Ep 5: How Procrastination Influences Your Health Habits

Published on: Apr 15, 2024

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a cycle of procrastination when it comes to your health and incorporating new lifestyle habits? 

By understanding the root of procrastination and practicing mindfulness, individuals can navigate obstacles and embark on a transformative journey towards better well-being.

Join me in embracing change with kindness and curiosity, recognizing each step as a courageous act of self-care. 

During this episode, we chat about:

0:47 Introduction to Procrastination and Health

3:57 Invitation to Private Mental Wellness Coaching

5:30 Procrastination as a Safety Mechanism

8:19 Overcoming Procrastination in Health Choices

11:18 Struggling with Establishing Healthy Habits

14:05 Relationship of Aligning Values with Health Actions

15:24 Embracing Self-Compassion in Health

18:22 Getting Curious about Procrastination Patterns in Health

22:33 Closing Thoughts on Procrastination and Health Behavior

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all lecture, but rather a conversation imbued with my own experiences and the holistic approach that has transformed not only my life but could support you in reshaping yours too.




Please note that the following transcript was generated using AI technology. Yes, that means the transcript probably has a few minor mistakes.



Howdy friend. Welcome to unforked, an unfiltered holistic nutrition and mental wellness podcast for evolving folks that crave a delicious life of fulfillment. Haley, here I am, your host, a trauma informed functional medicine dietitian, holistic mental wellness coach and the founder of the fulfilled fork. On this show, we dish up insights and activations while learning about sustainable mind, body, soul, lifestyle practices. It’s sweet, it’s savory and it’ll spice up your life. To stay connected, make sure you sign up for our unforked email list at thefulfilledforkcom. Forward slash links. Let’s dig into the episode. Thefulfilledforkcom. Forward slash links. Let’s dig into the episode.


Today we are going to chat about procrastination and how it can show up in health. Behavior change is one of my absolute favorites to chat about. As far as nutrition wellness goes. I absolutely am a behavior change nerd. That’s probably the most unflattering way to put it is to call it behavior change. It’s a very clinical, clinical word, but that’s what’s coming to mind right now. So, really, what we’re going to talk about is just changing and altering your lifestyle to get you where you desire to go in your life and to support you in making those positive health changes, those changes that are going to help you feel better and feel more like yourself really. So before we dive into that, I wanted to chat about an opportunity, slash, an invitation for you. I currently have a few spaces for, to be exact, four spaces for private mental wellness coaching, which, if you don’t know what that is, I have more explanation on the website. So if you want a deeper dive into this what private coaching with me entails then head to my website, visit the services page. I am here to support you.


Private coaching is holistic in its nature and it’s not just nutrition but it’s wellness coaching, specifically mental wellness coaching. Private coaching with me is my absolute most intimate offer. It is for the folks who are absolutely ready to really turn up the heat on their presence, on their healing, on their embodiment of mind, body, soul, wellness. So, taking it from just being a thought and actually putting this stuff into action right and learning new things, because there’s always things to learn I learn new things every day. One-on-one coaching, this private coaching with me, is for you if you are experiencing a desire, a craving to expand your awareness and really align your energy with your values and come at it from a trauma-informed, holistic lens so that you can live your most delicious, flavorful life. Private coaching is also for people who not only want the holistic nutrition and mental wellness coaching, but they also are looking for that stress reduction, that nervous system regulation, somatic healing, lifestyle modalities.


Really, what we’re doing is optimizing your health and helping you get back into a state of feeling fucking great or, if not great, feeling better. Feeling great is not always a realistic goal, depending on where we’re starting right. So, again, completely tailored to you. It is absolutely my favorite thing to do is to sit down with somebody one-on-one and tailor a plan for them and chat with them and learn about them. I am a person who absolutely adores building relationships with people in general, and especially if it’s people that I can like nerd out with right. That’s why I do what I do. I fucking love doing this stuff.


So if you are wanting to work closely with a professional and somebody who has also been in I want to say, the trenches, if you’ve been in the trenches and you’re looking for somebody who has also been in the trenches as far as health goes, mental health goes, I am your girl. I have been through it. I have been through it. Of course, your experiences are very different than mine. However, I would absolutely love to guide you on this ever-evolving path of health awareness and really stepping into your vibrance. So if you’re interested in private coaching, there will be a link in the show notes, so go there and reach out to me anytime if that is something that you are interested in. I have four spaces available at the moment. Amazing.


So let’s dive right into procrastination and health. I want to start by saying that our brain is, and our bodies not just our brain, but our bodies and our brain are wired for safety. We’re just all trying to stay alive here. I’m trying to stay alive, you’re trying to stay alive, everybody’s trying to stay alive, and we have to understand that to understand why we procrastinate when it comes to our health. It seems very counterintuitive. Procrastinate when it comes to our health. It seems very counterintuitive Like why would I procrastinate making a lifestyle change that’s going to be beneficial for me?


