Putting Your Beliefs in Check

Fruits and vegetables. Image - Pexels: Wendy Wei

When we set out to build a healthier lifestyle, eat more whole foods, and overall take care of our bodies, we think it’s just a set of rules and guidelines. You ask yourself what you need to do, what actions you need to take, and what program or method can help you achieve that healthy lifestyle fastest.

But here’s the thing… You already know exactly what you need to do. You don’t need another diet or program or workout routine to tell you. You know that overall health is about being active in any way you enjoy, eating in a way that makes you feel good with more color from fruit and veggies and a little less processed foods. You know that.

But for some reason, it never sticks. You never actually end up making the change and sticking with it. The healthy lifestyle never turns into a “life” style, it just stays a “month” style.

I’m going to tell you why that happens.

Not once when you were making those changes did you own it and take ownership of it as your own life on a spiritual level. Not once did you really identify with the healthier and happier version of yourself on a spiritual, personal level.

You kept the changes, surface level.

The difference between the person who hits their goals and the one who doesn’t, is the belief in their ability at a spiritual level.

Buying vegetables at supermarket

How can Hope or Spiritual Practice Affect Mental and Physical Health?

Spirituality can support your mental health making you feel a higher sense of purpose, hope, and meaning. With more hope and meaning, you’re more likely to have a greater sense of optimism and with a great sense of optimism comes actions that support confidence, self-esteem, and self-control.

Ph.D. and research scientist, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, said that research shows that optimistic people are more likely to engage in physical activity and eat a healthier diet.

The thought at a spiritual level, shifts your attitude, the positive attitude shift allows you to take positive action, the positive action yields positive results, and the positive results spark a feeling of gratitude on a spiritual level. Then the positive cycle repeats.

We know that consistency is the key to lasting change but it’s the shift at a spiritual level that makes consistency possible.

Cutting vegetables for meal

What “Counts” as Spiritual?

Dr. Maya Spencer of the Royal College of Psychiatrists describes spirituality as a feeling or sense of belief that there is something greater than ourselves. It’s knowing that our lives have significance beyond the everyday tasks and biological needs.

Spirituality can be expressed through journaling, meditation, prayer, time in nature, mindful breathing, etc. There is a long list of different ways to practice spirituality and it doesn’t need to look the same for everyone.

Let’s get personal with our example. My family is big on prayer. Almost everyone in my family prays five times a day, every day. For me, I had to enter spirituality at the path of least resistance. It does not come as easily or naturally to me as it does to my family members. So I started slower. Mediation was like pulling teeth, yoga wasn’t something I was consistent with, and at the time, deep breathing wasn’t connecting with me. But walking and spending time in nature was. After morning walks became a daily practice, I’ve since been able to expand my spiritual practices to mindful breathwork, journaling, and prayer but it didn’t come quickly.

If spirituality is a new concept for you, start very small and build on it. Something as simple as 10 deep breaths before lunch has been scientifically proven to help you connect at a more spiritual level and experience something bigger than yourself. Those 10 deep breaths alone can spark that positive feedback loop.

Mindful practice before eating meal

Make the Change.

This article is a lot like a diet program telling you what to do. I just told you what to do. Nothing in your life will change unless you start making the changes today. Lifestyle expert and motivational speaker, Chalene Johnson has a phrase she says to declutter her life and keep a clearer mind, “Do it now, don’t do it later. Do it now.”

This phrase or concept can be the thing that catapults you from thinking about taking those 10 deep breaths or journaling or taking the five-minute walk, to actually doing it.

Do it now. Don’t do it later. Do it now.

Go from thinking about making the shift, to making the shift. Even if it’s just a minute of journaling, it will start the positive feedback loop and you’ll start to reap the benefits of hope, belief, and spirituality.

With my clients, I focus on shifting habits without restricting or counting calories to achieve sustainable weight loss or weight maintenance. We use practical nutrition so we can live life and feel our best!

Follow me on Instagram @Practical.Nutritionist and TikTok, or subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest health tips and recipes! Or find me here: livingwithleena.com

If you’re ready to dive deep into your habits and feel confident about your choices surrounding food again, book a free consultation with me here!

Preparing dashboard.