear parameters was a huge help in convincing myself to deal with emotions without using food as a way to soothe and bolster my flagging spirits. It forced me to sit with uncomfortable feelings and it was incredibly empowering to discover so many other healthier coping mechanisms within myself.

Here are five things completing the Whole30 taught me about changing habits:
1) Planning is everything.
If you want to make a change in any area of your life, creating an environment in which success is possible, is a crucial step. Get rid of what tempts you and surround yourself with wholesome alternatives.
2) Support is vital.
Temptation is everywhere and it’s hard to resist. Having an accountability buddy or just someone to share the ups and downs with is a huge help.
3) Doing something tough is rewarding in itself.
We often underestimate the power of success. The sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing what you start, or honouring a personal commitment, is very sustaining. Savour it.
4) Commit fully.
Changing habits is hard. For my husband, this was one of the hardest things he has ever done. Before you tackle changes get your mind around it. Know your ‘why’.
5) Keep your goal clearly in mind.
Keep reminding yourself of the long term benefit of making this change. Overcoming the urge for instant gratification is possible and it’s the crux of success.
And remember, YOU’VE GOT THIS!

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Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching

I'm a Personal Development Life Coach who specialises in L.I.F.E (Living Into your Fullest Expression). Based in Richards Bay, on the East Coast of South Africa, I live with my long-suffering husband, (his description!), two much-loved dogs and care for my elderly father who has Alzheimer's.

Read more about me here.

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Comments  

# Jade Braham 2017-07-08 00:36
I'm going to be following your tips! There are habits of mine that I need to get rid of before its too late and you're right consistency is key! This is great! I'll take up this challenge of mine like you have yours!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-07-10 09:00
It's amazing how the long term benefits of sticking with one thing to the end, have spread to many areas of our life. Lol, Jade, we are kind of nailing everything just because we know we can!
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# Shawna 2017-06-29 23:28
Changing our habits can feel like such a tremendous feat sometimes. It is so important to be consistent to work toward a goal that has significant purpose to you. Having a goal that means something to me keeps me motivated. I had to heavily rely on that when changing my lifestyle habits.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-30 06:41
It is such an amazing feeling when you suceed and from your comment, it sounds as if you have succeeded, Shawna!
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# Claire 2017-06-08 04:23
Changing habits are definitely not an easy task, but need to work on it for sure! Good read.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-16 13:33
Thanks Claire. Sadly, it takes more than 30 days so you and me both need to keep woring on it!
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# heidi 2017-06-07 17:49
Now you know I embrace a healthy lifestyle "mostly" but no way could I do that Whole 30. Sounds so hard. I totally agree with planning as I plan everything:)
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-16 13:29
It was hard, Heidi, but definitely not as hard as I expected! Although man, it was hard work, lots of extra cookiing and preparation time for food that had to be homemade.
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# alittlechinwag 2017-06-03 13:28
This post was so inspiring. We can apply your tips to many aspects of our life! I really gained a lot from reading this. Thank you for sharing. Motivation, accountability, self-discipline and mental/physical endurance are keys to success!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-06 08:37
Thank you so much for the positive feedback! It's much appreciated.
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# Lindsey London Mumma 2017-06-03 13:06
Yay well done to you both for achieve your targets. God knows how you did it but you got through.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-06 08:37
Thanks Lindsey!. Now that's it's over, we even wonder how on earth we managed it!
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# Marina Rosie 2017-05-31 21:11
Yass congratulations ! x I'd find things like this so difficult - I don't think I'd have the willpower to be honest! x SO glad it was worth it!
Lots of love,
Marina Rosie xx
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-02 17:43
Thanks, Marina. It was tough but so worth it!
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# Rahul Khurana 2017-05-31 21:01
Planning, Patience and Motivation are very important aspects to keep going on the chosen track. Liked reading this post. :)
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# Gillian Adams 2017-05-31 18:29
Haha Tanya

You've Got This !!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-31 19:04
Lol! Yes, I have!
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# Ali Rost 2017-05-31 03:27
Congratulations on finishing your Whole 30! That's no small undertaking. You're so right about all of the different times we reach for food. I know I have when I've been bored, happy, sad, content, and every place in the middle x
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-31 19:09
I found it was a great help especially with the limitations on what can be eaten on the Whole30. Being out and hungry and is not a good thing on any diet. Way too much temptation!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-31 19:07
I agree on that, with a clear goal, the rest kind of follows with less effort required.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-31 19:06
Ali, you have pretty much summed it up for me too!
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# generosepomelo 2017-05-31 03:08
I can not stress enough your 5 points. The last one is my fav.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-06-02 17:42
I agree on that, with a clear goal, the rest kind of follows with less effort required.
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# MELANIE EDJOURIAN 2017-05-31 00:05
It really is important to plan meals when you are on a diet. It can really help you stick to it better and not cheat.
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# sonali jain 2017-05-30 12:37
Doing something tough is rewarding in itself, this is the best part of this blog and i loved this line :) Thanks for sharing1
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-30 20:15
It has been a while since I challenged myself in such a fundamental way and it was so empowering!
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# Nay 2017-05-30 11:52
Wow! I commend you for sticking to this. I know I'd almost
certainly struggle. Like yourself, I both reward and commiserate with food. It's a bad habit that I need to break.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-30 20:14
Thanks, Nay, the emotional urges were surprisingly hard to resist. Tthe thought of having to start over was quite motivating!
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# Eazy Nazy 2017-05-30 08:13
It's very difficult to come out of your comfort zone and do things . These are really nice tips . I should definitely give it a try
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-30 08:16
Good, I hope you do and that they work for you!
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# David Elliott 2017-05-30 08:09
Planning is such an essential thing in order to accomplish anything. And getting full commitment is equally important. It's so easy to give up sometimes.
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-30 08:14
I was reading a thing of completing Navy Seal training and the guy said, it's simple, you just don't give up. It was kind of powerful the way he described it, you just get through one challenge at a time, step by step.
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# fivelittledoves 2017-05-30 00:09
Oh I've heard of the 30 day whole food diet but I've never had the motivation or the will power to do it! These are great tips, I need to give it a go!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-30 08:16
The best part of it for me is the lasting change in my taste for sugar. I have lost theurge for it. that is like the biggest bonus EVER!
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# Ana De- Jesus 2017-05-29 19:08
I am so impressed that you kept to the challenge because like you I associate certain foods with comfort as well. Well done and you are right, planning is key! x
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-29 19:41
Thanks Ana, it has had lasting changes so is more than worth the effort it took.
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# Akamatra 2017-05-29 16:36
Very nice tips. I need to read them every day lol!
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# Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching 2017-05-29 19:42
Lol, I need to DO them every day!
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