That’s actually a healthy lifestyle change and has the potential to improve my mood and improve how I’m feeling in my body and all of that stuff. So why, if it has that potential, why would I then be procrastinating? Well, it goes back to the safety. Because we are wired for safety and safety also translates into comfort, so it’s much easier to continue doing what we have been doing in our lives. Like we have habits, we’re just used to them. That is safety, even if those habits are not very helpful for us. The same can be said for relationships. Like I have, in previous lifetimes of Haley, existed in relationships and been in relationships that were definitely not healthy for me and I knew that at the time yet I still couldn’t make the move to get myself out of it. So it goes for health, it goes for relationships, goes for many situations. Apply this to many situations in your life. The safety piece and the comfort piece are one.


Me. Being comfortable makes my brain feel safe, even if that thing that I’m doing is not the most beneficial for me in terms of my health. Like we can be conscious of this, yet still have a very difficult time going and doing the thing. It’s mostly because it’s change and it’s unknown, and doing unknown things takes a lot more energy and a lot more effort. It puts our nervous systems in an uncomfortable state and so it’s just really not easy.


So if I want to say I have been wanting to exercise more, I started we’ll just use an example so I started coaching with Haley. I really want to change my diet. I want to exercise more and just move more in general, and I have started using the nutrition principles. Like I’ve done this and it’s hard, it’s change, I’m definitely getting used to it Like I’m making strides in the nutrition front but then on the exercise front, why am I not able to do the same thing, even when I have the nutrition stuff down? So I’ve given it some time. I said, okay, I’m going to start with nutrition. Maybe I’m just a little bit overwhelmed right now with all the changes that are going on. It’s changing how we eat is a really big change. And so I’ve built a nice foundation, one that is easy for me to do on a day-to-day basis, one that’s easy for me to pivot and readjust and still try new things and still learn. But go back to that foundation whenever I need it and build my days and my weeks off of that nutrition foundation. So I’ve done the nutrition, I’m working with Haley and all of a sudden I’m like, okay, I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready to add more movement into my life.


Maybe I’ve been working at a desk job and I just haven’t been able to move around a whole lot, and it’s been years of me working in this desk job and it’s also a big change. It’s a big change. So there’s that mental hurdle, right. How do I exercise? What type of exercise is the best for me? What do I need to do to keep myself safe while I’m exercising? I’ve had some injuries. What do I do? So there’s all these questions, right, I want to exercise. All these questions, and that can be overwhelming in itself and that overwhelm can lead to procrastination. So there’s one piece there, and now I have this information, answers to these questions, guidance to the questions, and I’ve gotten that taken care of.


Now. I thought that would solve my procrastination to go, and we’ll say, I want to go for a 15-minute walk every day after dinner. Maybe that’s my first step. So initially it was overwhelmed with. I have all these questions, I don’t have the information. Then I get the information and maybe I go for a walk two nights out of the week and I just am. I’m just having a really hard time making a habit of it. I am putting it off, I am mentally fighting myself, maybe I’m physically fighting myself to go do it every day, not even every day, but maybe. Maybe the initial uh, the initial goal or intention was to do three days a week, 15 minutes after dinner, three days a week. That was my first step. So why am I feeling the mental resistance, the physical resistance to going and moving, when it should be so easy? Right, we should ourselves, and I’m guilty of this too. I, I still catch, I and I forever will catch myself shooting on myself and essentially gaslighting myself, which is like, uh, a whole other conversation. We can definitely go into that in another episode. But all that to say, I still like, I still experience this. I experience procrastination and I know you’re not alone if you do too, because I’m a health professional and I still experience it. Overload of information that’s not the case anymore. Now we’re educated, Now we have the information. I’m still struggling.


Another area where it could be impacting is our values. Am I acting in alignment with my values? So when we’re looking at that, we can really determine if the action is leading us towards our values or away from our values. And so if it’s leading us towards our values, which in my case, so if I value my health, then this is leading me towards my values. Right Moving, leading me towards my values? Definitely Like, I want to get to a place where I’m moving more and I feel better and it’s just a habit now and that’s in conjunction with my nutrition and some of these other things that I’m doing with Haley right. So in our example here. So I know in this instance that it’s not that doing this action is misaligned with what I value. I do know it’s pointing towards my value of my health, towards my value of my health, and this is a thing that helps me act into those values. So then I can take it a step deeper Is the way that I am exercising.


Is that acting into my values? Maybe I actually despise walking, maybe I hate going on walks and yet I’m trying to force myself to go on walks. That’s not helpful. That’s not helpful, right? That is not something I would advise. The best way to find a type of exercise or movement that we enjoy is going to be yeah, is to be finding something that we enjoy, versus forcing ourself to do something that we hate. Right? If I hate walking, I am no longer going to walk 15 minutes after dinner, three days a week. Maybe, instead, I love jumping on my little trampoline. Maybe I love rebounding. I love rebounding so much fun. So I’m going to do that instead, and then it becomes so much easier, so much easier for me to do that thing right.


