As a nutritionist one of the most glaring problems I see in others and in the past myself is regardless of the suffering associated with the poor health, why is it that we can't break unhealthy patterns in order to regain health? Is it because of food addictions? lack of motivation? learned habits? or the belief that these changes won't really help? I struggled to find the answer until I looked back at my own experience.
What do I mean by that? Lets say you're struggling with symptoms from any chronic health concern. You want to stop being worried where the nearest bathroom is or feel what it's like to have a period of time without pain. Regardless of your symptoms you want to stop suffering. Because what is suffering doing? It's taking away the life you want to have and replacing it with one you feel stuck with. Like your suffering is making the decision for you.
I want to ask you, what does a life without your poor health look like? How does it feel to live a day without asking your health permission? Without pain? Without the anxiety? What would look differently and how would that change things for the better? That right there is your motivation to live a healthier life. That's what will keep you going when you feel like giving up healthy habits. It's hard to live with chronic symptoms, but it's also hard to live a healthy life. There is no hack, it takes work and effort. But so does illness.
See where I'm getting at is in order to live the life you want and free yourself from what's holding you back (your symptoms), then you have to realize that taking care of your health is a non negotiable.
For a long time I was stuck in this pattern of trying to avoid the end result. After a health scare I would tell myself, it's time to get it together because you don't want to end up back in the hospital. Then as my health improved I would fall back into old habits. Then back to the start, I would end up sick and then tell myself the same thing. What changed for me was realizing it isn't about the end result. Its about the why, its about why you want to be free from your symptoms and keeping that the focus everyday. Then sticking with your healthy lifestyle suddenly becomes easy because everyday it's giving you the life that you want. A life that is no longer controlled by your illness.
How do you improve your health? Be mindful of your food choices, eat things that make you feel your best, have fun, learn how what you do affects how you feel. Stick with what works and avoid what doesn't. Most of us know what they need to do to get healthy, but digging deeper into the why is your answer to staying motivated long term.