Healthy Eating Choices and The Power of One Bite

healthy eating

The Power of One…

Over a decade ago, I saw a commercial I will never forget.  You consecutively see an individual eating a plate of delicious looking food. One after the other.  The commercial flipped to another meal and then another.  Again and again, this person was sitting down to a meal… breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  But, they did 1 thing every single time – left 1 bite on the plate.  Just a little bit remained.  It didn’t look significant.  To most of us, that would seem inconsequential.   What’s 1 bite?  

If you eat at least 3 meals per day, that’s 21 meals per week.  What would 21 bites look like on a plate?  Pretty significant, huh?!

The last image in the commercial was all of those little bites pieced together in a collage.

Point made.

The Power of One Healthy Choice

One of the biggest issues anyone who is trying to change a health or food behavior faces is learning to acknowledge the little wins.  It’s about seeing small victories as the actual pathway to the ultimate goal.  

It is easy to shrug off something that seems insignificant and deceive our mind to believe that it doesn’t matter.  

It does.  Here’s why…

You can’t get where you want to go unless you start where you are. — Michael Hyatt

The holiday season is one of those times when we can become apathetic about our habits and behaviors.  Life gets even busier and we decide to go ahead and surrender to defeat. Reminded of our history with failed dieting, we buckle under the intense holiday pressures and simply resolve to “get back on track” during in the New Year.  

But, you don’t have to follow that track.  It’s your choice, of course.  Many people fool themselves into believing that creating boundaries and establishing healthy habits means no fun and zero treats – the ultimate holiday disappointment.

Well, it could look like that, but it doesn’t have to…

Let’s envision what healthy boundaries and intentional choices could provide you,

  • Freedom to let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”
  • Elimination of food guilt
  • Enjoying a treat with pleasure instead of shame

The power of 1 bite, 1 step, 1 action, 1 moment of mindfulness – God gives you the ability to exert power in your life through choices.  But, He doesn’t tell you to do it alone.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV).

God has given you power.  Here is what happens when you use it to help you win:

Small consistent choices create habits.

Every time you put down the fork when you are satisfied, get up 15 minutes earlier to workout, or take a few minutes during the middle of the day to do some deep breathing, you are working to establish a habit.  Every single time you choose this practice, you are making it just a tiny bit easier for the next time.  

The famous anonymous quote identifying the definition of insanity, “doing something over and over again and expecting different results” makes one really consider expectations and true reality.  

ACTION STEP: Identify your expectation for your health, weight, and eating habits this holiday season.  Choose 1 healthy habit to practice consistently this year.

Small steps make the big goal less overwhelming.

If you are breathing, you have felt overwhelmed.  It is a natural emotional response to an abundance of perceived expectations and stimuli.  Once you begin to believe that 1 bite or 1 step could actually be significant, the idea of piling up a bunch of small choices feels empowering and liberating.  

ACTION STEP: Each morning, ask God to help direct your focus to 1 small goal and surrender any feelings of distress or angst.

It’s not just a physical change – it’s mental.  

Training your brain is a critical step in changing your behaviors.  It’s about learning to accept ‘different.’  

It might look different to leave a bite or 2 on your plate.  It might sound different to decline dessert when questioned the third time by your great aunt.  It might be different to take a water bottle with you everywhere you go.  It might feel different to leave the family gathering without any heavy leftovers in hand.

Become okay with new.  Learn to like different.  It begins with renewing your mind…

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you (Romans 12:2).

ACTION STEP: Begin every day with truth.  Don’t allow the day to begin without 1 truth to meditate on throughout the day.

So, what’s the play call?

What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile. — Anonymous

Holidays, vacation, football – there will always be seasons that provide distractions, a mountain of stress, and the potential opportunity to invite a spirit of guilt, apathy or shame.  Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by trying to hit a big weight or health goal.  Go back to the basics and ask God to help you:

  1. Continue small, consistent steps.
  2. Focus on 1 goal you can do today.
  3. Renew your mind to accept what is new or different.

Listen, son of mine, to what I say. Listen carefully. Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they will mean real life for you and radiant health (Proverbs 4:20-22).

 

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