Nutrition is a lot like religion. Everyone thinks that their way of doing things is the gateway into heaven.
I read an article the other day that explained that if you study/do something for 10,000 hours or more that you are considered an “expert” in that field. Like if you washed windows for 10,000 hours you would be an expert window washer. I would be considered a nutrition expert; I’ve studied dietetics for the last decade of my life and counseled thousands of people over the years on food and lifestyle.
To use the word “expert” feels weird and rigid though. I'd pick something a little more exotic, maybe a nutrition goddess? Yes, much better!
There’s a lot of information out there about what is right and wrong about food and exercise. You could spend 10,000 hours on the internet and become your own expert or save yourself some time and settle in with some nutrition goddess truth!
1. Thriving looks different for everyone
Your friend Sue got pregnant after following a keto diet and crossfitting her little heart out. You tried keto for a week and fainted twice, so you quit and fell into a tub of Jeni’s ice cream (any buckeye grads here will get it). That doesn’t mean you are bad person or that you are a failure, it just means that Sue’s plan wasn’t right for you. Which bring me to my next point:
2. Negative self-talk is rarely an effective means of communication
It’s easy to start beating yourself up mentally or over exercising to make up for “bad” behavior. Sure, you probably don’t feel great after finishing that ice cream but aside from developing an eating disorder (please don’t!) there’s not much you can do to change what has already happened. Studies show that forgiveness and self-compassion are much more powerful tools for change and promoting healthy habits than negativity.
3. We are not meant to be miserable in our pursuit of health
This is key! Let’s say you hate to run and you hate to sweat. Naturally, you start running as your exercise of choice because it burns a lot of calories and all the runners you know are in great shape. You feel great after a run but miserable during the process. Soon you start to look for excuses to skip your runs or postpone them until the weekend because “I’ll have more time then.” Sound familiar? It’s a common belief that health must come with a fair amount of suffering. Truth is, finding something you actually enjoy doing or eating results in consistency, enjoyment, and gasp…happiness!
4. You can’t achieve long-term success by ignoring the cause of the problem
It’s like slapping on a hat to cover greasy hair; the hat will only work as long as it stays on. Once the hat comes off, you still have a grease problem because you didn’t actually fix it, you just hid it for a while. Taking a pill or doing a “quick fix” diet is very similar. They can calm the choppy waters for a period of time but rarely offer us lasting results. Unfortunately, the long-term stuff takes time and little more work.
5. Wine can be healing
Okay, this one is for me. If you follow me on Instagram you know I like to relax with a nice beverage occasionally. Now, as a nutrition “expert” I know it’s not the healthiest thing out there, but health is not all or nothing. You might really love chocolate and can’t picture a world where that doesn’t exist and that’s okay! It really is about balance and figuring out how to nourish both your mind and body.
You are in fact the expert/goddess of your own body and you know better than anyone what you need to thrive! Sometimes a little guidance and support gives us a boost to reach our goals but remember to never let external “should’s and “shouldn’ts” cloud your judgement or make you feel bad about your choices.