The Plan – Moving Through Moods

When it comes to getting healthy or maintaining our healthy lifestyles, we know it all comes down to planning. We need to plan our meals, our exercise, and where that will all fit into our everyday lives and to avoid eating for a bad mood.

But how many of us plan for what to do when we feel sad, angry, or bored? We may not be able to control when the mood hits us or get rid of the feeling instantaneously, but we CAN control WHAT we do in that moment. Many of us use food as comfort or a replacement and also may not be prepared to exercise or workout when these feelings strike. So let’s plan in advanced and literally move through our moods!

Plan your food to avoid eating for a bad mood

We all hear it – comfort foods. Pastas, creamy soups, anything fried – we think these fill us up emotionally, when all they do is fill us up (and over) physically. Don’t give any food power to comfort us!! They aren’t comforting; they are toxic to our comfort. We have control; not the food.

Instead of these foods, let’s make our plan of attack for healthy alternatives. Like fried things? Try baked zucchini sticks or baked sweet potato “fries”. Go for vegetable or broth based soups instead of cream based. Use whole wheat pasta, or better yet, spaghetti squash!! As long as these foods are in the house, we are less likely to go out, drive, and get the fatty, high caloric foods. Ahhhhhhh, I’m feeling comforted already.

Plan your exercise to avoid eating for a bad mood

Plan for workouts on every intensity level! When we are feeling sad or depressed, taking a walk or bike ride will lift up our mood and give us time to reflect. Upset? A run, some boxing, or intense weight lifting may help blow off the fumes. Even plan for a stretch workout, yoga class, or identify a walking buddy when feeling low. He or She can be a good sounding board to talk to, but you’ll be burning calories at the same time. Have these ideas in mind, and truly prepare. Call/email the friend you have in mind now and ask them to be your “go to workout buddy”. Print out the fitness class schedule so you’ll always know your options. Have the exercise DVD already in your DVD player so you can just press “play”. The trick is to plan for these situations when you’re in a good/productive mood, so you don’t need to think about it when a low or angry mood hits.

Plan your reward to avoid eating for a bad mood

You’ve made so many changes to your food and exercise and have been doing such a good job; sometimes we need a reward or treat to help lift that feeling of “this is so hard, I just want to quit!”. Instead of our old rewards of sweets or unhealthy foods, plan ahead to use that money on something you can look forward to: a pedicure, massage, or a new pair of jeans. These are just new splurges – using that money you used to spend on fast food, eating out, and other unhealthy habits. You still deserve your reward, just in a different way – a way that serves you better now. Write down your own rewards and post them to your fridge or in your phone. When that mood or feeling of defeat hits, indulge in your treat (no fork needed!).

Move through your moods and try not to sit in them. Plan, prepare, and preserve yourself!