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First, I apologize if the title of this post brought back any traumatic memories of second grade math class! I well remember those days of sitting in class, petrified that the teacher might call on me to solve a math problem.
Addition wasn’t too bad, but subtraction was always the tricky one. Once our class got past the easy problems like 2-2=0, my brain would start swimming.
17 -8= what?
38-19= are you crazy?! How am I supposed to know that?!
I think I’ve been permanently scarred by math. My brain just doesn’t work that way. Even now it would take me a couple minutes to figure out what 38-19 equals without a calculator, as I’m sure any of you who are as mathmatically-challenged as I am will understand!
Anyways, the point is that subtraction is almost always more complicated than addition. And I don’t just mean in math, either.
Where Are You Putting Your Focus?
When people are trying really hard to have a healthier lifestyle, usually the first thing they do is to focus on the things they have to subtract from their lives. They think of all of the things they have to take away and all of the things that they can’t have any more.
All the junk food has to go. No more french fries. No more pizza. No more potato chips. All those unhealthy habits have to go too. No more staying inside all evening and watching TV or sitting in front of the computer. And then, if you go even deeper into the world of health (especially into the “real food” world of unconventional health), there are even more little things to take away.
There are the obvious things to avoid, like the hydrogenated vegetable oils and high fructose corn syrup, but then there are all of the other “normal” foods that you might not have even realized could possibly have a problem.
Foods like pasteurized milk, and cereal, and granola bars. Foods that you had thought were super healthy until you started reading about all of the hormones and antibiotics and denatured proteins lurking in your milk, the extruded grains and artificial flavors in your breakfast cereal, and the high content of phytic acid and sugar in those granola bars.
While it’s important to be aware of these kinds of things, sometimes it seems like putting so much focus on the negative can do more harm than good.
It’s really easy for people to get overwhelmed by the amount of information that there is about health and nutrition, especially if they are just starting to transition away from an unhealthy lifestyle. And thinking of all of the foods you can’t eat anymore can be just downright discouraging too.
Focus on the Positive Rather than the Negative
Rather than focusing on taking away everything that’s bad for your body, it’s so much more productive to focus on adding to your health with all of the good foods and lifestyle changes that will nourish your body and lead to better health and wellness, especially for those who are just beginning a real food journey.
Instead of worrying about removing every little unhealthy food from your diet, it’s better to focus on adding in all of the delicious, healthy foods that you can. If you’re filling your plate with wholesome, nutrient-dense foods, chances are you’ll be too full to even miss the empty processed foods. And rather than focusing on restricting your TV or computer time or forcing yourself to follow a strict exercise regimen, simply find some activities that you truly enjoy and you’ll find yourself effortlessly spending less time indoors front of the TV and more time spent outdoors getting exercise.
Thinking all the time about what you can’t eat or shouldn’t do isn’t much fun. And it isn’t very beneficial for your health, either, to be always stressing about not getting enough exercise or feeling guilty for eating something you shouldn’t have eaten.
When you think positively about adding in good foods and activities, all of the positives will fill up your diet and lifestyle until there isn’t much room left anymore for the bad stuff anyways. And, as a bonus, focusing on the positive will allow you to have less stress and guilt, making it far more likely that you will make changes that are actually sustainable long-term, and making your life much more enjoyable. 🙂
Has Your Focus Been on Addition or on Subtraction?
This post is linked to: Sunday School at Butter Believer, Natural Living Monday Natural Living Mamma, Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, and Family Table Tuesday at the Polivka Family, Party Wave Wednesday at Holistic Squid, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways Wednesday at Frugaly Sustainable, Natural Living Link-Up at Jill’s Home Remedies, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.
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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.