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#10: Navigating Summer: A Guide to Eating Well and Feeling Great

Over summer, it’s common to feel out of control with eating and our health goals, especially when on holiday. We might indulge more than usual, thinking, “I’m on holiday; I want to enjoy myself.” But the aftermath often brings guilt and regret from the weight gained. This yo-yo pattern of dieting and indulgence isn’t just unhealthy for our bodies; it also takes a mental toll. Diets can become all-consuming, monopolising our energy and mental space. You deserve a life where dieting and weight worries are not constantly on your mind—a second chapter you can truly thrive in.

Creating a Summer Plan

Create a clear plan for yourself. Decide ahead of your holiday or social event how you want to feel AFTER your holiday or social event. Perhaps remind yourself of the times you’ve got back from holiday and gone straight on a diet. Decide to make this time different.

Imagining Your Future Self

Vividly imagine your future self – your goal. The healthy woman living her best life. What does she enjoy doing? How does she handle stress or social eating? Fleshing out this vision can guide your current choices, aligning them with the person you aspire to be.

Living As Your Future Self Today

What actions can you take today to start becoming your future self? Another way of framing it is – what actions would your best self take today? This person doesn’t achieve her goals by self-punishment but through self-pride and appreciation. She celebrates passing up on a second serving of cake or stopping when she’s full. By aligning your daily actions with those of your future self, you begin to embody her, making decisions that naturally lead to the healthiest version of you.

Handling Slip-Ups

Even the best plans can go awry. It’s important not to fall into a cycle of self-criticism. Instead, reconnect with the qualities of patience, curiosity, and compassion. Slip-ups are part of life; they don’t define you or your journey. Learn from each experience and use it to strengthen your resolve.

Adopting New Behaviours

Navigating the physical changes in midlife is also about changing the core behaviours and thoughts that lead to health issues.

It’s about enjoying the process of healthy living and feeling liberated from the cycle of dieting. According to James Clear’s “Atomic Habits,” successful behaviour change follows four laws: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying. By applying these laws, your new lifestyle habits can become an enjoyable and fulfilling part of your life.

Imagining Your Ideal Summer

Think about your upcoming summer. What do you want to think and feel while lounging by the pool or enjoying an evening out? These decisions begin now, with the thoughts you choose to cultivate. By planning and practicing these thoughts, you actively create the enjoyable, stress-free summer you desire.

Creating a New Narrative

This summer, challenge yourself to do things differently. Move away from restrictive diets and embrace a fuller, more joyful approach to life. Imagine ending the summer not only having maintained or lost weight but also feeling better about yourself and your body. It’s possible when you shift from a diet-focused mindset to one centred on overall wellbeing and self-love.

This process isn’t just about nourishing our body with the right formula to thrive in midlife, it’s about rewriting the deep-seated beliefs that keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns. By cultivating a positive, forward-thinking mindset, you can make this summer—and every season that follows—truly transformative.

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