What do we need to be healthy, really?
SURPRISE!! It’s NOT diets! Yay! Now, you can celebrate. You DON’T need to change your body. Wait, what?!
Let me tell you more:
Health is made up of multiple factors. It’s not all about the food you eat or the exercise you partake in. Actually, I believe these are some of the smaller factors, but they are often ones we think can be controlled. Socioeconomic status, race, genetics, ability, gender identity, age, availability, skill, and emotions all play a role in every person’s health status. Every. Single. Person. We all have a genetic make-up that guides our bodies – it’s okay that our bodies look different. Your body is a good body.
I’m going to talk about three parts that can lead you to a more intuitive journey. This will be a 4 part blog series talking about cravings, physical, emotional, and spiritual health! Hopefully, these ideas in small chunks will help you process the ideas better.
Do you Ever Crave Certain Food?
You’re not alone! This is an unfortunate truth, but something that needs to be talked about. Cravings are your body’s way to tell you that it needs something. Typically, more often than not, restriction leads to cravings and binges. Other factors that affect cravings are the following, but not limited:
- social gatherings
- hormone dysregulation
- sleep abnormalities/lack of sleep
- feelings (stress, anxiety, depression)
What would happen if you listened to the craving? Is this healthy, for me?!
Would you lose control? Short answer: Nope! But, I do want to validate this fear or concern. It is a frequent point of discussion between me and my clients. The next question I’d like to ask you is: What does control mean? Do you think it is healthy to control what you eat?
Even the Dietitian got Caught up
YOU’RE NOT ALONE! There was a time when even I was entranced by this need for control. It was in college as I was learning all about nutrition and dietetics. In my childhood ice cream, and any sweets for that matter, was very limited. My family had this belief that their weight (higher than ‘normal’) was bad and that dieting was the best way to go – they believed they were unhealthy. This is no fault of their own, but a failing by the medical supervision, or lack thereof, of their healthcare team.
When I got to college I gave that mentality a big “F” YOU and ate a pint of ice cream every night for the whole first semester. I was out to prove to anyone who would listen that I deserved to eat whatever I wanted. Amazingly, I was able to walk away from this relatively unscathed in terms of not cycling through the never ending diet mentality of guilt and shame. Unfortunately, this is a less than average case.
That said, I did fall into the trap of “exercise to earn your food” for a brief time. I did say relatively unscathed, right? Space on the internet and in real life has helped me continue to share my story. Through many trials, successes, and failures I have made peace with food and can fully appreciate a variety of foods just for the heck of it, and of course for nourishment.
In Summary of Today’s Musings
Control around food is a very limiting belief. You do not need to control what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat. You need to understand each of the pieces so that you can respect your choices and eat comfortably and confidently. It is in your power to do so. You have the choice!
Stay tuned for more on “What is Healthy”!
Follow me on Instagram @ThoughtFullNutrition for more!