A food lesson from a snowboard instructor

I used to teach snowboarding.

Yes, it’s true. I did, and I loved it. I was even quite good at it, for someone who took about 3 years to learn to ride a snowboard.

Anyhoo, here is possibly the biggest tip I could give you which relates to both snowboarding AND to eating well.

Look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.

This is relevant if you are trying to snowboard through some trees and you don’t want to crash and burn.

It is equally relevant if you are trying to change your eating habits in some way.

Look where you want to go. Keep your eyes on a point directly ahead of you and head towards it.

If you look at a tree, you’ll head straight for a tree. But if you look at the gap between the trees, guess where you’ll go? Yep, straight between the trees, flying off to the next snowy hillock! It’s the same if you are learning to ride a bike, putting on your running shoes or getting stuck into yoga.

You’ve got to look where you want to go, because you’ll always head in the direction you are looking.

Same goes for food: if you look at the white bread, you’ll head straight for the white bread. But if you look at the granary bread, you won’t be surprised to find that you end up eating that instead of chomping down the white stuff.

Regardless of your reasons for changing the way you eat, if you keep looking at (or thinking about) the foods you are trying to avoid, you’ll struggle. You’ll either wear out your willpower in no time, or you’ll just eat crap on autopilot.

So, whether you are trying to lose weight, get back on track with eating better, or just seeing if avoiding wheat will stop your belly from bloating, keep looking where you want to go. That means:

1. Don’t buy the rubbish. If it’s in your cupboard, it will call your name out ever so softly, reminding you that it’s there. That’s why we never buy biscuits. I love crunchy sweet stuff, and if there were biccies in the cupboard, I’d never be able to concentrate.

2. Decide where you want to go, and look there. Sounds obvious, but we often don’t even decide where we are headed and then end up wondering why we didn’t get there. Are you Rebooting or not? Do you want to ride in the trees or not? It’s easier to focus on something if you know what that something is.

3. Don’t look down, or behind you. If you do, you’ll just fall over. This point is mainly relevant for snowboarding rather than eating, but seriously – have you ever tried eating healthy food while looking at your feet? No, neither have I.

4. Be nice to yourself. Nothing is ever permanent. Snow melts, willpower fades and being hard on yourself with strict rules is never a good idea.

Anyway, the point is that you need to look where you want to go. If you want to get fit and healthy, stop going to cake shops at lunchtime and go to a deli instead. If you want to cut out all the sweets and chocolates, guess what? Head to the veg section of the supermarket instead of the chocolate aisle.

Look where you want to go, and you find it much easier to get there.

And if you need a little help getting there, I’m here. And I’m good at the food and the snowboard stuff too!


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