This summer, my 7-year-old son decided he wanted to learn how to play the piano. My husband, who is (sort of) musically inclined, and I carefully deliberated and decided to start lessons. During his first lesson, he learned about the setup of a piano, the notes, and the very basics of reading music. His instructor instructed him to practice for 3 minutes every day. Only 3 minutes, but it had to be every day. After several days of practicing for only 3 minutes and a couple of lessons, he assumed he should be able to easily play the piano. He was disappointed that he could not easily play songs, not realizing that it takes many years and hours of practice to reach a point of actually playing the piano.

 

Similarities to changing your eating habits

There are a lot of similarities when people want to change their eating habits. Many people make this decision because they recognize the way they eat affects their energy level, their sleep, the way their joints feel, their blood sugar fluctuations, their digestion, their poops, their immune system, just to name a few symptoms. Changing the way you eat involves addressing various issues:

  • Some tasks involve retraining your mindset if you’ve been following the Standard American Diet. Sometimes, you must start with the basics: Do you know what foods constitute proteins, fats, and carbohydrates? Moreover, do you understand the concept of balancing these macronutrients? Are you familiar with the types of fats that are nourishing and healthy? Additionally, do you grasp appropriate portions? If you understand these concepts, are you putting them into practice? If not, what barriers are preventing you?
  • Other tasks involve addressing your attitude toward food. What are your comfort foods? Do you have a positive or negative relationship with food? Moreover, do you resort to food as a stress reliever? If so, addressing your habits becomes a necessary component of changing eating habits.
  • Consider your lifestyle as well. Do you cook? If not, do you know how, and are you willing to start? If you do cook, how proficient are you in the kitchen? Are you open to trying new recipes? Additionally, do you require recipes provided, or are you comfortable searching for them independently? Are you preparing meals for yourself only, or do you have family to consider? If you have a family, do they share your desire to improve eating habits? Moreover, how frequently do you dine out?
  • Addressing symptoms or medical issues through food often necessitates a complete change in how you feed yourself. You may need to integrate foods you’ve never used before, such as fermented foods or a variety of vegetables. If that’s the case, it takes time to understand how to incorporate them into your eating routine.
  • Additionally, finding access to nutrient-dense food requires discussion. Since most of our nutrients aren’t typically found in the average grocery store, understanding the concept of this change, identifying alternatives, and implementing them all take time.

change your eating habits

Persistence and Patience in the Journey of Change

Just as you wouldn’t expect to learn to play the piano or become a competitive athlete in one instruction, or even a couple of weeks, you must also understand that changing your eating habits, something we often perceive as very personal, requires time and persistence. Along the way, you will encounter adjustments, trials, setbacks, and moments of realization. It’s a journey, sometimes longer than anticipated, that one visit to the dietitian cannot fix. In a world of instant gratification, the process may seem lengthy and tedious, but finding ways to enjoy the journey is an integral part of the learning process.

 

Are you working to enjoy the journey to change your eating habits?