Motivation to Eat Better

Was eating better one of your New Year’s resolutions? It’s five weeks later. How are you doing? Do you need a little boost or a complete turn around? I’ll give you one.

Stop eating processed food. Go on, now, stop it!

“But how?” you ask?

Not will power. Not self-discipline. But facts. Stories. Emotions. Your religion. Those are the tools you’ll need to finally make the long-term commitment to eat better almost every day. Stop trying to use will power and discipline.


You are made of elements. And, for the most part, the only way to get the required elements into your body so your heart, lungs, brain, blood vessels, immune system, and kidneys can work right is through that 2 inch by 1 inch opening sitting under your nose and above your chin.

The elements you need, put together in the combinations you need them in, have been stripped out of processed foods. When you look at a box or a box of crackers, a loaf of squishy white bread, or a bag of crunchy chips, I want you to see the package as EMPTY! You’re paying for EMPTY! There’s nothing in there!

Stripped. Gone. Absent. Not there. Missing.

And you eat them. And then, guess what? Your body lacks certain elements.

Then, pick up an orange and see vitamin C, potassium, folate, and thiamine.

Pick up broccoli and see vitamin K1, vitamin C, chromium, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and manganese.

Pick up some sunflower seeds and see selenium, copper, B vitamins, and magnesium.

Guess what is a part of your body: your brain. Anyone noticing an increase in mental illness around us? I am. The brain likes to have enough magnesium, enough potassium, and enough carbons put together just the right way. Eat real, whole food.

So you don’t eat right? Not pulling in those elements? Eating EMPTY? Oh, you’re lucky. It’s okay! The body does have some storage capabilities to pull from to get your organs the elements they need. Like… your bones! The body can pull from elements stored in the bones for its needs, leaving you with weak, crumbly bones.

Real, whole foods are rich in the elements you need, put together in the way you need them. They’re FULL! Choose real, whole foods for almost all of your food intake!

Use facts to keep you motivated to make good choices every bite and shopping selection.


Since I was a wee kid, I have always made up stories to make boring or unpalatable situations more fun and endurable! Fourth grade sucked, so I made up stories that I was in college going to classes. My medical school general surgery rotation sucked. So when I had to be in the operating room, I pretended I was the best retractor holder that ever existed, and the renowned surgeon wouldn’t do his surgeries without me. (It must have worked. I never got yelled at in surgery! Those general surgeons love to yell!)

Make up stories to make eating healthy and losing weight fun! Bring back your creative side, even for this!

Here could be a story:

Once upon a time, there was an overweight man. He was embarrassed by his weight and his eating. But he couldn’t stop. He was on four medicines for cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes. One day, he decided he was going to go on a diet for a year. He loved life. He loved people. He wanted to look good again. He had at least 100 pounds to lose. He joined the YMCA and the people greeted him every day there, making him feel special. He walked on the treadmill. He rode the bike. When he rode the bike, he knew he was Lance Armstrong in disguise. When he rode that bike, he saw the crowds all around, and he heard his phone ringing with financial endorsements rolling in. After about 6 months, he was still losing weight! He was excited when Weight Watchers (WW)  called him to ask him to be a spokesperson, and he saw himself speaking at seminars and on TV, sharing his enthusiasm for life and fresh, whole food. He lost that weight!

But, Terri, isn’t that a lie? Isn’t that lying to yourself? No. That’s fun. That’s imagination. That’s perseverance. That’s letting oneself dream. That’s what we did as kids, when nobody could stop us!

Make up your own story. Don’t latch on to this story as truth. The truth of your life and the story that comes along with your healthy living will unfold on its own. Don’t force a story. I’m just asking you to use your imagination to make this new lifestyle fun!


Love is a good emotion here. Who do you love? Who loves you? If you were physically fit all your life, what could you do with the people you love?

Do you know people you love dearly, like maybe your parents, whose health decisions (or lack thereof) are affecting their lives? Are their poor health decisions affecting your life? How does that make you feel when they won’t change their health for you?

I love my kids, and I can’t wait to teach their kids all about volleyball. I can’t wait to hike with them in Europe and South America. (Notice the story!!!) I love my husband, and I want to be able to take care of him when I’m old. I want us to be little old people together. I love these kids and this man! I have to eat, not for now, but for 40 years from now!

Use anger to motivate you. Use hope to motivate you. But notice your emotions, and latch on to the ones that keep you excited to keep eating whole, real food!


If you’re not religious. Skip on. For me (who is spiritual), I had to realize that God cared about my physical body and what I fueled it with. I had to realize God is a jealous God, and that means He didn’t like me resting with a headache that came from eating too much junk. He didn’t like my constant fatigue from eating processed foods and not eating mostly real, whole foods. I don’t think He’s happy with our obesity problem. He loves us too much. He’s jealous for our thoughts, and too many of us (me included) put food before our bodies, which were made by and for God, to serve God and those He loves through us.


If you aren’t really going to eat real, whole foods and change, then get it out of your mind. If you’re not really going to do it, then put it down. Keeping it dangling in front of yourself while you go sit down, knowing you’re not really going to try, is only making you feel disgusting inside. That’s no good. I don’t want that for anyone.

