when i first started this blog i really wanted to focus on nutrition as i had just finished my nutritional coaching certification and i thought i should stick to that. but come to find out i’m too ADD to focus on just one topic. i want to write about more than just the mundane focal points of what you should and shouldn’t shove in your mouth and the whats and its of ingredient labels. besides there’s so much more to life than nutrition. and there’s so much more to being a nutritional coach than nutrition. otherwise id be a nutritionist. my job isn’t so much as to tell you how to get healthy. my job is to give you strategies to get you to WANT to get healthy. to help you become a doer, not a talker.
getting healthy starts with your life as a whole and how well rounded you are. have you sought out challenges, stepped outside the comfort zone, adapted to life’s changes, and remained resilient in the face of crisis and tragedy? i read a book about the longest longitudinal study about longevity that ever existed. it spanned over 80 years following the same participants from kindergarten until all the participants passed away! i rented this book from the library in hopes of actually finding some nutritional standpoints, but came to find that there was very little talk about nutrition and more talking about everything else in life; education, relationships, income, support systems, and personality traits. i’m sure nutrition played a part in their longevity and quality of life, but the fact of the matter is, despite the income level or education level (both of which directly affect how healthfully you eat) people of various backgrounds and situations survived into their 80’s. the point is, what opportunities we were presented with at birth and what ones we chose to pursue in life has a major influence on the longevity and enjoyment of life.
and i think health all starts with having a sense of purpose. why do we do what we do? well because we need an end goal. we need a reason to do something that will give us a result that we’re looking for. i mean why do we complain? it’s because we want something to change. given complaining doesn’t always lead to change, but that’s where you differentiate between the doers and the talkers. the talkers talk about changing things and the doers change things.
so the first step in getting healthy? go grocery shopping and spend some time in the produce aisle. start cooking, either for yourself or for others. start growing your own food. get educated on the foods you are eating. learn about the havoc that toxic foods wreak on your body day in and day out until it terrifies you to the point where you know you don’t have a choice but to start changing your diet. look up what maltodextrin is or high fructose corn syrup or what happens in animal slaughterhouses. whatever it is that you feel a sense of purpose and pride doing, do it. getting involved in the process of how you become healthy and doing everything you can to not be outside of the process, with a blind eye and an empty heart, is how to build the momentum for health. you’re empowering yourself.
i think it also takes appreciating our bodies for what they are and what they were designed to do. look at it this way. our bodies are naturally going to hold onto energy in the case that we may run out of food and famine strikes. that joke you make about your cat living off his fat stores has a lot of truth to it, ya know. your body is literally doing its job. (cue the i know but can it stop doing it so freakin well?!) to continue, many people have trouble out there gaining weight but that is not without the struggle to maintain muscle mass and questionable health. many of these people have underlying thyroid issues, graves disease, and some possible other medical conditions . the most obvious way a body can show signs of distress and poor health are the exterior body. imagine being the weight you want to be and having trouble putting weight on, but on the inside, your body is slowly deteriorating.
the next step in becoming healthy and losing weight? learn to love your body enough to give it real foods that you have grown and thrown together because it will nourish you. being healthy means you’ve learned to love your body with all its flaws, dents, and dings. its the only body you have and you have got to love it for what it is right now.
and there lies the change.
when you find yourself loving your body for everything it does for you every single day and you just want to take care of it and give back to it, you don’t become so concerned about your appearance, but rather the concern shifts to being genuinely healthy. not so you can be skinny, but so you can be healthy enough to summit that mountain or swim that lake or bike through the country or work to provide for your family. not so you can show off your muscles, but so you can keep up with the demands of your work, protect the ones you love, and throw your kids up in the air for hours on end.
now i don’t pretend that there isn’t a ton of societal pressure to be thin because of TV, magazines, and others around us. but why in the hell does anybody else get to impose their expectations (and insecurities in themselves, might i add) on you? only you can set the bar for yourself so i think it’s important to ask the question why you want to lose weight. and then continue to ask yourself why even if you think you’ve found your answer. for example, maybe you want to lose weight so you can have a summer beach body. and then you ask why do you want to have a summer beach body? because i want to look good at the beach so maybe a guy will come talk to me. and why do you want a guy to talk to you? so i can possibly date him. okay why do you want to date him? so that i can find a life partner and maybe have kids one day. and there it is, the real answer. you want to be healthy to carry children. what we think is just a superficial reason is actually a very weighted and sincere reason, but i think it’s good to get clear on our intention for losing weight. many people realize that its still damn near impossible to lose weight even though they might be eating all the right things, but that’s because it’s usually for all the wrong reasons.
you know the phenomenon where a couple is trying to conceive a baby and no matter what they do, they cannot conceive and decide to adopt instead? and like clockwork, many of these couples end up pregnant shortly after. well this same concept goes for anything else in the life. what you believe you have, you have. if you believe your body is a wonderful work of art or an incredible machine or a godly creation or a vessel of health and you continue to pour loving things and loving thoughts into it, you have health.
so here’s a challenge. every single day look in the mirror and appreciate one thing on your body that you love. it doesn’t have to be near your stomach or your thighs or hips. look at your eyes and admire them for everything they’ve shown you. look at your feet and love them for everywhere they’ve taken you. and love those things until you find something else to love on you. and eventually you’ll have found all the parts of yourself being loved. being nurtured and cared for and appreciated. and you just might find that you may have shed some weight in the mean time.