Guess what? In my clinic, I don't talk about weight, count calories or even look sideways at FAD diets. In fact, what you actually eat is only a portion of what I do to help you feel alive and thrive again. Say what, aren't you a nutritionist?
As mothers many of us find we get very little time to ourselves, particularly when it comes to improving or even just managing our health. Quite often, after a few months to years of procrastination, I hear "I've had enough! I'm done! I can't keep going like this and I have gained so much weight!". This is often then met with pulling out that old dusty diet you did a few years back where you lost that 5 - 10 kilos and felt good, or searching Google for something to follow that will help you shed that excess body fat - at all costs! Many foods are then branded evil and to never be touched or you may fall off that "wagon". Although tired and overwhelmed, your diet is now a priority as well as exercising until you sweat it all off again - let the "fun" begin. Unfortunately, without knowing it yet, your chances of failure by approaching your health this way are almost certain. This does not mean you have failed, this means your approach to improving your health has failed and to try a different path.
Society has led us to believe the pathway to healthy is all about what we put in our mouths and how we move our bodies. While that is important, I don't mean to sound obvious but looking at society, it seems the human species is far from healthy as a whole.
Once upon a time I ventured down this pathway spending time and energy into perfecting the "best" diet to improve my overall health. After a few years, my health deteriorated. In fact, I ended up with mental exhaustion, a thyroid and hormonal imbalance, poor gut health and acute liver failure! How is that possible when my diet was "perfect" and I was training religiously at the gym. Perhaps there are some other pathways we need to venture down along our journey to health?
Improving our health is much more than exercise and diet, it involves a more holistic approach if you want to truly heal from within.
If the "perfect" diet and exercise regime led me here, then maybe I was missing something really important. It was here I discovered there were MANY other aspects to truly healing and thriving. Some of them included: -
Prioritising and improving my sleep routine (this was a big one!)
Social Interaction and laughing (which was often avoided due to the restrictions I placed on myself with my diet)
Getting out in nature often (the way humans are meant to live)
Scheduling in mindfulness every day (we wash our bodies but not our minds)
Slowing down and listening to my body's response to certain "healthy" foods I was eating (just because it is labelled as good for you, doesn't mean it is for YOU)
Seeking counsellor guidance on tools to improve positive thoughts, stress management and self-talk (we are our own worst enemy).
Prioritising rest and rejuvenation (and not feeling guilty for it!)
Exercising the right way for my body
While you can work on implementing the above lifestyle changes now to better improve your health, in clinic, we also go to a biochemical level looking at adrenal, brain, gut, hormones and liver health. We investigate where necessary and correct imbalances through specific dietary changes and quality supplemental support as your body begins to heal (and often this includes shedding that unwanted excess body fat without even concentrating on it!).
Lastly, and what took me longest to discover, was at the core of it all it came down to: -
Acknowledging my self-worth;
Knowing who I am and being my authentic self; and
Feeling loved without having to expel all my energy into people pleasing to feel it.
Do not underestimate the above four. When we get a true understanding of ourselves and accept that - this is the pathway to a healthier life.
Is it time you approached your journey to health differently?