When someone says the word “nutrition”, what comes to mind? Most often just food. When people ask me, “What is your profession?” and I say nutritionist, the three top questions I get are: 1) How do I lose weight? or I’ve just lost weight how do I keep it off?; 2) Is this or that fattening?; 3) What is your opinion on this “fad” diet?
Most people want to eat healthy to stay thin or become thin, which is fine. However, my approach to nutrition is about focusing on being healthy rather than losing weight. This, in turn, will bring one down to their natural, healthy, sustainable body weight. You see, the body is a very well built system; it knows where it should be. However, poor diet, lack of exercise and stress causes the system to “malfunction” (i.e., put on weight, develop poor skin, experience fatigue, have poor digestion).
But proper nutrition does not just include nourishing your body – it also means nourishing your mind, your soul and your external life. That includes positive thinking, honoring your feelings and surrounding yourself with people who make you better not worse. Many factors influence why and when we eat. If we ate just when we were hungry and only ate what we knew was good for us then we would all be healthy.
However, we eat for many reasons and there are many different kinds of eaters. The habits we acquire develop in childhood, including the way we view life and food. If a child is raised being comforted with food when they are young they are most likely going to find comfort in food when they are adults. This is the majority of the population, as we are emotional eaters, because we are human beings not human machines. Our thoughts and our emotions affect our eating.
How often does one reach for a carrot when they are stressed? My philosophy on nutrition is an integrative, comprehensive approach. My goal for my readers is not just weight loss – it’s BALANCE and PEACE OF MIND. People often want the weight loss first, then the balance and the peace of mind. However, if you acquire the balance and the peace mind first, you are a lot less likely to gain the weight back. It’s a cycle as old as time – I went on a diet I lost the weight and I gained it back.
Once you treat the cause with the simple question of “What in my life is stopping me from being healthy?” and fix that problem and not the symptom – which is the weight gain – you can break the cycle. What stops us from being healthy is our minds, and by the same token, our minds can also keep us healthy. If you hold the thought in your head that says “I need to eat a clean diet so I can maintain/lose weight”, then when the motivating factor behind your goal to get thin disappears, the weight comes back. However, if you hold the thought in your head that you need to eat a clean diet because you want to live a healthy, long, disease-free life, that thought is less likely to disappear because you are doing it for yourself – to nourish your mind, body and spirit and not just to conform to society’s perception of beauty.
You see, my global initiative is not world weight loss – it’s world wellness. I want people to think healthy (mind), be healthy (body) and feel healthy (spirit).