Healthy Habits Suck
About the Book
Salad instead of steak? Working out? Skipping that second beer or glass of wine? Healthy habits are THE WORST.
If you’re someone who gets up every morning and can’t wait for your run, considers eating sweet potatoes a splurge, and sets aside thirty minutes before work to meditate—this book isn’t for you. If you’re someone who thinks about getting up to go for a run but goes back to sleep, regrets last night’s dinner of fast food, and can barely get to work on time—let alone meditate—then this book will help you find the motivation you’ve been looking for to live your healthiest life, even when you don’t want to.
With this funny, in-your-face guide, you won’t find advice on how to “enjoy” exercise, or tips for making broccoli and kale taste as good as donuts and ice cream. What you will find are solid skills to help you actually do the healthy things you know you should be doing. Using these skills—based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and neuroscience—you’ll learn to find the motivation you’re really craving to adopt healthy habits, even if they do suck. You’ll also discover how to accept self-criticism, develop self-compassion, and live a more meaningful life.
This book not only acknowledges that many healthy habits suck, it uses science to explain why we want the things we want (junk food), crave the things we crave (sugar), and dislike the things we dislike (exercise). At the end, you’ll feel validated in feeling like these things are the absolute worst. But you’ll also find the motivation to do them anyway.
Books by Dayna Lee-Baggley
Books by Russ Harris
“Healthy Habits Suck is the right companion on a journey toward eating, sleeping, and living well. This book is solidly grounded in research and years of practical experience bringing a refreshing ‘what works’ attitude. You will find accessible activities, compelling descriptions, and profoundly relatable insights into living a healthier life. If you’re struggling to make healthy lifestyle changes, try this radically new approach to living well.”
—Timothy Gordon, MSW, RSW, award-winning coauthor of The ACT Approach and Mindful Yoga-Based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
“So many of us fail again and again to keep up the healthy eating or exercise goals we set for ourselves. In this readable, realistic, and honest book, Lee-Baggley combines cutting-edge behavioral science, professional (and personal) experience, and usable techniques to show us how we can make the changes that matter to us, and make them stick. I think this book will help many of my clients: I KNOW it will help me!”
—Ray Owen, DClinPsychol, consultant clinical and health psychologist (National Health Service, England), and author of Living with the Enemy
“Healthy Habits Suck is a breath of fresh air and a much-needed compassionate perspective on the difficulties of making lifestyle changes. Lee-Baggley writes with the perfect blend of easy-to-understand science, illustrative clinical examples, and personal experience to help the reader change their perspective on what it means to be healthy, and the best ways to pursue health goals.”
—Jason Lillis, PhD, coauthor of The Diet Trap, and assistant professor at the Brown University Medical School
“The central premise of this book is that most health behaviors go against our natural instincts (apple pie will always taste better than apples). So, how do you get yourself to do them? Here, Lee-Baggley provides a key insight: rather than linking health behaviors to specific goals, like ‘losing weight,’ sustained change happens when we link these behaviors to a deeply felt value, like ‘maintaining my independence.’ The book is an easy read, with real-life case studies and strategies on how to approach decision points and engage in mindfulness and self-compassion. A good read for anyone seeking to change their behaviors.”
—Arya M. Sharma, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Alberta, Edmonton; and founder of Obesity Canada
“Healthy Habits Suck is a laugh-out-loud introduction to the passengers on your bus who hijack your efforts to pursue healthy habits. How do we live with our ‘caveman brain’s instincts in the modern world? Lee-Baggley has a goal: to help you live a more meaningful, purposeful, vibrant life through emotion-focused coping strategies to manage your health behaviors—even when you don’t want to.”
—Denise Campbell-Scherer, MD, PhD, professor in the department of family medicine, and associate dean of the lifelong learning and physician learning program at the University of Alberta, Edmonton
“This is one of the most useful and important books I have read for some time. The skills you will learn from this book are based on the latest theories and research in the fields of psychology, health, and behavior change. The book will be especially useful to anyone interested in becoming more active, eating better, (re)engaging with a hobby, or improving their health in other ways. But I would also recommend this book if you’d like to become clearer about your personal values, or if you want to learn how to find more meaning and purpose in your daily life.”
—Paul Flaxman, PhD, reader in the department of psychology at City, University of London; and coauthor of The Mindful and Effective Employee
“Lee-Baggley helps us appreciate our very human affinity for adopting and practicing poor health habits, year after year. Then, she provides practical strategies for humans to use to choose behaviors that promote health, one moment at a time. This little book helped me take on a small, important, and difficult change in my life because I want to live and love and be of service to others as long as I can. Thank you, Dayna Lee-Baggley, for sharing your stories and your wisdom with us!”
—Patricia Robinson, PhD, coauthor of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression
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