I talk about the importance of nutrition all the time. It’s my passion, and what I personally begin addressing with my clients when they come to see me for help.
But there are more aspects to our health than just our diet.
We not only have a physical body to care for, but a mental, emotional and spiritual one as well.
More often than not, I get comments from my clients and challengers that go something like this:
I messed up on my diet.
I got off track.
I had a candy bar…I am so mad at myself.
I was on such a good track and then I slipped.
I didn’t do so well this week.
I’m worried I need to start all over after that ice cream cone.
I feel so bad I had that treat.
And the list goes on.
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever been on a “diet” or regimen and then had a little “slip” that you beat yourself up or felt guilty about later?
This is not only common, I’d say it happens to the majority of people I work with.
Nutrition is extremely important, no doubt. But taking care of our mental, emotional and spiritual selves is just as important.
We often hear the phrase, “Enjoy the journey.” This is used often, but I find it’s not truly understood.
When we are somewhere in life we do not want to be, we wish we could just fast forward to where we actually do want to be. Let’s talk about weight loss, for instance.
When we want to lose weight, our tendency might be to wish we were 5 or 10 pounds lighter. Instead of taking it one day, one week, one month at a time, the tendency is to look at where we are NOW, and think about how miserable we are. How all we want to do is just be thinner already!
Instead of enjoying the journey, we beat ourselves up enough that we, ultimately, stay miserable for longer.
Enjoying the journey in relation to nutrition means that there will always be “slip-ups.” There will always be obstacles, and we will trip ourselves up more times than we would like.
If you’re feeling like you just “messed up” on your nutrition plan, or “did something bad” because you ate a cookie, you’re missing the whole point of getting from A to Z…you’re missing the journey!
Those so-called “slip-ups” are all part of the learning process. And, if I may be totally honest, they are not slip-ups at all. They are just what is.
You made a choice to have that cookie. And guess what? It’s not wrong. In fact, it’s just right, just as right as Goldilocks and the three bears.
On our health journey it is absolutely crucial to give ourselves the space to learn and grow. I say this all the time to my clients, as well as in my groups, but it is worth repeating…
There’s no such thing as perfection. The nutrition journey is about awareness, and acceptance that it is a process. It’s about enjoying ourselves and celebrating our small daily victories.
The most self-destructive thing we could possibly do regarding our diet, is to beat ourselves up for making a “mistake.”
There is energy around that. We are not nurturing our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies when we talk negatively to ourselves about what we have chosen to eat.
If you’re on a specific regimen recommended to you by a health care professional, expect that you’ll have some of “those days,” and when you do, EMBRACE them!
If you make the choice to eat that cookie, praise the cookie gods, thank the heavens that cookies exist, and enjoy the crap out of it.
Tell yourself how proud you are to be doing so many great things for your health, and notice how this changes your energy completely.
We can eat all the healthy food on the planet, but in the end, if we are criticizing ourselves every time we “slip up” (which, remember, is not actually a slip-up at all), we can never feel true health to the fullest.
So give it a try: Enjoy the journey. Tell yourself how right you’re doing things, and over time, that nasty self-talk will wither away, and ironically, so will the junk food. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself forgetting not only the last time you felt guilt or self-criticism, but also the last time you had one of those deadly tasting cookies!