Great! I got you in with the headline! Keep reading and I’ll get to the point pretty quickly!
These days all you seem to see on social media is that food is our medicine, a magic potion being a cure for all kinds of diseases and ailments, yet it’s also spruiked as our poison. Then there’s all those diets designed to lure you into success ‘once and for all’ or a complete body transformation that’s better than the rest and proven to work. Sometimes our SUPER self-critical voice talks aloud and says, “I have to eat better, I should eat the right foods, I shouldn’t eat so much, I need to exercise more and I need to eat less…” and so on. Do we really need to take on a new diet and exercise regime to ‘fix’ it all? Maybe, maybe not.
People often feel like they fall off the diet wagon somewhere along the way and the balance in their life is out of whack. The balance between the elements of work, life and family may feel completely overwhelming because one or some of these have shifted to take up more of your time and energy. The need to ‘fix it all’ can consume us into taking on an entire new regime which is usually diet and exercise but neglecting to look at the bigger picture of life in general. Ponder these questions: Is it really our diet that needs to change? Maybe. Am I considering the health of myself within all of these elements? Probably not. Am I stressed? Yes, most likely.
STRESS!!! Yes, stress results in a psychological, biological and behavioural response to the body. I too often hear people say, “I’m not stressed!” Um, yes you are because you had that long meeting at work the other night and had to bring work home to finish over the weekend. Oh, and a week ago the car broke down and you had to be towed, those few meals you skip because too busy and what about that big night out the other weekend combined with a lack of sleep. Could all of this contribute to inadequate nutrition? YES!
We often blame our WILLPOWER and call ourselves out for being WEAK when we reach for energy dense, nutritionally poor food. These foods are convenient and highly palatable and when we demand more of ourselves we automatically reach for these. In the context of these kinds of situations, the demand for these kinds of foods is trying to tell us something. If we give ourselves the time to sit back and reflect we’ll be able to identify the lifestyle factors having an impact on our nutritional choices.
Gaining a healthy balance in our work and family life requires a greater self-awareness of the habits and behaviours that bring happiness and contentment along with the ones that bring distress and frustration. I personally don’t feel that life can ever be truly balanced and perfect but our awareness of our basic needs to function in a well and healthful manner can become priority. The quality of nutrition plays a huge role in health as do other lifestyle factors like sleep quality, movement and relationships. The more time we prioritise these, the better we are at improving them.