So that is another piece that we can look at in this specific example. Why else might I be procrastinating? We talked about that. It’s just something. It’s something different and that can be difficult. What we need to do there is, instead of just saying, well, I should like, 15 minutes of walking is easy, I should be able to do this, and instead of forcing myself to do it, what I want to do is I want to turn that compassion that I know I have somewhere in there. I want to turn that towards myself and use that instead of trying to force myself to do something that I don’t like.


That is just not, even though on the surface it looks like it’s in alignment with my values. It’s not right. It’s really not in alignment with me. I’m forcing myself and beating myself up about it that I, the fact that I just can’t get 15 minutes of walking done three days a week. What the hell’s wrong with me? So we don’t want to do that. Instead, let’s turn that compassion towards ourselves and really just catch ourselves. That’s the biggest piece. Just catch yourself if you’re doing that, and it can be really hard. That’s why I very much value having mentors and talking to people like my mentor recently, and a colleague also had two people within the last two weeks. They were like Haley, I think you’re being really mean to yourself, and it was. It was about procrastination, right? And so, uh, you’re not alone. If this is something that you do too, I still find myself doing it.


Procrastination is something that I have struggled with my entire life for many reasons that we won’t go down, but having somebody else be able to reflect back to you what you are just so used to doing In my case it was, hey, I was beating myself up a little bit, and I didn’t even realize it, because I’m certainly not as bad as I was. It doesn’t happen very often, but it was so unconscious that I didn’t even realize that I was still beating myself up a little bit. It didn’t look the same, it wasn’t as severe, but I was still doing it. When we see these areas where we’re being more mean to ourselves because we’re trying to force ourselves to do something that is so not in alignment with us and we don’t have to do it that way. There’s a million other ways that I can get movement in, like the trampoline, like maybe I like to go on bike rides. There’s lots of different things. So that’s a couple ways that we can my brain wants to say analyze don’t go into overanalyzing, though that we can be aware of what’s going on.


And a few questions to ask ourselves about procrastination, and especially when it comes to our health. So in this case, I’m Haley’s client and I realized I was procrastinating on the exercise. First I thought it was because I just had all these questions. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I didn’t have all the answers. I was overwhelmed because I didn’t know everything I wanted or felt like I needed to know about movement and exercise before doing it.


Then there was the piece about values. So am I in alignment with my values when I’m taking this action? There’s also that piece just overarching all of this is safety and recognizing that we are always trying to keep ourselves safe. Whether conscious or not Most of the time it’s unconscious Our brains and our bodies do what we’ve always done to keep us comfortable, really. So the last piece of this is having the awareness to catch ourselves if we are beating ourselves up about procrastinating which I have much experience in this my whole life oh my gosh. Like I said, much better now, but it’s always going to be a work in progress.


So, having that awareness and being mindful about hey, can I find somebody or a journaling practice or something to help me become more aware in this situation and recognize that I don’t have to have it all figured out, I don’t have to beat myself up about procrastinating on doing or not doing a certain thing in relation to health. I can get curious about it and, at the very least, be neutral, because toxic positivity is a thing and it’s not helpful to just like be fake positive to yourself about certain things making different choices for yourself, making different health decisions, learning so much and really putting yourself out there and getting out of your comfort zone and being brave is what it really comes down to Courageous and brave because all of it is uncertain. Right, we don’t know what the outcome is. All we have is right now and we can get curious about what’s going on with ourselves and try to make the best decisions in every moment for our present and future self. Right, we want to do it for both, not just all short term, not just all long term. We want to be it for both, not just all short-term, not just all long-term. We want to be thinking about both versions of ourselves and just turning our values in on ourselves and getting the mentorship and the help if we are able to, if we find it valuable, if we find it valuable if we have a desire to.


So that’s all I have for you today on procrastination and health. Behavior changes, just different lifestyle changes. So if you have any questions, if you have any additional thoughts, if you want to have a conversation about this, feel free to send me an email, start a conversation. I would absolutely love to hear from you. Otherwise, I will see you in the next episode and I thank you so so much for listening in and being here.

Friend, thank you for listening to Unforked. If you enjoyed the episode, we’d love it if you’d send it to a friend and rate and review the show on either Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Then email us a screenshot of your review to howdy@thefulfilledfork.com for a one-time credit to use towards our wellness services. Chat soon.



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Links & Resources –

    Thank you to Chelsea @ladyfolk for cocreating the Unforked podcast/newsletter name and helping me bring The Fulfilled Fork voice to life
    thank you to YOU, the listener, for being here on this journey together.


    With a full heart (but always room for a slice of pizza),

    Haley Schroth, RDN, LD, CPT, RYT, CMWC | Founder & Integrative Mental Health Coach


    P.S. Have a question you’d like Haley to answer in a future Unforked episode?
    Submit your (concise) question here.


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    Howdy! I’m Haley. A registered dietitian nutritionist, yoga teacher, personal trainer, and holistic mental wellness coach on a mission to help you transcend the struggle, stress, and suffering that life can bring. I’ve lived through it and discovered a path to feeling amazing in my mind, body, and soul. Now, I want to help you to live your most fulfilled life too through evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle practices!

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