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Once You Figure This Out You Are 80% of the Way There

Karen Knowler Blog Articles
Once You Figure This Out You Are 80% of the Way There

Once You Figure This Out You Are 80% of the Way There

So you’ve been wanting to eat cleaner for some time now… And yet, it’s still not happening – or at least, not to the degree or the level of consistency that you’d like.

“What’s wrong with me?” you wonder.

After all, you know what to eat, you know how to make it, you know where to buy it, heck, you probably even have all the kitchen equipment a person could ever want and a cupboard brimming with superfoods, and still…

Listen – you know nothing is wrong with you. You’re doing amazing with your diet compared to most people you know.

“But what other explanation can there be? Why can’t I just make this work?”

That’s exactly what we are going to dive into today.

In my experience, when push comes to shove, real success usually comes down to figuring out the ONE THOUGHT that would make everything else – or almost everything else – start to work.

There is going to be ONE THOUGHT that if you start thinking it and relinquish all the other thoughts that oppose it, will enable all of the other pieces you need to come together, come together.

Let’s see how this works in real life.

Meet Holly.

Holly is 32 and she’s a busy mum with two under 5’s. Her husband works long hours at the office, rarely getting home before 7:30pm. All of the food prep – for everyone – is on her. As a result, and much to her frustration, she will find herself picking at food as she prepares it and grabbing bits and pieces here and there at random times of day. In fact, rarely does she eat what we might call ‘a proper meal’ – or at least not sitting down. She doesn’t sit down to eat with her children because she’s too busy making sure they eat properly and picking food up off the floor, and when hubby comes in, it’s all she can do to put a decent plate of food in front of him, before disappearing into the kitchen to tidy it up so they can spend at least one hour of quality time together once the kids are asleep. Net result? Poor eating overall, sometimes undereating, sometimes over drinking for respite (‘hell yes, make mine a double!’), and usually waking up the next day hoping that this will be the day that things somehow work out differently.

Well my friends – and you’ll hear me say this a lot – ‘hope is not a strategy’!

In Holly’s situation, we ask: What is the ONE THOUGHT that if she consistently thinks this instead will enable her to eat the way she wants at least 80% of the time with no real effort?

We are looking for that magic key, that previously elusive unicorn of a thought that will create the positive domino effect that will enable Holly to eat the way she wants to eat.

So where do we start?

Step 1: Look for where things start to come undone

This is about isolating the exact place in the eating story timeline where things go off-piste.

For Holly it’s from the moment she decides that everyone else in her family comes before her and starts acting accordingly. And in her life, this is typically the first thought she thinks – every single day.

Step 2: Clarify the trade

This is about isolating the one thought that has been running the show and then choosing another that creates the ideal outcome.

Once those two thoughts are clear, we then trade.

So Holly needs to trade her usual thinking of ‘I need to get a meal on the table’ for ‘I need to make a meal for all of us to sit down and enjoy together’.

It’s such a simple swap but will actually change everything. Holly just has to choose that for herself and start doing mealtimes differently and the results will absolutely follow.

Let’s now look at a completely different example.

John is 45 and a single working guy. Sometimes he works from home, other times he goes to the office. As a result (and also because he’s a fully-fledged Functional Eater) he has no real routine, pattern or consistency in his diet, typically reaching for whatever is nearest to hand and ready to eat.

Consequently, John is a few pounds heavier than he’d like to be. His energy is not always that great because of the quality of food that he goes for, and he’s partial to a few beers more than a couple of nights per week which can often lead to the superfluous eating of peanuts and potato chips!

Let’s see what the magic key is for John.

Step 1: Look for where things start to come undone

For John most, if not all, of his issues stem from lack of planning.

Functional Eaters are notorious for this, because they are all about time saving. Why plan when you can just walk into a supermarket or get an online delivery and fill your fridge and cupboards with food that is pre-made and just needs to be pulled out and eaten?

This is the Functional Eater’s logic. And while there’s a lot of ease in this approach, unfortunately if the buying is devoid of planning, then it can be very hit-or-miss as to what level of health and energy are created as a result.

Step 2: Clarify the trade

John needs to swap ‘I just need my food to be quick and easy’ for ‘I will clarify my desired outcome, create a shopping list that supports that and is still as quick and easy to prepare and eat, exactly as before.’

Just this one pattern interrupt in John’s thinking can set his eating and results off on a completely new trajectory to health, without him having to compromise on speed and ease.

As you can see, with just a few minutes reflection, it can actually be easy to figure out where things come undone for you, or those you love.

What is the dominant thought you keep thinking that translates to the action that creates the problem?

With Holly, the thought was essentially that everyone else should come first. With John, the thought was essentially, as long as it’s quick and easy, it’s good enough.

So, now it’s your turn!

What thought are you thinking on repeat that is creating an ongoing issue for you in eating the way that you want?

Remember – crack this for yourself and you will automatically take care of 80% or more of your diet-related issues.

The five minutes it takes to figure this out can lead to a lifetime of benefits and ultimately, you eating the way that you want to eat and feeling the way that you want to feel.

Personally I’d say that’s a fantastic trade to make, wouldn’t you?

2 thoughts on “Once You Figure This Out You Are 80% of the Way There”

  1. Thank you Karen

    “Hope is not a strategy” – Boom!

    As a stereotypical Emotional Eater, my first step is to plan better rather than relying on getting to meal times and eating what I “fancy” in the moment…

    Thank you


  2. Hi Maureen! My thought is that the kind of thought that you may be thinking that sets the wheels in motion is, ‘food will fix this’ (or similar).

    If that is the case (or once you’ve isolated the exact thought where it all begins), then it’s to figure out the trade.

    Working with the above thought of ‘Food will fix this’ it’s about (quote) “then choosing another that creates the ideal outcome”.

    My suggestion in this example would be something along the lines of:

    ‘When I feel uncomfortable emotionally I will pause, reflect and address.’

    In tandem with this, another helpful thought:

    ‘Eating for emotional reasons will not fix my issues it will multiply them.’

    Thoughts? 😀

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