But if you’re ready, then I hope that some of the things I’ve learned to keep me motivated through the years will help you.

If you want it, it’ll take lots of different ways to stay on track. Self-discipline and willpower are simply words for all the different ways that a motivated person figures out how to pull themselves out of (or stay away from) a rut.

Make it fun.

Terri F.

13 thoughts on “Motivation to Eat Better

  1. Dr. Gabriella Kadar

    Oh yes, the imagination and tell stories to ourselves to get on with whatever herculean task is
    at hand…… like the time I imagined that once I’d finished painting my apartment and putting down new tiles in the kitchen I’d invite Pope Francis to dinner.

    I’m not even a Roman Catholic but he’d got elected that year and seemed like an intriguing fellow….. except of course they’d never ever let him have dinner with me seeing as how I’m not Roman Catholic AND I am female AND I live alone (kids grown up) but reality doesn’t count does it? Not when I need that fantasy to keep working on those walls, and cupboards, and drawers. Best to not think those thoughts or the hallway will never be finished.

    I even told one of my patients, an RC priest who I’ve know since he was a child, that he needs to put a word in for me so the pope pays me a visit if he’s ever in Toronto…….and we laughed and laughed. He then suggested I buy a life size Pope Francis cardboard cut out. And yes, they sell cardboard cutouts of ALL the popes. I could stand them up around the dinner table and have dinner with all of them! LOL! Oh my, LOL! Things just got more bizarre as we were discussing the options.

    Of course I didn’t do any such thing but it was all so hilarious and by then I’d finished the painting. I don’t speak Spanish or Italian either. We’d need a translator. I never did figure out what the menu should be. Probably fish even if he is from Argentina.

    Imagination is a powerful tool.

    I told a few of the ‘right sort’ of patient this story and it’s all in the timing, of course, but they laughed so hard they needed to wipe away the tears. They know their dentist is entirely bizarre so getting in the chair is an episode of “what crazy story are you going to tell today.”

    It’s all okay.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Well, it sure had me laughing! Life sized cut outs! That was quite the story line to run with… wasn’t it!?!

      Imagination is a powerful tool. I think that since most of what we do is actually in it, why not make it big or happy or funny or dramatic sometimes.

      I’m trying to picture (in my imagination) these patients and their doctor interacting with these stories. I’m cracking up thinking about all you cracking up. And you mentioned the paint was finished; did you get the tiles done too?

      1. Dr. Gabriella Kadar

        Yes, the kitchen tiles got done. This is where I learned that the broom closet really doesn’t have a squared floor. I painted the outsides, insides of the cupboard doors, insides of the cupboards and drawers…. (I live in an old apartment and once I move the management will rip them out and put up something white and cheap). So it doesn’t matter that since I’ve lived here for 21 years I’ve painted them three times.

        I took a copy of Tim Cahill’s ‘Pass the Butterworms’ to Home Desperate so they could match the coral colour on the cover. I don’t know where I got the earthy green for the outside of the doors but inside the doors and drawers it’s a warm bright coral….. the ‘oolala’ effect. You open a drawer and ‘oolala’. Sort of reminiscent of Cancan dancers.

        Then a couple of years later I asked Christine if she could lend me her husband to paint the
        two remaining bedrooms. For one of them I took a dried Burdock seedhead to Home Depot to
        colour match it. Looks good.

        Instead of standing in front of a bank of colour chips, I take in something that I really like and sometimes they can scan it and the computer spits out the tint ratios. Other times like with the Burdock seedhead, we compare and squint.

      2. Dr. Gabriella Kadar

        Yes, the kitchen floor got done. It was the first thing I did. In a fit of pique I decided to buy a scraper in order to get down to the bare concrete. Started work at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The work continued at 7 a.m. on Sunday and this was two week-ends in a row. No one complained. Weird. This is a high rise apartment building made of concrete and the sound is carried very far. The flooring was the most disgusting of all the jobs.
        The kitchen cupboards are original seemingly made of random lumber. I’ve always painted them since I live here. This time around they are a dark earthy green on the outside but for inside the drawers and the inner side of doors I took my copy of Tim Cahill’s ‘Eat the Butterworms’ to Home Desperate to have the coral colour scanned. Open the drawers and it’s an ‘oolala’ experience, sort of like Cancan dancers. Mild mannered conservative looking kitchen cupboards go wild when doors are opened. 😉 The shelves are white though. (I live here, it’s my home, even if to ‘the management’ it’s a ‘unit’. They’ll change out the kitchen when I move out because this is the 50 years old original.)
        I finished all the big parts of the apartment plus the long hallway but Christine’s husband came
        to paint two bedrooms a couple of years later.

        One bedroom is a colour match to dry Burdock seeds.
        I choose colours that I have in my environment and have them match those with their scanner.
        In a way it’s a lot easier than standing in front of walls of colour chips trying to figure out what colour to choose.

      3. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I didn’t know that trick about scanning colors; that’s a great trick to know for future reference. And another “LOL”–Home Desperate? Is that a play on words of “Home Depot” or is that really a Canadian store? Do you think the pope stand-ups would complement the color schemes well? One standing on the counter getting into the Cancan cupboards? 🙂

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