"There is no one GIANT step that does it, it's a whole lot of little steps." Peter A. Cohen
Undertaking a complete and utter overhaul of your diet is not easy, and is not something that is going to happen over night. BABY STEPS. The thought of cooking, alone, for some people is overwhelming, let alone having to cook from scratch with all of these new products and ingredients that you don't have the slightest clue about. I was one such person. I've come to learn that the fewer ingredients included in your meal, the better. Less is sometimes more. I believe that trying to change your whole diet in one week or even one month is simply setting yourself up for failure. That's a whole lot of habit and behaviour to change in short order, right?! Why not focus on simply changing (albeit adding, removing, or substituting) ONE thing a week! Some like to start with increasing water consumption - especially important when you first start working out. Your body needs the additional water to flush out toxins and hydrate, among many other important factors. Do not set your expectations too high. It's going to take time and both you and your family are going to need time to adjust (not to mention your body). Gradually, you will find that you're making healthier choices, which, in many cases, is coupled with changes in your body (in the form of weight loss), and when coupled with regular activity, you will find yourself wanting to make even more healthy choices. It's cyclical.
Speaking of cyclical.....it's very important while undertaking such a journey, to align yourself with like-minded individuals. People who are not on the same page as you may try to pull you down or steer you off-track (purposely or inadvertently). It's hard to go to work and have the boardroom filled with pizza, pop, and pastries, when you've been trying so hard to cut those temptations out of your diet, right?! Many people also struggle when they, lets say, go to their parents house, or a friends house for dinner. As a host, no one wants their company to NOT eat their food (what an insult right?), but when you've worked so hard to achieve your goals or stay on track, it becomes a really sticky situation. No one wants to be "the one" who no one wants to invite over because "well she won't eat anyway" or "wonder what we can cook that she will eat". No one said that change was going to be easy. There are many ways to navigate these situations in a polite and respectful way. Cheat meals are important parts of this process, so why not plan for these dinners? or eat a lot of healthy choices prior to going so that you're pretty full and only eat a small portion. Moderation goes a long way! Regardless of how you choose to approach it, having support in your corner is crucial to success. People will first ask you WHY you're doing it, and later they'll ask you HOW you did it.
Choosing a healthy and active lifestyle not only affects YOU but also those around you. People will notice you changing and they will start to slowly make their own changes (whether you know it or not). Sometimes the biggest skeptics or critics will end up being your biggest supporters. You didn't create your "old" lifestyle overnight, so don't expect to create the "new" one like that either, at least not without some bumps along the road! This journey takes time. Be patient with yourself and with your body. You will slowly begin to see changes - physically, psychologically, emotionally. This is a huge undertaking so be proud of every little step that you take to create a healthier lifestyle. Hold your head high, pull your shoulders back and thank yourself for making a choice for a more positive, healthier, happier YOU. Stay true to YOURSELF :)